Passing teaching English abroad programs or courses isn’t difficult. Nonetheless, we’ve put together this article for you with tips to help you pass, especially if you are nervous or anxious, are a hard worker and want to ensure you success, or are an overachiever.
Before we dive into the tips to help you pass your TEFL course, let’s quickly look at how TEFL courses are setup to help you complete it:
- Most courses are designed to progress clearly and logically.
- They have easy to follow instructions, on-going quizzes, observation videos, and practical elements.
- There is a dedicator tutor or instructor to give you continuous feedback and support – this is someone who’s been through a teaching English abroad program, knows what you are going through, and understands how you are feeling.
Next up are the tips to help you pass your course:
1. Pre-Course Task: Take It Seriously
Ensure you complete your pre-TEFL course task, and you shouldn’t leave this until the night before you start the program. Get it done as early as possible and review the language awareness assignment before you start the course.
2. Time Management
Time management is so important when you are doing a teaching English abroad program. If you opted for an intensive 4-week TEFL course, then this is even more essential. You have input sessions each day, classes your trainee teachers teach that you can observe, assignment that need to be finished every week, and lesson planning for the lessons you teach. Plus taking in all the information you are learning.
If you are doing an online TEFL course, like this one from iTEFL, then you still want to do some time management. Plan time each day to listen to the video lectures and schedule time to complete any quizzes and assignments, so you don’t find yourself in the situation whereby you forgot an assignment is due on a certain date and it is now 11 pm, the evening before the deadline.
Set up a schedule so you can ensure all your TEFL course activities and responsibilities are accounted for. You can make use of a diary, iCal, or Google calendar to help you with this. There are even project management tools (free ones) like ToDoist and Trello that can help you with your schedule, to-do lists, and ticking off what is done and knowing what you still have to complete.
Related article: Teach English Overseas? Why do People Want to?
3. Reviews Your Notes Daily
In the input sessions you learn about what is teaching, teaching methodologies, what an ideal lesson looks like, and the different parts of EFL teaching. Review your notes daily – both that which you have taken during the input lesson and what has been shared with you from the instructor.
If you opted for an in-person course, then you are learning a ton of new information daily, so reviewing is one of the best ways to keep up with all that new knowledge and giving your brain a chance to let everything sink in.
4. Pay Attention In Observed Classes
For this I mean not the classes in your teaching English abroad program in which you are observed teaching, but the chances you have to observe your instructors teach and even your fellow trainee teachers. Make notes of stuff you liked and things that worked well. Include that which didn’t work and note down the why something didn’t work. When you plan your own lessons plans, think back to what really worked in the classes you observed and use that for inspiration for your own classes.
5. Listen To The Feedback
Many of us pretty much hate (and fear) observed classes and that stem from an inability to receive constructive criticism and not take it personally. However, for any in-person or blended courses, you will be observed teaching approximately 4-8 lessons. Your tutor will provide detailed feedback on both your lesson plan and the class you taught.
If you have an opportunity to self-reflect after the class before you get your tutor’s feedback, be as honest as you can be. That actually counts in your favor if you can correctly reflect on the lesson you taught by examining your aims before the lesson, if you achieved them and how, and anything that went “wrong” or not as planned.
For your tutor’s feedback, ask for practical advice on how to improve. And don’t compare your teaching practices with that of your other trainees – you might all be at different teaching levels, with some never have taught in any capacity before, those who have tutored at the very least, and those who might have taught EFL prior to doing the teaching English abroad program.
There you have it. You really shouldn’t fail your teaching English abroad program if you follow these tried and tests tips.
Key takeaways to pass your TEFL course are:
- Take the pre-course task seriously and review it before you get started with your course.
- Manage your time effectively. Plan when you have input sessions, when you are teaching and observing, and when you can work on your assignments.
- Review your notes daily.
- Pay attention to what worked and what didn’t in any classes you observe.
Listen to your tutor’s feedback post your observed teaching practicum and don’t take it seriously. See it as a learning opportunity to improve in your next class.