Taking a TEFL or TESOL Teacher Training Course is part and parcel of training to teach English.
Thousands of potential teachers take a short TEFL Course and this article offers some basic advice on how to approach the course and how to get the most out of it.
Grammar & Vocabulary
Before beginning the course – or as soon as you can after starting it – get to grips with English grammar. Learn the parts of speech, the verb tenses and so on. Get yourself a good English grammar (or use the resources here on this site) so that you become familiar with the basics.
You won’t be expected to know all the intricate details of grammar but you will be expected to either know or learn quickly the basics.
As you are taking the course, if the teacher or materials you use talk about a specific grammar point, make note of it and look it up later. This also applies to vocabulary. You will be teaching English and sooner or later a student will ask you for a definition of a word you do not know; to put off the inevitable whenever you come across an unknown word while you’re reading, always look it up and ask yourself how you would explain it to someone who didn’t know.
Remember, a TEFL course is geared towards teaching you how to best teach so it should not come as a surprise if the main focus of the course is not on grammar itself.
It’s good to share, and talking with other students will often help both with nerves and to understand the material. If you find that several of you don’t understand a particular point you will feel happier raising this with the tutors.
So, make sure to use the student center where you can talk to other students and exchange ideas and tips.
TEFL Course Tutors & Administration
Use your personal tutor and the admin staff. They are there to help you and want you to succeed so if there is a problem or issue be sure to talk to them about it. This is applicable both to the course itself (e.g. I don’t have time to do all the assignments – what can I do?) as well as the material (e.g. What am I supposed to do in Assignment 3, Part 1?).
Never be afraid to ask a question, however daft you may think it sounds. It’s all about learning and you are taking the course because you don’t know how to teach yet – you are paying for this, so get your money’s worth!
You will have assignments to do during the course. Our best advice is this: do them the moment you get them. It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of students who leave their assignments to the last minute and turn in poor work because of it. Get it over and done with, and you will feel better for it!
Keep a Student Folder with all your work in it. How you organize this is your decision, but you will begin to collect material, ideas and tips which are useful later in the classroom. If you have them to hand you can use them; if you don’t save them, you’ll lose them. This can also be turned into a teaching portfolio to be used as reference for your training when applying for work.
Do I Need To Know Grammar? – what you need to know about grammar and why