Making up your mind to teach abroad as a TEFL teacher is no doubt, a life-changing decision and most of the suggestions we get from people are all about how to research the best course out there, the procedures to follow and finding the employment option afterward. But this post is specifically created to provide some tips and suggestions that can help to excel in your TEFL class and to become a more productive English learner. Going overseas to study is, no doubt, a rewarding experience but your success depends on your ability that how well you manage to survive and perform during your TEFL course.
They say that TEFL is one of the best experiences a person can ever have in his life. This statement is true only if you've got tons of motivation and capability to properly plan your stay in a foreign country. The four weeks TEFL course that you want to complete overseas is not only rewarding but hard at the same time and you’ll be amazed to know that the pass percentage is very high, but still, students don’t even complete and drop out because they find it difficult to handle that much pressure. This is because they have to manage to live at an entirely new place along with the workload.
You might be thinking that if living and earning a TEFL certificate abroad is that much difficult, why not to do it in my native country and why everyone opt to go overseas to become TEFL certified? This is because in most cases, the country from where you start your TEFL adventure eventually becomes your work destination. So, it’s a critical question to decide what your dream workplace is. People also want to do it overseas simply because they want to travel. It also gives them a chance to visit various parts of the world and to avail career opportunities there. Secondly, most TEFL schools abroad provide job assistance after course completion as they have multiple connections to potential employers in this industry. While if you do it in your native country, you’ve to manage the hassle of finding a job all by yourself. Or if your local institution attempts to do it for you, their career support program is no match to some reputable international TEFL Academy.
Given are some of our most effective tips that will help you to survive during your TEFL adventure abroad.
Be Prepared to Experience Culture Shock Along with huge Workload
Whenever we face any major change, it takes some time to completely adjust to it. Nobody can immediately adapt to a new environment after moving abroad but in the case of TEFL, there will be no time for such adjustments as it’s just a four-week long course with a huge syllabus to be covered. So, be prepared to face challenges of doing assignments at home, studying and practice teaching at the school and managing your stay all alone. Even you’ll have no time to spend with your own self, to take some rest or to connect with the host country. All of this might result in the form of culture shock where you start to feel overwhelmed, lacking and uneasy. The real challenge in such a situation is to stay focused on the goal and the big rewards that you can get after successfully passing through all these hurdles.
This discomforting culture shock will pass and all you need to do is to hold on for some time until getting used to the daily routine and workload. Be sure that you are doing something amazing and this is the type of life many people dream of living. Once you change your perspective towards the problems, you will eventually learn to overcome them.
Learn Time Management
Time management is the key to succeed in all walks of life and as an EFL student abroad, you need to become a time management pro for achieving your academic and professional goals. First of all, your strong commitment to learn and pass the course is needed. Because only then, you'll be able to work on assignments before deadlines. Making a timetable works best and several digital tools such as Google Calendar or other similar apps can be used to populate with to-dos list of the week along with the reminder dates so that you never miss out any deadline during your course tenure.
Prepare Yourself by Using Some Pre-Course Activities
Imagine attending an ESL class without any initial preparation and wondering what is going around. So, it should be better to get some idea beforehand that what a TEFL class is all about. You can easily search out online resources and TEFL material available there for developing an initial understanding of what your first class will look like and what type of lesson you will be learning. This type of research will help you to familiarize yourself with basic concepts of this language and you will find it easy to get along with studies.
Try to Build Relationships with Fellow Trainees
When you start to live at a place entirely different from your home town and away from your friends and family, you'll start to feel lonely and homesick. This may also lead to lack of interest and motivation in the rituals of daily life. It is easy to follow a boring routine of going to school, making assignments, eating alone and so on. But what would be the purpose of your stay there if you are not enjoying life to its fullest? Studying and making a career is not the only purpose of TEFL abroad and there is something more to it. Your TEFL abroad will become a rewarding and life-changing experience only if you try to burst the bubble of your generic routine.
The TEFL class will be filled with multicultural people with varying ambitions and goals. Take some time to get to know them, build friendly relationships and befriend with the like-minded classmates. It will make life more fun as you may find a study buddy to continue your learning in a more effective way.
Copy your EFL Instructors
It may sound unnatural but your ESL instructors and teachers have been serving this industry for years and are way more experienced than you. Copying their lesson plans, body language and teaching styles will help to develop a deep understanding of the course material. This is something known as smart work which will lead you to guaranteed success. It is not necessary to follow their styles throughout your own professional career, but it does provide a good starting point for you. I also got great feedback and apperception after teaching my first TEFL class and the main reason was that I tried to imitate my teachers. But in the later years, I added my own creativity and style to those basics taught by my instructors.
Try to become a Keen Observer in class
One of the reasons why in-class TEFL course is better than an Online TEFL course that during an in-person class, you get a chance to observe the teaching practices of your teacher and your fellow trainees during their presentations. Never miss this opportunity and develop and habit of keen observation because you’ll learn new concepts and methods with this approach. Also, at the end of the presentation, the teachers often ask the class to ask questions from the presenter trainee and to suggest improvements. In this way, you will be learning invaluable lessons about what practices are good to follow in your own class and what to avoid.
Write Down Daily Lessons
The human mind is not capable to remember each and every detail of what was taught in the class and sometimes most of the information skip from your mind. The best way to solve this problem is to start writing the daily lessons and important points in the form of a script. This will greatly help to prepare class presentations and tests and you can easily revise your notes to get higher grades in the final exam.
Carefully Listen to Your Teacher’s Feedback
The teacher provides feedback just because they want you to improve your performance and to pass the course. Their criticism and suggestions are entirely constructive as they are the expert and know better how you should perform and interact. If you decide to continue your course with this positive approach, you’ll definitely achieve success.
It is also not a good idea to compare yourself with other students as all come from entirely different backgrounds with different learning abilities. Keep in mind that your purpose of being here is to earn a TEFL certificate and not winning a competition.
Let’s hope that you will pass your TEFL course abroad with flying colors and if you have not selected a course yet, do check the courses offers at TEFL-Madrid Academy – industry leader in Spain!