Preparing for TESOL: Top Tips to Save Time
- Jun 24, 2014
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a certificate course. It is effective in different countries of the world, including Thailand and others. It is obtained by those who wish to teach English or acquire specialized knowledge and training of the language. The primary objective of most of these students is to work in various professional roles, such as those of:
- Curriculum developers
- Subject material developers
- Researchers of English
There is an international association of teachers known as the TESOL International Association. It is the world’s largest organization for teachers who teach English as a foreign or second language. Headquartered in Alexandra, Virginia, in the United States of America, this association has a worldwide membership of over 12,000 members. It is further affiliated with 109 other organizations, which provide language education, more than half of which are located outside of America. If we count the total membership of both TESOL and other affiliated organizations, the total membership strength would be as high as 44000.
TESOL publishes two renowned journals — the TESOL Journal as well as the TESOL Quarterly. Members enjoy various perks like an insurance program, various grants and awards, an annual convention as well as a seminar called the ‘TESOL Academies’ in the summer months.
Multiple Career Opportunities
A large number as well as variety of career opportunities are open to those who have completed the TESOL course. While the most popular career option is undoubtedly teaching English to students for whom English is not the mother tongue. Other options include being a researcher of English, authoring English textbooks and so on.
Relevant across the Globe
Since TESOL is the common English language test used around the world, the results can be identified as the world standard. In today’s world, there is an increasing demand for people who have passed TESOL. The world is increasingly becoming smaller today due to the rapid spread of technology, and people of all races, religions and nationalities are realizing that it is vital that they are able to master English if they are to function well in today’s world.
For any teacher, planning lessons is a big responsibility and that is true for a TESOL teacher as well. Teachers more often than not have other household responsibilities as well, and they often need to take care of duties like making photocopies of a day’s lessons for distribution among students, or checking the answer sheets of students, they have less time to devote to lesson planning.
Here are a few tips, which will help a teacher plan his or her lessons efficiently and consistently:
CREATE WEEKLY AND MONTHLY PLANS: It is important for the TESOL teachers to reach some curriculum deadlines. Planning lessons on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis will help them reach these curriculum deadlines. It will also improve the time management skills of the teachers while taking classes.
LEARN TO PREPARE BETTER HANDOUTS FOR STUDENTS: TESOL teachers often need to give out handouts to their students. Good computer skills and ability to use Word and Pages (for those using Apple) are essential. Well made, colorful and engaging handouts catch the attention of the students with ease and help them retain lessons learnt in the class. If necessary, it is a sensible idea for TESOL teachers to attend some computer classes, which will equip them with the skills necessary to make effective handouts.
MAKE A LIST OF PRINT OR ELECTRONIC MEDIA, WHICH CAN BE USED FOR A CLASS: Using print or electronic media is an excellent idea. There are many books, CDs, YouTube videos, comics, TV shows and others, which can be used to enhance the learning experience of the students. Whenever you come across such media, make a note of it and use it to improve your lessons.
HAVE SOME STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN CLASS: It is very important to have the students participating actively in class, rather than simply being passive listeners. Active participation helps the students learn better, clarify their doubts and remember their lessons. It also makes the classes more lively and interesting. Not all students participate actively, as many are shy and hesitate to speak up in class. These are a few strategies to encourage all students in class to participate:
- Write down the names of all students in a card and put them in a hat or bowl. The student whose name is picked is required to speak on a particular topic in class.
- Have a random selection criteria, for example, everyone wearing red is required to recite an English poem.
- Number students based on their ages, nationalities and other criteria, and ask them to interact with others in English.
This might seem frivolous, but once the students engage more in class, they will learn the lessons within a shorter time.
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