4-WEEK INTENSIVE ONLINE
TEFL COURSE OVERVIEW

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What's In ITA's 4-Week Online TEFL Course?

ITA's 4-Week Intensive Online TEFL Class is specifically designed for those who are looking to get TEFL certified from the safety and comfort of their home in just 4-weeks. All successful graduates will receive an internationally recognized qualification to professionally teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) abroad, domestically or online.

Academic yet highly practical, this course teaches students how to create activities, lesson plans, and assessments that address the language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In addition, there is a 10-hour live online practicum requirement to give students experience teaching and observing real ESL students. These practicum hours are built into the course. 

Below, you can review chapter outlines, examples of reading and homework assignments, quizzes, instructor feedback, student created lesson plans and projects, and video tutorials used in the class.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be prepared for the intensive nature of this course. Unlike ITA's award-winning 11-week part-time online TEFL class, this class is a live full-time university-level course. You will be logged into class full-time 5 days a week (6-8 hours a day typically) & there is homework as well. Classes begin daily at 9:30 am (Central Time USA). There are breaks built into the schedule and students will also spend some of their class day working on individual or group projects. In addition, approximately twice a week, students will stay until 8 pm (Central Time - U.S.) to complete practice teaching (other class days wrap up around 5:30 pm Central Time - U.S.). Please check out a sample course calendar here

Chapter-By-Chapter Overview

Click on each chapter to access their content.

 

Grammar Module

SUMMARY

A thorough overview of grammar from adjectives to compound verbs to gerunds, and more.

The Grammar Module is sent to students upon registration to begin reviewing important grammar points.  This is reading the student should engage in prior to the class starting to either brush up or for most people to learn the important grammar points that will need to be taught.  

"Grammar provides you with the structure you need in order to organize and put your messages and ideas across. It is the railway through which your messages will be transported. Without it, in the same way as a train cannot move without railways, you won't be able to convey your ideas to their full extension."

- Julio Foppoli


OBJECTIVES

After finishing this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Identify and define different parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, pronouns, and prepositions.
  2. Differentiate between countable and uncountable nouns.
  3. Summarize the differences between indefinite and definite articles.
  4. Demonstrate how to form comparative and superlative adjectives.
  5. Demonstrate how to form comparative and superlative adverbs.
  6. Define prepositions and explain why they are difficult for ESL learners.
  7. Define verbs and different verb forms, including infinitives, gerunds, present participles, past participles, stative verbs, dynamic verbs, and auxiliary verbs.
  8. Name and demonstrate the usage of the twelve tenses of English.

EXCERPTS OF TEXT  

Extracted from "Verb Tense and Aspect..."  

Usually, when we think about tenses, we think of three basic categories: the past, the present; and the future. English also has two aspects: perfect and progressive. Tense and aspect are often combined to indicate a specific time reference. Tense and aspect are best understood through examples, which will be presented in the rest of this chapter.  

It's important to remember that some languages do not have tenses as we understand them. For example, Mandarin Chinese uses time expressions, such as yesterday or last week, to indicate time reference. A translation from Mandarin Chinese might look like "I eat pizza for lunch yesterday."

In English, we have to conjugate the verb (change eat to ate) to express the same thought: "I ate pizza for lunch yesterday." 

Different languages have different numbers of tenses. English has a total of twelve tense and tense-aspect combinations, summarized in the following table.  



SAMPLE REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. What are some differences between countable and uncountable nouns?
  2. When do we use indefinite and definite articles? Name five different rules and give examples.
  3. Which two present tenses can be used to talk about the future? In what situations do we use them?
  4. Articles are one of the hardest grammar points to master for the vast majority of ESL/EFL students. Consult your grammar book and/or online resources and search for more rules about definite and indefinite articles.

CHAPTER 1: Role of The Teacher

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the history of English language; expectations for teachers on their first day of class; creating your teaching persona; recognizing traits of an effective teacher; ways to build community in your classroom; examples of how to be a good role model; strategies for maintaining professional relationships; terminology and abbreviations used in the TEFL profession; introduction to language levels, and effective and ineffective teaching practices.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Describe the general history and current global importance of the English language.
  2. Define teaching as a profession.
  3. Recognize traits of an effective teacher and ways to establish a teaching presence.
  4. Explain what to expect on the first day of teaching.
  5. Propose ways to build community in your classroom.
  6. List some student and classroom issues that may arise and how to approach them.
  7. Identify ideas for balancing work responsibilities and leisure.
  8. Identify strategies for maintaining professional relationships during your teaching career.
  9. Contrast effective teaching practices with ineffective ones.
  10. Define common terminology and abbreviations used in the TEFL profession.
  11. Provide a general overview of levels of language proficiency.  

EXCERPTS OF TEXT  

Welcome to the profession of teaching English as a foreign language! You’ve joined a friendly and passionate group of educators. The field of TEFL is filled with challenges, joys, and opportunities for both professional and personal growth. There are a lot of concepts and content to interact with as you begin to visualize the type of EFL teacher you want to become. It can be both exciting and overwhelming, so take it easy on yourself and have faith that you can do this. To get you started on your TEFL journey, this first chapter opens by framing the English language within a global context, including a brief discussion of the roots of the language as well as its worldwide reach and importance. The content then shifts to take a deep look at the multiple factors involved in living and teaching a foreign language abroad. It then concludes by presenting some important field-specific terminology and introducing language levels. There’s much to cover. Let’s get started!  

Vignette 1

Juan works at a corner store where the whole neighborhood shops. The owner, Mr. Aziz, is present only during the day, and Juan is now the evening supervisor. Business is booming, and Mr. Aziz has decided to hire a part-time worker named Paul. Paul is only available to work after school in the afternoon and cannot work with Mr. Aziz. Juan is in charge of training Paul. Juan shows Paul how to do each portion of the job. He starts out with small tasks and slowly adds more duties. Is Juan a teacher? Why or why not?  

Vignette 2

Omar is the oldest of five children. Omar's parents frequently leave Omar home alone during the dar to watch his siblings while his parents are out running the family business. The family is lucky enough to have a television set with cable in each room of their home. Omar usually sits in the living room and watches TV as he tries to do his homework. While Omar knows that it takes him longer to complete his assignments, he feels more relaxed doing things this way. Omar's brothers and sisters start doing their homework in the same way in their rooms. They are not as organized and do not complete parts of their assignments. The school begins to send letters home to Omar's parents about his siblings' academic performance. Omar's parents tell him it is his fault that he taught them this bad habit which is no ruining their academic standing. Omar says that he did not teach them anything and does not understand how they could think that it is his fault. Did Omar teach his siblings how to do their homework in this way? Explain your answer.  

 


QUIZ SAMPLE  

QUESTION 1:

Being a positive role model means ________.  

Select one:

  • a. Never making mistakes
  • b. Acting in a manner consistent with the mores of the host country, inside and outside the classroom
  • c. Drinking a beer with students after class
  • d. Becoming friends with your students    

QUESTION 2:  

According to this chapter, setting the stage from the first moment of each class means ______.

Select one:

  • a. Refusing to modify scheduled activities.
  • b. Reviewing previous lessons before introducing new materials.
  • c. Distributing all handouts at the beginning of class.
  • d. Reviewing the rules of the classroom for the first few minutes.

VIDEO SAMPLE

 

CHAPTER 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the student-centered approach and teacher’s roles; autonomous learning, the roles of collaboration and cooperative learning; experiential learning and examples of useful EFL activities; individual differences; and a sample needs analysis.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Define a student-centered approach and teacher’s roles.
  2. Define autonomous learning.
  3. Explain the role of collaboration and cooperative learning.
  4. Describe best practices of group and individual work.
  5. Explain the basic steps to creating scaffolded classroom activities.
  6. Define experiential learning and give examples of some useful EFL activities.
  7. Describe different modes of learning and how they can enhance student engagement.
  8. Define the basic concept and purpose of a needs analysis.
  9. Identify the most common ways to physically arrange a classroom and their implications.


EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Autonomous Learning..."

Another term associated with a student-centered classroom is autonomous learning, which means that students take responsibility for their own learning. As we just discussed, it is one of the teacher’s roles to help students realize that, only when they are truly involved and actively participating in the learning process, will they become successful. The teacher needs to help students understand that they are studying for themselves and all the activities covered in class are for their benefit, even quizzes and exams.

 

Therefore, the teacher should be open to students’ suggestions on topics for class discussions, reading or writing assignments, and even the content of a test. Look at Table 1 and consider the questions about the four elements of a lesson: content, process, product, and evaluation. In a student-centered classroom, any or all of those components can be decided by the teacher, by the students, or some of both (Pappas, 2011).

 

Autonomous Learning Extract



QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

An example of an authentic material is a(n)_____.

Select one:

  • a. Restaurant menu created by the students.
  • b. Restaurant menu from the students' course book.
  • c. Menu downloaded from a restaurant's website.
  • d. All of the above.

QUESTION 2:

A student-centered classroom is NOT a place where the teacher _______.

Select one:

  • a. Addresses different learning styles of his/her students.
  • b. Incorporates students' suggestions for topics for future class discussions.
  • c. Lectures and students take notes and study on their own.
  • d. Encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning.

VIDEO SAMPLE

 
 

CHAPTER 3: Cultural Sensitivity

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on culture and cultural sensitivity, surface and deep culture; the five barriers to cross-cultural communication; four main cultural dimensions and their implications for the EFL classroom; and culture shock and its stages.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Define culture and cultural sensitivity.
  2. Differentiate between surface culture and deep culture.
  3. Identify five barriers to cross-cultural communication.
  4. Discuss four main cultural dimensions and their implications for the EFL classroom.
  5. Define culture shock and describe its stages.

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Stereotypes..." 

Stereotypes constitute the third barrier to successful cross-cultural communication. A stereotype is a collection of attitudes and assumptions about a group of people, and the word has a negative connotation in general. We naturally try to classify people into different categories based on what we have heard or what we have experienced. The problem with stereotypes is that they are usually based on one occurrence. We apply one perception to an entire group, and once we hold it, we interpret what we see as proof that what we believe is true. And as we already know, the same behavior can have very different meanings and can be the result of different underlying values. What is more, stereotypes only paint a partial picture of a person and that person’s culture, and are often inaccurate.

 

Stereotypes should not be confused with generalizations. Generalizations are statements about other cultures that are based on cross-cultural research and are usually done by anthropologists or other experts. They are more reliable, as they take into account all available information. The purpose of generalizations is to help international communication by showing the different underlying attitudes and values behind visible practices.


VIDEO SAMPLE

 

CHAPTER 4: Methods & Approaches

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the differences between approach, method, and technique; contemporary and traditional teaching methods; Communicative Language Teaching (CLT); characteristics of the Community Language Learning approach; general procedures used in a Silent Way classroom; the pillars of Suggestopedia; using Total Physical Response and Total Physical Response Storytelling in a classroom; principles of Content-Based Instruction; and ways to implement Cooperative Learning, Task-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, and differentiation.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...   a. Differentiate between approach, method, and technique. b. Compare and contrast well-known traditional teaching methods. c. Explain how contemporary teaching methods differ from traditional ones. d. Define language accuracy and fluency and their connection to various approaches and methods. e. Identify characteristics of the Natural and Communicative Approaches. f. Describe the general concepts and procedures of a variety of common language teaching approaches and methods. g. Identify methods that are most appropriate for young learners.

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "What Does It Mean to Teach?..."

Everyone has an opinion about teaching, but most people have a hard time breaking down what good teaching looks like. It is a kind of “I know it when I see it” phenomenon. We need to be able to get into specifics in order to really understand what teaching is comprised of.

Teachers use various teaching approaches, methods, and techniques in their everyday work. In education, just like in many other fields, people mix up commonly used terms, especially when they are close in meaning. For example, many times people will mix up teaching approach, teaching method, and teaching technique. According to Richards and Rodgers (2001),

“Within methodology, a distinction is often made between methods and approaches, in which methods are held to be fixed teaching systems with prescribed techniques and practices, whereas approaches represent language teaching philosophies that can be interpreted and applied in a variety of different ways in the classroom.” (p. 2)

Basically, the approach determines the method, while the method determines the technique. See Table 1 for basic definitions and an example of approach, method, and technique.

 

Methods & Approaches

Table 1. Approach, method, and technique. (Created by D. Weidner.)


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

The natural approach _______.

Select one:

  • a. Promotes impeccable grammar.
  • b. Discourages explicit error correction.
  • c. Involves a lot of memorization.
  • d. Deemphasizes vocabulary development.

QUESTION 2:

Mr. Smith brings in different types of foods for students to see, taste, smell, and touch during his "foods from around the world" unit. He is using a(n) _______ approach.

Select one:

  • a. Natural.
  • b. Project-based learning.
  • c. Multisensory language.
  • d. Audio-lingual.

VIDEO SAMPLE    


 

CHAPTER 5: Lesson Planning

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the importance of lesson planning and how it relates to instruction; characteristics of an effective lesson plan; producing an effective lesson plan; the foundation behind effective assessment methods; assessment formats and assessment question types; and incorporating the most appropriate type of assessment for all four language skills.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...   a. Provide a more detailed overview of levels of language proficiency. b. Understand the overall importance of lesson planning and how it relates to instruction. c. Identify the characteristics of an effective lesson plan. d. Formulate lesson objectives describing what learners are able to achieve at the end of a session. e. Incorporate language input, language practice, and student output into various lesson stages. f. Produce a comprehensive lesson plan. g. Discuss some differences in lesson planning for adult vs. younger learners. h. Identify some basic activities appropriate for young learners. i. Explain the differences between and some uses of assessment and testing. j. Summarize suggestions for delivery of daily lessons.

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Why Plan Lessons..."

First, let’s consider the reasons for lesson planning. At its core, a lesson plan is a road map and checklist that guides you through a lesson toward the final language goal you have set for your students; therefore, a lesson plan serves as the framework of your teaching.

Beyond that, a lesson plan has many other functions as well. It serves as a record of what you have covered in class and if an activity was effective or not, and a reminder of what you wish to accomplish next. It will also help you plan and prepare future assessments. A lesson plan is also a guide to how to present a language concept often tied to a particular textbook, so it can be reused and reworked if repeating a lesson or course in the future. Finally, it’s an indicator of your professionalism as an EFL teacher.

One caveat: Once you’ve created a lesson plan, don’t feel that it is set in stone! The classroom environment can sometimes be unpredictable, so be flexible and adjust your plan how, when, and where needed. As Jensen (2001) states, “a good lesson plan guides but does not dictate what and how we teach."

 


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

Choose the correct statement about lesson planning.

Select one:

  • a. Never modify your lesson plan once you start class.
  • b. A lesson plan serves as a record of what you have taught for future references.
  • c. Students should receive a bulleted draft of your lesson plan.
  • d. Once you have a lot of teaching experience, lesson planning is not necessary.

QUESTION 2:

In the _______ stage of the lesson plan, students commonly complete close-ended tasks accompanied or followed by teacher feedback.

Select one:

  • a. Practice.
  • b. Production.
  • c. Review.
  • d. Warm-up.

VIDEO SAMPLE    

 

CHAPTER 6: Grammar & Lexis

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on defining word root, prefix and suffix; common phrasal verbs and collocations; phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic understanding; selecting vocabulary words to teach in the ESL/EFL classroom; effective methods of vocabulary instruction; challenges and approaches to teaching idiomatic expressions; effective methods of grammar instruction with example grammar activities.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...  

  1. Define morpheme, word root, prefix, and suffix, and generate examples of each.
  2. Recognize common phrasal verbs and collocations.
  3. Identify challenges and approaches to teaching idiomatic expressions.
  4. Compare and contrast the following aspects of what it means to know a word: phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic understanding.
  5. Describe considerations for selecting vocabulary words to teach in the ESL/EFL classroom.
  6. Describe and justify effective methods of vocabulary instruction, including meaningful input, controlled exercises, and communicative output.
  7. Recognize some controversies about the teaching of grammar in second language lessons.
  8. Compare and contrast the following aspects of grammar: meaning, form, and use.
  9. Describe and justify effective methods of grammar instruction, including meaningful input, controlled exercises, and communicative output.
  10. Identify the recommended methods for assessing vocabulary and grammar.  

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Word Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes..."

A word root, also called a word stem, is the main part of a word. For example, the verb “move” means a change in a person’s or thing’s original position. “Move” is also the root of the following bold-faced words:

  • The moving truck was two hours late.
  • We should call the movers and demand a refund.
  • Who moved all of those boxes into the street
  • Martin was unmoved by his little brother’s temper tantrum.
  • Young children shouldn’t play with toys that have many moveable parts.

A prefix is a set of letters placed at the beginning of a word that alters the meaning of the word, or root, it is attached to. The following words contain prefixes (highlighted in bold):

Unmoved               (un- = not)
Indescribable          (in- = not)
Contraindicated      (contra- = against)
Impossible              (im- = not)
Readjust                 (re- = again)
Preface                  (pre- = before)
Postscript               (post- = after)
Context                  (con- = with) 

A suffix is a set of letters attached to the end of a word that often changes the word’s part of speech, and sometimes its meaning, but can also simply change nouns to plural, or indicate a change in verb tense. See the following sentences, where the suffixes are highlighted in bold and underlined: 

  • Marge quickly changed lanes to avoid the accident.
  • Rabbits are quicker than tortoises.
  • Texting while driving is dangerous.

QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

Root words or word stems can be defined as _______.

Select one:

  • a. Words that hold the basic meaning of a word. It's what's left after you remove any prefixes or suffixes.
  • b. Words that commonly are found together such as "make" and "wish". It's how words go together or form fixed relationships.
  • c. Words that look similar to words in other languages. The German word "milch" and the English word "milk" are examples.
  • d. None of the above.

QUESTION 2:

Which of the following words contains the prefix "un" meaning "not"?

Select one:

  • a. Understand.
  • b. Very similar everywhere in the world.
  • c. Shaped by the society we grow up in.
  • d. Dependent on our genes and family history.

VIDEO SAMPLE    

 

CHAPTER 7: Listening & Reading

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on how the brain processes listening output; types of listening input; types of listening materials and how to choose them for the classroom; how to tailor listening activities to student level and mental method of processing; ways to set up activities within a listening lesson and sequence of lessons; specific techniques for teaching listening skills; how the schema theory impacts ESL/EFL reading activities; common reading strategies that can be taught to ESL/EFL learners; selecting reading materials; intensive and extensive reading skills; types of pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading activities; and ways to assess reading both formally and informally.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Summarize how the brain processes listening and reading input.
  2. Identify common student difficulties with listening and reading processing.
  3. Contrast intensive and extensive listening and reading skills.
  4. Identify types of listening and reading materials and how to choose them for the classroom.
  5. Describe how to tailor listening and reading activities to student age and level.
  6. Summarize ways to set up listening and reading activities within a lesson.
  7. Describe types of tasks that can be done within the sequence of listening and reading activities (i.e., pre-, during-, and post- activity).
  8. Identify specific techniques for teaching listening and reading skills.
  9. Describe how schema theory impacts ESL/EFL listening and reading activities.
  10. Identify common listening and reading strategies that can be taught to ESL/EFL learners.
  11. Differentiate listening and reading skills by proficiency level.
  12. Summarize appropriate types of assessments for listening and reading skills.

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

  • Week 7 Peer Participation
  • Ch 7 Task 1: Quiz
  • Ch 7 Task 2: Activity Analysis
  • Ch 7 Task 3: Listening Activity

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Authentic and Realistic Reading Materials..."

Since we cannot individualize reading assignments for each student in our class, how can we find readings that will appeal to a group of diverse students? Authentic texts are preferable to those “realistic” texts made just for ESL/EFL learners (Kelly et al., 2002). However, teachers may make some modifications to a text for learners, such as adding a glossary of unfamiliar words and idioms, explaining complex sentence structure, and activating their prior knowledge on the subject through pre-reading activities (addressed ahead). ESL/EFL teachers may draw from a wide range of authentic materials depending on student interests and the focus of the curriculum. Reading materials can be categorized as follows (Hadley, 2001, p.181):

  • Literary (essays, short stories, novels, poems, etc.)
  • Academic (journal articles, textbooks, etc.)
  • Special genres (technical reports, comic books, industry analyses)
  • Correspondence (letters, postcards, emails, memos, etc.)
  • Informational or reference (maps, signs, catalogs, timetables, food labels, bus schedules, dictionaries, TV listings, thesauri)
  • Miscellaneous realia (restaurant menus, magazine advertisements, tickets, etc.)
  • Mainstream media (newspapers, Internet news, weather reports)

HOMEWORK SAMPLE

Online Listening Materials Analysis:

In this task, you will critically evaluate materials from the internet. Click and read through sample plans A and B and then answer the questions below.

Questions:

  1. Select one of the sample plans listed above. Are both extensive and intensive listening questions addressed in the plan? Reference the chapter and give as much detail as needed to understand the inclusion or exclusion of these question types. (Write between 200-400 words.)
  2. Select one of the sample plans listed above. Does the plan include a full listening sequence that includes pre-, during-, and post-listening steps? How might you improve on those steps? Reference the chapter and give as much detail as needed to understand your ideas. (Write between 200-400 words.) 

 


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

Which of the following is an example of using inference skills?

Select one:

  • a. Looking for specific facts and figures without reading the whole text.
  • b. Guessing the location where the story takes place, based on the context and not explicit details.
  • c. Summarizing the main points of reading.
  • d. Flipping through a textbook to find the correct chapter number to read.

QUESTION 2:

The MINUS framework refers to _______.

Select one:

  • a. Activating students' background knowledge.
  • b. Presenting comprehensible listening material.
  • c. Using TPR activities such as 'Listen & Do' or 'Listen & Draw'.
  • d. All of the above.

VIDEO SAMPLE    


PEER PARTICIPATION 

Peer Participation is a forum within the online ITA class portal that is intended as a way for students and peers to not only get to know each other, but as a way to discuss topics related to teaching English as a foreign language. Each week, the course instructor will post a topic for discussion in this forum and students can earn credit for answering and responding thoroughly.

Sample Chapter 7 discussion:

 

Chapter 7 Peer Participation Discussion

 

Chapter 7 Peer Participation Discussion

 

Chapter 7 Peer Participation Discussion

 

CHAPTER 8: Speaking & Writing

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the foundation needed for ESL/EFL students to improve their oral and written language production; commonly used classroom speaking activities; the sounds and most common pronunciation rules for English pronunciation and when to incorporate effective pronunciation techniques into ESL/EFL lessons; structuring ESL/EFL writing activities and lessons; and recommended outside resources to improve and expand teacher knowledge, methods, and materials of ESL/EFL speaking and writing.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Describe a few basic factors that affect the acquisition of second language oral and written production skills.
  2. Describe the foundation needed for ESL/EFL students to improve their oral and written language production.
  3. Identify commonly used classroom speaking and writing activities.
  4. Identify various ways to integrate pronunciation practice into a language lesson.
  5. Discuss a general framework for structuring ESL/EFL speaking and writing activities independently and within lessons.
  6. Summarize appropriate types of assessments of speaking and writing skills.
  7. Describe some methods of providing feedback on oral and written tasks.  

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Teaching Speaking..."

In its most basic form, the aim of speech is to effectively communicate a message orally so that the speaker’s intentions are clearly understood. Most beginning teachers are probably aware of the basic “mechanics” of oral production – fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, but there are also social and cultural communicative aspects as well. In addition to the four areas just mentioned, an effective speaker of any language must have an understanding of:

  • Knowing when and how to interrupt and ask questions, and when to stop and listen
  • Choosing appropriate grammar or vocabulary for a given situation or context
  • Knowing how language functions in terms of speech acts (e.g. inviting, apologizing, etc.)
  • Being aware of the social dynamics of language
  • Creating coherent and cohesive output, and holding a listener’s interest

When creating speaking activities and lessons, make sure to take the above into account, and build awareness in your students regarding their role in effective discourse.


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

Actively engaging students in a writing task through a series of writing stages, which involve multiple drafts and revisions with period feedback, is known as _______.

Select one:

  • a. The product approach.
  • b. Peer review.
  • c. Brainstorming.
  • d. Process writing.

QUESTION 2:

The best and most common example of an ice-breaker speaking activity is _______.

Select one:

  • a. Debate.
  • b. Problem Solving.
  • c. Role Playing.
  • d. "Find someone who...".

VIDEO SAMPLE    

 

CHAPTER 9: Visual Aids & Technology

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners; low-tech visual aids and how they can be applied to the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use the Internet effectively with ESL/EFL students; precautions to consider when assigning Internet-related activities; how blogs and wikis might be used to enhance students’ communication skills; recommendations for effectively integrating video into the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use songs as a teaching and learning tool; appropriate visual aids for each language skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking); and general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Define visual aids and how they can enhance learning.
  2. Identify the general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid.
  3. Describe several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners.
  4. Identify a wide variety of low-tech visual aids and explain how they can be applied to the ESL/EFL classroom.
  5. Compare and contrast main types of online learning: blended learning, synchronous classes, and asynchronous classes.
  6. Analyze some strengths and drawbacks of online teaching compared to classroom-based programs.
  7. Identify ways to use the internet effectively with ESL/EFL students.
  8. Explain precautions to consider when assigning internet-related activities.
  9. Discuss how blogs and wikis might be used to enhance students’ communication skills.
  10. Summarize recommendations for effectively integrating video into the ESL/EFL classroom.
  11. Cite an example of an appropriate visual aid for each language skill (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Extracted from "Choosing the Right Visual Aids..."

Not all visual aids are appropriate for the ESL/EFL classroom. For example, imagine having a Thai student who has lived his whole life in a tropical climate. It would be unfair to ask him to fully describe pictures of a ski resort in the mountains of Switzerland without reviewing his background knowledge and assisting with vocabulary and geography. Can you think of other characteristics of a visual aid that would detract from learning instead of enhancing it? Have you ever been exposed to poor visual aids as a student?

The following table lists additional visuals to be avoided in ESL/EFL classrooms. How does this table compare to your own list?

 

Visuals to avoid when choosing the right visual aid

Figure 8. Characteristics to avoid in visual aids. Adapted from Canning-Wilson (2000).


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

A teacher must carefully examine visual aids and videos before classroom use to avoid _______.

Select one:

  • a. Culturally offensive themes.
  • b. Profane language.
  • c. Scenes of excessive violence.
  • d. All of the above.

QUESTION 2:

For which of the following writing topics would a Venn diagram be most appropriate as a brainstorming and planning tool?

Select one:

  • a. Comparing and contrasting characteristics of Internet-based learning to in-class learning.
  • b. Listing the pros and cons of banning junk food in public schools.
  • c. Describing lesser known tourist sites in Paris.
  • d. Explaining the advantages of adding green spaces to large cities.

VIDEO SAMPLE    


 

CHAPTER 10: Course Design

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the basic concepts in course design: creating and delivery of needs analyses and diagnostic assessments; use of data collected via analyses; evaluating and selecting textbooks; producing a general course syllabus; creating a class contract to establish classroom standards of behavior.


OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...

  1. Describe the basic concepts and best practices of design for a course of second language instruction.
  2. Create and deliver needs analyses and diagnostic assessments.
  3. Use data collected via analyses to create units of language study.
  4. Evaluate and select textbooks appropriate to target student population.
  5. Produce a general course syllabus to establish course dates and grades.
  6. Create a class contract to establish classroom standards of behavior.

EXCERPTS OF TEXT

Depending on where and how you find yourself teaching, you may be called upon to make big or small decisions about the course of study for your students. On one end of the continuum, you may be doing private tutoring and have a need to make a tailored course of instruction consisting of day-to-day lesson plans. Likewise, you may find yourself in a school that expects their teachers to be entirely or partially self-sufficient in the planning aspects of their classes. On the other end of that continuum, your school may be rigid in their expectations, doing all or most of the course planning for you.

Read the following vignette about the first two positions of an experienced EFL teacher:

Vignette: Different Expectations for Different Jobs

My first two jobs teaching abroad were very different in terms of the prep required of me. My first job had me traveling around the city, teaching English to business professionals at their workplaces. I was given class lists with names grouped by level, but I had no curriculum or set coursebooks to work with. I had to do my own needs analyses and create the course of study for each group – deciding not only what to teach for each lesson, but over the course of the entire term as well. My second job, on the other hand, was at a language academy, one that had set curricula and syllabi for each level and age group. With each class list, I received a textbook (that the students were required to purchase) and a calendar containing language aim milestones. They even gave me assessments that I could use or alter as I needed! There were pros and cons to both situations, but I feel like a novice teacher needs to be prepared for anything in terms of curriculum and course design.

Having to make decisions about course planning may intimidate or excite you. Regardless of your stance on this venture, this chapter strives to break apart the planning process to help you either prepare a course of study or better evaluate one that is given to you. It should provide a foundation for the creation of a course of language study which includes choosing and evaluating textbooks, establishing classroom expectations via course documents, and the development and use of needs and learner analyses. Finally, the chapter will look at different ways that you can use this data to create units of study and a syllabus for a course.

By using the tools described in this chapter, you will be able to make the most of your time, energy, and resources as a teacher, while your students will gain the most benefit from the short time you are together.

 


QUIZ SAMPLE

QUESTION 1:

A needs analysis during the first week will primarily _______.

Select one:

  • a. Help you learn your students' names.
  • b. Serve as an icebreaker activity.
  • c. Serve as a tool to plan the course for a term.
  • d. Be a component of determining students' final grade for the course.

Supplemental Content

The course also dedicates 3 separate lectures to the following topics:

  • Teaching English Online
  • Teaching English to Young Learners
  • Teaching English for Specific Purposes

MANDATORY UNIT: Practicum Requirements (Live Observation & Student Teaching)

PRACTICUM OVERVIEW

All TEFL trainees will need to fulfill the ITA practicum hours and accumulate a minimum of 10 total hours of student teaching and observation. Those hours will be completed in small-group or one-to-one 60-minute lessons with ESL students and through watching recorded classes of in-person teachers or recorded observation of peers teaching via Zoom.

ESL CLASS LEVELS & SIZES

TEFL trainees will instruct four 60-minute online classes via Zoom. Each instructor will gain experience teaching at all levels, with one level being repeated once.

  • Beginner (2-4 ESL students)
  • Intermediate (2-4 ESL students)
  • Advanced (2-4 ESL students)

PRACTICUM SCHEDULE

Practicum classes are scheduled to take place on Monday through Thursday with a 5-minute introduction/icebreaker lead by the TEFL trainee staring from at 6:25. ESL classes start promptly after from 6:30 - 7:30 pm.

PRACTICUM PEER COLLABORATION

TEFL trainees work with the same sets of ESL students throughout the duration of the course. Thus, informal breakout sessions are regularly scheduled for the purpose of peer collaboration on lesson plans. In those sessions, teachers informally provide their reflections from their own recently completed practicum classes as well as provide feedback and support to peers on upcoming lessons.


ZOOM ACCOUNTS

International TEFL Academy will provide Pro Zoom accounts to be used for practicum teaching during the course. Students will also create/use their own personal Zoom accounts (basic free accounts) to attend lectures. Training on best practices for teaching with Zoom will be provided on the first few days of class. The screenshot on the following page provides a glimpse into how the Zoom platform looks while screen sharing during teaching. 


RECORDING ESL CLASSES

International TEFL Academy will provide Pro Zoom accounts to be used for practicum teaching during the course. Students will also create/use their own personal Zoom accounts (basic free accounts) to attend lectures. Training on best practices for teaching with Zoom will be provided on the first few days of class. The screenshot on the following page provides a glimpse into how the Zoom platform looks while screen sharing during teaching.


PRACTICUM FEEDBACK & SCORES

TEFL instructors will observe in real-time and/or via recording all trainee ESL lessons. TEFL instructors will then meet with trainees post-class to provide feedback on their lesson delivery and materials. Scores for all practicum lessons will be given on established rubrics that count towards a cumulative practicum score (see the course syllabus for more details on grades and point distribution).

Grading

Assessment Criteria: 

This course is broken into two separate modules:

  • Theory Module
  • Practicum Module

To receive a TEFL certificate, trainees must receive a score higher than 70% on each module. Below is an outline of the tasks that are to be completed for each. Some tasks will be completed during the virtual classes while others will be completed on your own as homework.


Theory Module Tasks: 

 

Theory Module Tasks


Practicum Module Tasks: 

 Practicum Module Tasks - 4 Week Intensive Class


Grading Scale:

Final grades assigned for both modules will be based on the sum of the total points earned on tasks and assignments. Students must receive above 70% to pass each module. Passing both modules is required to receive certification.

  • A - 90-100%

  • B - 80-89%

  • C - 70-79%

  • D - 60-69%

  • F - 0-59%

About the Instructors

At International TEFL Academy, all instructors, including for the 170-Hour Online TEFL Certification Course, possess advanced degrees in TESOL (at least an MA, and usually a Ph.D.) in addition to at least 10 years of professional teaching and training experience. Our professors have also taught English abroad themselves. You can learn more about our course instructors here.

Course Prerequisites & Tech Requirement

Age & Educational Prerequisites:

TEFL trainees must have reached 18 years of age by the start of class and hold at a minimum of a high school degree or equivalent.


English Language Proficiency:

Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate a fluent level of English proficiency and complete the same application as all applicants.


Internet and Technology Requirements:

TEFL trainees need to have the following purchased and ready for use before the first day of class:

  • reliable/quality internet connection
  • decent computer microphone with a headset
  • computer webcam (built-in or an accessory)
  • a quiet place to learn and provide classes
  • a free Basic Zoom Account in their name

Zoom Requirements:

TEFL trainees will use the online platform Zoom throughout the course. Training on how to use Zoom for the delivery of online language lessons will be provided in the course. To best prepare you for class, we strongly suggest reading through this Zoom Training document and completing a Zoom demo on your own before the first day of class.

Specialty TEFL Classes

Here at International TEFL Academy we always strive to provide the best TEFL training & guidance possible, we are very proud to announce the launch of three specialty add-on classes, now available to all of our  new students, enrolled students & alumni:

Developed by leading TEFL experts & taught by university-level professors with extensive experience in these specific fields, these courses are not only designed to provide you with specialized professional skills, but also access to a wealth of resources including videos, course design blueprints, & step-by-step activity plans that you will find invaluable in the classroom long after you complete your course. 

These two-week, part-time classes are 100% online and can be taken from anywhere in the world on virtually any device (12-15 hours per week course time). Tuition is $279 for each class.  You can save $25 per class by registering for your specialty course(s) when you enroll for your standard TEFL class (online or onsite).

LEARN MORE ABOUT TEFL SPECIALTY CLASSES

WE KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD & ONLINE

Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy (ITA) offers accredited TEFL certification classes online and in 21 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards and widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world.

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Additional Resources

Online TEFL Course

4-Week, Intensive 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Learn more about ITA's accredited 4-Week Intensive Online TEFL Certification Course that will qualify you for teaching English abroad & teaching English online with employers worldwide.

 

Dates & Tuition

Online Class Costs 💵💵

Learn about dates and tuition for ITA's accredited 4-Week Intensive Online TEFL Course for teaching English abroad and online. All ITA students receive lifetime job placement assistance.

 

Enrollment

How To Enroll 👩‍🎓👨‍🎓

Before enrolling, it is imperative that you speak with an advisor. Please fill out a form or call 773-634-9900 to speak to an advisor who will answer your questions; review your employment prospects for teaching English abroad; and assist you with the enrollment process.