Here’s why you can cross another excuse off your list. Teaching English doesn’t have to be scary! Find Out Why!
When considering starting a new career direction that is very different to what you currently do, it is very easy to come up with barriers to why it won’t work, or how difficult it will be. This is common because many of us fear the unknown, and for many teaching English is an unknown.
If you are like me, you obviously know that there are people teaching English out there, but it never really occurred to me until a few years ago that it was something that people just like me, could do. Until then, I didn’t even realise you could teach English without doing years of training getting a teaching degree at university. And these ESL teachers are making a good living out of it! And now with such an open world with the internet, people are now teaching English online and making even better money, without even having to leave their lounge room. Plus they can get qualified easily from home, or their work desk or on the bus to work!
We’ve discussed two of the big excuses that people tend to use in the previous blog, namely time and money, but there is one more barrier that is more about teaching English rather than completing the TESOL course. And it is a question I think that most ESL teachers have asked themselves before they stepped into the classroom for the first time… “I know I can speak English, but can I teach it?”
Most of us think back to primary school and being taught all the rules for spelling, verbs, tenses and all those other things and just go “nope”. Many native English speakers admit they have no idea why things are the way they are in the English language, and that is okay! Guess what! Your school teacher probably didn’t know everything either… they used reference text books, followed a curriculum and lesson plans. Exactly what you will do too!
So let’s get back to the course. I have almost finished! Only a couple of assessments to go, and I get my certificate. I actually have a certificate in adult training that I completed many years ago. But thinking back on it now, it no way prepared me for actually stepping into the classroom and delivering content so it seemed like I knew what I was talking about. I remember the scariest time was walking in to the training room for the first time in front of a group of people and feeling unprepared, and the 2nd and 3rd times was a little easier. After half a dozen times, I really felt like I was getting the hang of it and was loads more confident at it. Of course I haven’t started work yet and I expect the first lesson will still be a little daunting, but so far this certificate has given me the confidence to think that I will be okay.
Here’s why I think you will be too!
The course seems to not only provide you with the skills you need to start teaching English, but also provides a lot of history to do with the English language which is actually really interesting. It covers a broad range of topics and gently leads you into the more technical side of teaching. It even covers the point raised about if it is difficult to deliver content that you may not be fully aware of yourself. Remember though, the more you teach it, the better you will understand it yourself.
Some of the topics covered in the course include:
- How to be a good teacher and classroom management
- Lesson planning
- How to teaching reading, listening and speaking
- Teaching grammar
- Factors to consider when teaching a new language
- How to assess students
- How to teach young learners, and the difference from teaching adult learners
- How to deal with any problems the pop up
As you can see there is everything covered that most teachers would need to prepare themselves for teaching the first time, and then developing into an engaging and thoughtful teacher. There is even hints and tips on finding a job after you finish your course whether you want to work online, or face to face. The course also provides links, hints and tips to finding additional teaching resources if you need them.
If one of your concerns about teaching English is whether you can in fact teach it, I believe that the content covered in the eTEFL Online TESOL/TEFL certificate will give you the confidence to step into the classroom whether it is online, or face to face.
Don’t forget to read the first three parts of this series…