How the TESOL course is structured
What will I learn during the course?
The TESOL covers all the essential aspects you will need for teaching English. During the course, you will learn much of the theory relating to teaching English to speakers of other languages and have opportunities to see how this theory is put into action in a variety of language teaching environments.
For an explanation of how TEFL and TESL fit into TESOL, take a look at this article.
The Full Time Course has several components: in-class sessions where you will learn most of the theories and pedagogy related to teaching; workshops which will give you opportunities to practice and analyse some of these theories in a practical way; field trips and excursions during which you will observe other teachers at work and try your hand at working with English language students; and individual consultation time with the course trainers before and after your specific teaching tasks.
In addition, you will have the opportunity to practice your teaching skills during the course. This is done in many different ways: through peer teaching where you will teach your classmates; through teaching practice with a group of adult language learners; by joining in on experienced teachers' Sessions; and by designing and using your own material with a group of younger learners.
How do the classroom sessions work?
Classroom sessions are taught by qualified teacher trainers and typically last for five hours. These classroom sessions will give you the tools and theory you need for your teaching practice. They take the form of workshops and interactive discussions around focused topics like Session planning and teaching pronunciation.
You’ve had a lot of classes over the years – some you liked and some you didn’t. What makes some classes good? Is a language lesson any different from other kinds of classes? We start the course by looking these questions, and the specific relationship between our students and the language we are teaching them. Bring your memories of your teachers to this class – we have a lot to explore together!
We have tried and tested planning formats that are really easy to use, and maximize learners’ classroom time. That's good news! Not just that, but teachers have a lot of really useful resources in the form of course books, resource packs and teachers’ notes that really simplifies lesson planning. Consider this your first 'behind the scenes' look at the life of a teacher.
You may have experienced that the best way to learn to do something is to do it. So to get students to speak English, we try to get them to speak English. That may sound obvious, but to get students to speak, you’ll need a few tricks. So, in this session we explore the principles of designing activities that will get students involved and interested in your lesson.
This is our first excursion together. We'll be looking specifically at the nature of the language classroom, and try to draw together some of the theoretical aspects we've explored together so far. You'll be amazed at how different the classroom looks from the teachers' perspective, and how useful the theory is for understanding what is going on!
Students are often given a course book – and sometimes they are really useful. What if the book isn’t good? Or what if the students don’t like it? How does the book fit in with the lesson plan? Quite often, the answers to these questions are fairly straight forward, once you understand what the course book is trying to do, and why it is designed in the way it is.
Now you know about course books and to get students talking, but how about introducing new language? How do you explain things to the students if they don’t speak the language? We’ll show you 10 ways of introducing new words to the students, and when to use which. The goal is to create a fun and relevant context for the students – so put on your creative story-telling hats!
Teaching English to young children is hugely rewarding, but it’s complicated by the fact that they are still developing physically, cognitively and emotionally. To be effective with these learners, it’s a good idea to understand what their limitations are, and what sort of things make them different from the teen and adult learners. If you don’t think you want to work with children – this session may change your mind!
How can we teach students to pronounce their new language well? What pronunciation should we be aiming for, American or British? What exactly is the difference, and what do they have in common? These are big and exciting questions. You can expect to find out some very interesting things about English and how we actually use it in everyday speech.
It's time for our second field trip. This time, we are going to focus more closely on the way the teachers handle the process of teaching. What sorts of things work well in the classroom? What kinds of problems do teachers have? How can you tell when a lesson is effective? Your answers may tell you something about what you believe about teaching and learning.
Grammar has a bad reputation –but in fact it’s a really not that bad. In fact, we think you'll start enjoying it once you get going. What we’ll do today is explore some of the important jargon, and look at ways to quickly and effectively find out more when you need it. If you haven’t studied grammar before, don't worry - you’ll surprise yourself at how much you already know.
Someone once said that grammar has a bad reputation. Our students both love and hate it. Our job is to teach it so that it doesn’t confuse and bewilder, and we have a little system for doing so. We’ll need that creative story-telling hat you used in session 5, but this time we’ll be taking the students a little deeper into the language so they can start expressing more complex ideas.
Adults and teens are very forgiving with how things are presented. We like pictures, but can tolerate long stretches of boring text – like this website! Children are a tougher crowd. If it’s not interesting, they will not pay attention for long. But create the right material, and children more readily pay attention. What is the right material? Good question – see you in this session to find out!!
Listening and reading share a lot of the same challenges for students. Both require taking the perspective of another person, and may mean dealing with language that is too difficult. How can we can make listening and reading approachable? In this session we'll be looking at some strategies we can teach students that may really help them.
This is our third field trip. You can expect to be a lot more involved in the action this time around. Our ultimate objective for our work as teachers is to make a real difference, and quite often that means reaching out and interacting with people trying to learn. You are going to find that learners are really curious about you, and keen to try out their growing language skills.
Writing is difficult, even when you do it in your native language. But to get through university, or find good jobs, our students need good writing skills. And to complicate things, grammar plays an important role. This leads to the even more serious topic of testing and evaluating students’ performance. In this session we explore ways of getting students interested in (and successful at) writing.
Children love stories (actually adults do too). That means that stories are a really useful way of getting children to learn language. Come enjoy story time, and learn how to make stories come alive for children. To make this even better, we can teach children how to read stories for themselves. And is a special bonus, stories allow us to introduce arts and crafts into the classroom.
Some students are very specific about what they want to learn, or about why English is important to them. For example, students at university don’t necessarily need to chat in English, but they have to write a thesis and deliver a defense. For these students, English class is a serious undertaking, and the lessons are focused exactly on what the students want. Are you up to the challenge of helping them out?
Teaching English is mostly fun, but sometimes things go wrong. The students may not want to listen, or another teacher disturbs your lessons. In this session, we explore the secrets of classroom management, and look at the problems associated with discipline in a foreign language classroom. Learn some tricks so you can keep enjoying your job, as you should.
This is the final field trip, and in this one you'll have the opportunity to try out your new teaching skills in your own classroom with a group of young learners. We'll be taking you deep into rural Thailand where the children here have few opportunities to learn from qualified English speaking teachers. You'll enjoy the trip into the clean rural air, and we guarantee a lot of fun with these Thai children.
It’s the last day, and you are ready for your own classroom. But that doesn’t mean the learning is finished. In fact, now that you are nearly qualified as a teacher, and the world of language teaching is open to you around the world, the real learning is about to start. In this session we’ll look at ways that you can keep your development as a teacher moving forward.
What can I do with the qualification?
Once you are qualified, the world of teaching English opens up to you. Teach English to young learners in primary schools or kindergartens, to teenagers in high schools, at universities or even to businessmen and women in the corporate world. Jobs in English language teaching will be available to you in countries all around the world. In Thailand, we offer a careers advice service which comes with the guarantee of a job teaching English.
Assessment & Certificate
In order to pass the course and receive your certificate, there are certain criteria which must be met. In addition to attending all of the input sessions, you will be required to submit written assignments over the period of the course, and to teach a minimum of 6 supervised Sessions. Receiving the certificate and passing the course is also subject to the Terms of Study.