The world has had a difficult couple of years but is now back and better than ever, ready to take on the challenges of contemporary life. For many people, that means setting off on the task of learning another language.
In fact, as over 90% of the world’s population has a first language that is not English, becoming a TEFL (or Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher is a great way to build a career in these modern times. What is more, there are millions of children right now who need help to refine their skills in English, from beginners all the way up to more advanced learners.
With that in mind, below are five simple resources to consider when teaching TEFL to children of any age or level. Each of these types of resources should help the new TEFL tutor to hit the ground running and get a great start in their new TEFL vocation.
A TEFL Certification
Although this is not a resource that most individuals think about when changing career paths to become a TEFL instructor, a reliable and genuine TEFL certification is the perfect way to get equipped with the real tools and knowledge necessary to become an expert quickly. There are a few reasons for this, and this handy guide has more information on exactly why this is.
First of all, teaching TEFL is a mentally demanding position, with each student requiring different goals and advice and even a different teaching approach in some cases. A TEFL course has instructors who have experienced this for themselves over many years, and so their advice is both meaningful and directly applicable to the field.
Not only that, but also the program is filled with great hints and tips about the English language itself, from the finer points of grammar all the way up to the latest idioms currently in use. By getting this content directly from a reputable source, the chances are the TEFL educator ought to feel confident and ready to teach that much more quickly.
In order to help the TEFL teacher become a real pro at organising their time, some kind of software can really help accelerate the process of focusing on the main task of teaching. These come in many forms, from calendar scheduling apps such as Calendly, all the way to task software tools like Asana or Trello.
These applications can really help a new TEFL teacher to save time, as well as keeping them on track during slower teaching periods, such as national holidays. By contrast, they might also allow new TEFL educators to breathe a little, safe in the knowledge that the task of being a new teacher is manageable with some good structure to the day.
Online grammar resources
When teaching an aspect of TEFL such as writing, which is complicated and diverse depending on the context, knowing that there are grammar options available online is a real sigh of relief. This is because these tools could definitely narrow down the search process of finding errors or repeated mistakes for a TEFL teacher.
It is important to know the kinds of errors that students are likely to make depending on their level, and this is especially true for young learners. This is because they are often basing their performance on the input they are given, as opposed to the wider and more global context cues that an adult may rely on.
As a result, taking the time to invest in resources that hone in on grammar challenges is a worthwhile one, and ensures the new TEFL teacher focuses their main efforts on helping the TEFL student to grow at their own pace. By doing this, they also avoid the negative aspects associated with making corrections that are not understandable to the learner or by covering ground that has already been taught to the student before.
There is a reason why offline and online course books are considered to be such an essential component of a TEFL curriculum across the globe, especially for children. For one thing, they help to maintain a steady flow of learning for all students, regardless of prior performance or wider English exposure.
In addition, the common talking points brought up in a course book enable pupils to share their own experiences from their own unique point of view, as opposed to studying in complete isolation. For children, much of early education is as much about social learning as it is about developing concrete notions of understanding.
Due to this, a course book also adds the element of varying the types of tasks performed in an in-person or online classroom. Consequently, having access to online course books means that students can learn from anywhere, performing tasks at home or out with their friends, at any time of the day that is most suitable for them.
Last but by no means least, the course books are designed by experienced TEFL teachers, who have taught the subject for many years. Therefore, they tend to place the grammar and vocabulary ideas at just the right level to meet the students where they are, and allow a process of gradual acquisition to take place.
Online non-fiction books for fun
While course books are indeed a fantastic resource for keeping a group of students on track in a structured lesson setting, many young learners do usually prefer to read for fun, especially when it comes to finding literature in the non-fiction section. Although some programs do now exist to get physical books to people in need, the stark reality is that some families simply do not have the space in their homes to house hundreds of books for their little ones.
However, this is where being able to access reading literature online is especially helpful. Many educational sites offer free access to online versions of many of their printed books, and an overwhelming number of libraries have a similar scheme in place, which means that learners can borrow books to read on their devices just as easily as picking up a physical hard copy. In any case, this is yet another example of a great online resource available to help children learn English.