A different direction in teaching

Jacqui with her fellow trainees and one of our course tutors

Jacqui had been teaching in the UK in mainstream education for four years and special education for eleven years when she decided to take the Trinity CertTESOL to give her more options for the future, with the view to getting work in an international school. As an experienced teacher, she found that there were many aspects of the course which seemed far less daunting to her than to other trainees as she had spent time delivering lessons in front of people and felt more confident dealing with unexpected bumps in the lesson.

That said, she found the course to be a rewarding and challenging undertaking and was able to reflect on areas she would like to continue developing in the section on “areas to prioritise for future teaching” of her Teaching Practice conclusion. Many thanks to Jacqui for allowing us to share her reflections here.

“When teaching English in the future, my focus will be on error collection and correction.  I still feel awkward when picking up on student errors, particularly in whole class feedback sessions.  It can be difficult to gauge how much error correction to do and which words to focus on as I could spend a lot of time focused on one student who is struggling instead of checking the understanding of the whole group.  Also if I correct every word it may make the student feel uncomfortable or disheartened and they may lose their motivation to learn English.  However, I am aware that error correction is an important part of my teaching as students will mis-learn how to pronounce words or how to correctly use the grammar if I do not correct them.  The issue lies more with my confidence when dealing with error correction and I need to try using some of the different methods that were presented during the input sessions.

I still find choral and individual drilling difficult to do as this is something I hadn’t used much in the past.  Again, this is an issue relating to my confidence in using this method and I need to practise using it more to increase my confidence. I recognise that it is important for students to practise pronouncing new vocabulary and drilling provides this opportunity.

Although I am good at pitching my lesson at the right level for the group, I still need to consider any additional vocabulary I may be using and ensure that it is pitched at the right level.  When providing examples or explaining vocabulary I need to make sure I use language that is simpler.  This was something I found more difficult with the upper-intermediate group as I think I assumed their level of understanding is higher than it is as many of the students speak English so well.

I will continue to reflect on my teaching and consider how to improve my lesson delivery.  I will also ensure that I maintain a high level of STT in my lessons as it is important to provide students with as many opportunities to practise their pronunciation as possible.”

 A qualification in ELT can open many doors for you internationally so if you’re a teacher in mainstream education and thinking of taking a new direction in your career, please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.

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