Just completed my first week of the TEFL program!!!! It was fun, exciting, interesting and an eye opening experience.
Monday November 4th was the first day of class; class started at 10 and went until two. During class we did what is called Module 1. Module 1 focused on second language acquisition: different reasons for learning a language, different contexts for learning a language, difference between children and adults in learning a language, different methods of learning, and elements for successful language learning (Engage, Study,Activate). At 4:30 we had to observed one of the teachers teach from 4:30 to 6:30, two different levels of English classes. Observing was both helpful and interesting because it makes you realize what it takes to teach English. One thing I learned, is that you have to speak really slow to the intro and beginner classes.. Since they are just starting to learn English and understand very little, talking to the teens/adults is like talking to a child in the U.S.
Tuesday we didn’t have to observed, but learned Module 3 from 10 to 2. Module 3 is Linguistics Foundation and Grammar. This module focused on: meaning in context, the elements of language, forms and meanings, parts of speech, hypothetical meaning, language functions and language variables. We also had to take a grammar quiz. Whatever we got wrong, we had to then teach on Thursday.
Wednesday was the first time we had the opportunity to observe the Intermediate C class. That went from 9:30 to 11. The students in the intermediate c class are light years away from the students in the Intro and Beg A class. You can talk at normal speed and they can pretty much understand most spoken words. We also completed module 7 which was on lesson planning and had to observe the Into and Beg A class later in the day.
Thursday was the first time we were suppose to go to Cabuya and observe in one of the class rooms there. Cabuya is a town over from Montezuma and is about a 20 min drive South. It is not far, but because the only road is a dirt road littered with bumps, it cannot be driven on fast. There is a school in Cabuya that is grades 1-6, however there are only two classes. The first is combined of grades 1, 2 and 3 and the second class is combined of grades 4, 5 and 6. It’s a normal school where they learn whatever kids in Costa Rica learn, but for a an hour or two out of the day they also learn English. Anyway, at the beginning I mentioned that we were suppose to go and observe; we went but didn’t have a chance to observe. Class was cancelled and we didn’t find out until we got there. Unfortunately this is not a uncommon occurrence; sometimes up to two or three times out of the week school is cancelled to a variety of reasons of the teachers not being able to show up, to the roads being impassible because of a heavy rain storm. Many times there will not be any notice.
Firday, we did have the opportunity to go and observe. It was weird seeing three different grades combined into one class. The students were so cute and apparently for some reason very well behaved that day. I’ll post a video soon if I can upload it, it is hard to do because of the wifi here.