New to TEFL

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New to TEFL

Unread post by Biggurs » 22 Oct 2020, 08:45

Hi everyone
This is my first post and would like to say hi and ask a question.
My profession is optometry (optician) but have now chosen to teach tefl online after recently receiving certification.
What I wanted to know is how will I know exactly what it is I need to teach that particular student? Do I have to follow a certain syllabus or curriculum based on their country of residence especially if they are still at school?
Or is there a certain TEFL syllabus.
I'm sorry if it's a silly question but I don't have much academic teaching experience other than previous private tutoring and professional occupational training

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Joined: 11 Sep 2020, 15:36
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Re: New to TEFL

Unread post by NewTeach » 07 Dec 2020, 14:37

Hi Biggurs,

I too am fairly new to teaching online in that I only qualified in July, the Tefl course, and took an add online teaching course, but I can help you as best I can.

It can be overwhelming at first if you don't know where to begin. Here is where I began. I have years of 'people' training, in many fields of business, and that it is just as scary for the student as it is for you. Never doubt yourself, you trained for this, now you need practical experience of it. I offered a trial class. This is less pressure on you, and as the class is for free, you can practice with that student, do your best, like you would for a paying student. THere is your practical experience.

But first, before you get your trial student, you must want to teach, it has to be a passion with you, you have to feel you are meant for this, as it will soon show if you're not. Okay?

FIrstly, if you have tutored privately, that is people experience, you're an optometrist that is people experience, and what I did was find a student needs assessment/learner self assessment form online. This is for your benefit, plus the student fills it in and you ask probing questions like: Why do you want to learn the English Language. Often the student will tell you why, to get a job, to improve their chances of promotion in the company they are in, to travel to an English speaking country, to converse with others in English. See where this is going? I studied it, then made up my own one, in my own words, that had all the information I wanted from my first student. You mail it to them, give them the reason how this form will help them, and you as you have a good guide to what classes they need, what their weakest and strongest points are, whether they are open students (eager to learn) or more private and not sure of why they are being asked to learn English by either their company, their parents if they are young adults. This form is your guide. My first lesson was a Getting to know you session as the student was Chinese, an adult, who was afraid to speak on the telephone or do a face to face meeting with her customers, as she was unsure of her speaking and pronunciation. SHe was forthright, open and honest, and also has lots of Chinese friends she can recommend to take classes, so it is a win win situation.
You can do this, it is scary, but think logically, and strategically. You need to have confidence in your ability to do the 20% teacher thing, and 80% student thing. Let them lead, by guiding them, and also let them speak 80% of the time. YOu can learn a lot from your first lesson. There are so many free lesson plans on the internet, those are also a guide. Find one, covert it for your use. And keep on being a studier and getting a sense of what your student wants.

Good Luck, and like NIke says, Just Do It. You are the teacher, you set the rules. But we also teach to learn.

Ending this long tip with a quote:
We are co-creators of our reality, and we must become mindful of the reality we are creating. Awareness is everything.
Do hope this helps you, as I have been where you are, and if I can help another teacher go forward without the overwhelm I am glad to do it. Teachers should help each other, I believe.

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