Having fun with friends is always the best way to spend time, and it is even better when there is a chance to learn something new as well. This is just one of the reasons why studying online with buddies is such a worthwhile venture. It is also fun to learn something new with friends, who can act as moral support if something is tricky to pick up.
With that in mind, taking the time to choose the right English course is worth the time and effort. The Internet has simultaneously made it easier and more difficult than ever to choose the right program.
It’s easier in the sense that there is seemingly a limitless wealth of resources and course options to explore. This wealth of possibilities can make it difficult to reach the right decision.
Luckily, help is at hand in the form of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers, who are specifically trained to help English language learners from any background. Nowadays, taking an English course online need not be a headache, and the following guide explains some of the need-to-know information before getting started.
What is TEFL?
In short, TEFL is the study of English as a language, from the fundamentals of grammar to the latest vocabulary trends. This guide tells you all you need to know about the steps a TEFL tutor has to take to become certified, as well as providing some of the benefits of getting this vital practice in before teaching TEFL classes.
Once a TEFL educator has become certified, they arrive at the online classroom armed with hours of quality content behind them, as well as an increased awareness of the English language overall. This should lead them to be able to answer questions a student might have, from the latest idioms in fashion, all the way through to when to use the present perfect tense in grammar.
Courses that are led by TEFL educators also have the additional bonus of being well thought out and considered, as effective lesson planning is an essential component of completing the program. a new TEFL tutor will be eager to try out all of the techniques they have picked up on the course, meaning that the pupils ought to benefit from a range of approaches and styles before settling on a system that works best for the learners.
Is it better to study TEFL alone or in a group?
There are certainly arguments for both, and each has its supporters. For group students, the price is usually a bit lower per session, as the cost can be spread among the whole group. This might make it a sensible option for some students who perhaps only have part-time work or those in a situation where other financial pressures are in place.
Additionally, the ability to have meaningful group discussions on topics as diverse as Pokemon or opera music, may well find that the group environment enables a fluid and smooth progression into the conversational world of English. The safety net of practicing in a group also allows some learners to feel less nervous when speaking, as they realise that all the students are in the same boat.
On the other hand, some pupils could decide that an individual class with a TEFL teacher is worth the extra investment. One group in particular that may see it this way is university students, who could have specific essays to write, or presentations to make in front of their classmates.
The big advantage of a one-to-one class is the specific advice that can be given, that is bespoke and unique to the student themselves. They could also ask questions of the TEFL tutor that are deeper and more complex than a typical classroom group setting could cover.
Furthermore, the lessons can be more flexible, staying less with a conventional lesson plan than a group class might have to. For all these reasons, it is not difficult to see why some students favour this approach, despite the increase in economic terms they are likely to need to pay.
How might a TEFL student find the best TEFL teacher or course for them?
Of course, a TEFL instructor that has taken the time and effort to get a TEFL certification should be right at the top of that list, and one that has a set of positive referrals or recommendations ought to come into the equation also. The word-of-mouth aspect is especially important, as the feedback comes directly from learners who faced a similar decision in the past, and so went on a similar learning arc.
Beyond that, social media presence is another way that some TEFL tutors use to engage and persuade students to join them. This can come in the form of videos that explain a particular phrase or vocabulary point, or a blog post that delves more deeply into the world of the English language.
Alternatively, there are companies that employ many TEFL teachers, and these have their own upsides too. For one thing, these firms tend to work on matching the level of the student to a specific TEFL tutor, and then see if there is a good connection before continuing.
These organizations are also comfortable with placing students into groups, based on their language level and study frequency. Due to this, it does seem to take a lot of stress out of the selection process for many learners and is popular as a result.
Are there any other factors to consider?
There are a couple of other aspects to put into the mix, and one of these is time zones. A student in Taiwan who wants to talk about economic growth there is likely to be looking for a very different type of TEFL teacher than a Brazilian parent aiming to place their infant into a group setting where English language learning is more likely to be promoted through playing games.
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