I just finished my first week of training in teaching English as a second language, and it looks like I’ll be extremely busy from now until the end of June. But it has been very rewarding so far. Nothing like going back to school at age 56!
One pleasure, of course, is meeting my instructors and classmates—at least online, since that’s where the entire class is taking place. What a wonderful international crew we have: men and women from the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ghana, Iran, and China. One of our problems is finding a time when we can all meet!
We’ve already plunged into online lesson units on the essentials of language teaching: the basic building blocks of language (good thing I know my grammar already), how to engage our students (keep it interesting and relevant!), the keys to designing effective lesson plans (always keep the central aim in mind), classroom management (the online classroom adds a whole new level of challenge and creativity), and much more. We do a lot of interactive activities on our online forum. And we’re preparing for the meat of the course: four detailed writing assignments on various aspects of teaching, and eight teaching practice sessions in which we’ll be teaching actual students, with both our tutors and our fellow students offering constructive feedback afterwards.
There’s quite a bit of material to cover in a fairly short time, so I’m in pretty deep. And one minor challenge for me is that because this is a Cambridge program it’s virtually all in British English (even the pronunciation charts), so I have to do a bit of translation into language I’m more familiar with. Out in the real world, I likely won’t be teaching Mexican students heading for the US how to buy chips with pounds at the pub. 🙂 But as I said, it has been very rewarding so far. And having now begun this new venture, I’m more convinced than ever that this is a good fit for me.
Everyone keep safe and healthy!