Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Choosing a TEFL or TESOL course can be quite a difficult decision to make. Since there are so many courses to choose from, you may feel pulled in different directions. Before you make any decisions though, we want to talk about the importance of choosing an ESL course which includes a practical examination.
The main objective of the teaching practicum is to provide student teachers with authentic hands-on experience in teaching. This is required to develop their teaching skills and to start collecting experiences to enrich their professional wisdom. It is not enough to read about teaching or to observe others teach, something students have done for years. Theoretically, we should all be able to teach classes upon graduating from high school because we watched so many teachers teach.
Every professional teacher knows that it doesn’t work this way. Student teachers have to practice themselves because practical knowledge and wisdom are held by the individual and cannot easily be transmitted from person to person. Student teachers need know-how, and by connecting the skills of teaching to knowledge, through reflection, they will gradually start developing practical wisdom.
However, to reach beyond their current personal level, it is necessary to be guided by someone who is more experienced. There are limits to how useful a student teacher’s internal reflection is in understanding personal reasoning. The mentor constitutes a model to imitate, and teaching becomes more like training. Therefore, it is crucial to have excellent teachers as mentors.
An important role of the practicum is to provide a supported entry to the profession. The factor with the strongest impact on retention seems to be the quality of the first teaching experiences, and what student teachers experience in their practicum creates their view of the profession. It is therefore essential that student teachers are offered quality practice placements. In order to learn from field experience, it is necessary to look back at it and reconstruct it through interaction between the individual, objects, and other persons.
In this way, the experience can prepare the individual for the future. Systematic reflection in dialogues with peers, mentors, and supervisors prepares student teachers for the real and complex classroom and provides future teachers with tools for developing the confidence to act professionally in unique situations.
At our institution, we provide this professional setting in which student teachers can practice under the guidance of highly trained, experienced practitioners of the field of teaching EFL. Our TEFL trainers hold MA TESOL and can look back at 25 years of teaching English and 15 years of training student teachers. Besides having to prepare top-notch classes, our trainers observe their actions in the classroom, starting from their dialogs with the EFL students, giving feedback, and correction to giving effective instructions in the classroom. When our student teachers leave our training program, they feel confident about starting their job at schools.
By placing importance on an excellent teaching practicum, for both online teaching and teaching in class, we prepare our graduates to sustain interviews of the most demanding institutions around the world. There is a reason why our graduates get hired by schools that demand a lot and pay the highest salaries. The answer lies in the quality of teaching. A teacher is so important in our life—especially an excellent one who can bring out the best in us and facilitate our development to attain a brighter future. We cannot stress enough how important that is.
At iTTi South Africa, we offer both 120-hour and 220-hour TESOL certifications which include practical assessments. Our courses can be completed both face-to-face or online, full or part time. Get in touch with us to get started!