So you’ve finished your teacher training course, and are ready to go out into the world of teaching. Maybe you have a job lined up, maybe you’re going to travel and work, or maybe just see what turns up. Whatever your next step, how much of the last few weeks of intense planning, revising and high-pressure input are you going to take with you into your new career?
If my own experience is anything to go by, a lot of what you learn on a CertTESOL or CELTA course fades as the pressure eases off. Four weeks is enough to get to grips with the IPA, learn some workable methodologies and get a few hours of experience under your belt, but most language teachers in their first couple of years on the job have a continuing need for development as they gain experience with different types of class, school and students. Those who continue to develop after their initial training tend to have an easier time and get better at what they do. Those who don’t can easily get left out of their depth despite the prestige of the qualification they hold.
Even the best training course in the world can’t prepare you for the typical issues faced by language educators: mixed ability classes, classes of 30-plus students, back-to-back lessons with minutes for you to get between classrooms, what to do when the students tell you ‘we’ve done this before’. These are regular barriers to overcome, and are part of what keeps us on our toes as we gain experience. However, with some simple, workable methodologies, adaptable teaching ideas and a clear view of what you are teaching and why, these barriers can be overcome with ease.
Every new teacher needs to keep an eye on how they are dealing with the five core areas of second-language teaching: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, receptive and productive skills. These, in addition to lesson planning support, classroom management techniques and knowledge of how to engage your learners, provide a basic toolkit for new teachers to ensure that they continue their development from their training experience onward.
This is the principle behind TESOL: A Gateway Guide, a teacher-friendly e-resource written in plain terms, with tasks, lesson ideas, examples and a glossary of linguistic terminology to enable teachers to excel in their first couple of years. This is the kind of resource I wish I'd had when I was fresh off my own training, and would have saved me a good many hours of wrestling with lesson plans without a tutor there to help me. TESOL: A Gateway Guide is based on the needs that I and my fellow course graduates had as we set out into the world of EFL, and has proven to be successful for the hundreds of trainees who have worked with it during and after Cert courses since.
TESOL: A Gateway Guide is available as a downloadable e-resource here for just $9.99
“An excellent resource for those starting out in English Language teaching and those looking to fill in any blanks in their learning. As a guide to help you on an initial teacher training course like the Trinity College CertTESOL, it is invaluable and will be an excellent source of support and ideas. A great buy!”
Ben Beaumont, TESOL Qualifications Manager, Trinity College London
Tom Garside is also the author of Pronunciation Card Games, a print-and-play e-resource with worksheets and phoneme card sets designed for teachers and students to improve their phonological knowledge and pronunciation skills. Pronunciation Card Games is available here
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