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10 Things You Need to Know to Prepare for Your TEFL Class in Barcelona
Written by: International TEFL Academy
Last Updated: March 6, 2020
International TEFL Academy is proud to offer a world-class 4-week Barcelona TEFL class at our international headquarters in the heart of Barcelona's North Side. Employing a state-of-the-art curriculum and taught by expert university-level instructors, this course is designed to provide you with the skills & qualification you need to succeed in teaching English abroad. This course is fun and you will learn a ton, but it is also very demanding and requires that you be prepared to meet the full-time demands of a rigorous university-level course.
To help you prepare for this course, we've compiled the most common and most important questions raised by our students in addition to advice & tips from actual graduates of the course.
1. How many hours will I be spending in class and on course work during the course? Will I have a lot of free time to see Barcelona?
Class Hours: Students should plan on spending 50 - 55 hours per week (at minimum) on the course. Class hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. or 21:00 p.m. with breaks throughout the day and a one-hour break for lunch.
-10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., trainees are in class with a trainer for the course material input sessions.
-1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., lunch time!
- 2:30 p.m. onwards depends on whether you are doing your teaching practice or not. If you are teaching, then you would do the following timetable:
- 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., lesson planning. Here, you would be sitting with a trainer to talk through your (already prepared) lesson plan.
- 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., two trainees will do their teaching practice.
- 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. students will receive their feedback from their instructor regarding their teaching practice.
Some days, teaching practice starts at 7:00 p.m. If you are teaching this time slot, the schedule is:
- 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., lesson planning. Here, you would be sitting with a trainer to talk through your (already prepared) lesson plan.
- 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., two students do their teaching practice.
Students will receive their feedback from their instructor regarding their teaching practice the following day. Each student will be required to be here a minimum of 8 nights total until 7:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. either student teaching or working on their final course assignment.
2. Will I have a lot of free time to see Barcelona?
Because of the intense nature of the schedule, you should plan to do any sightseeing either before or after the course finishes.
Class Assignments: There are approximately 85 assignments due throughout the 4-week course.
These include lesson plans, reflections, essays, quizzes, written assignments, etc. You should plan on spending an extra 2 to 3 hours every night, plus 6-8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays on these assignments. In addition to these assignments, you will also need to plan your lessons during the week.
ALUMNI TIP: “Basically, you have to put your life on hold. You can’t go away at the weekends. If anyone wants to visit you, tell them to come after the course as you won’t have time to hang out with them. And don’t party during the week! The TEFL course basically takes over your life for a month".
3. Will grammar be taught during the course? Are there additional resources in the course materials?
Yes, grammar is taught during the course; however, students are required to review main grammar points before starting the course. More time is spent in class on how to teach grammar than going over grammar points with TEFL students.
TEFL students are highly recommended to complete the Grammar Module before the first day of class but should also do their own further review of grammar.
Students have the option to purchase International TEFL Academy's grammar book, Grammar Fundamentals for Teaching English as a Foreign Language: A Teacher's Reference, but it is not required.
ALUMNI TIP: "Prioritize all of your work. Don't just do assignments as they come in. Do important things first, lesson plans and task-based Moodle assignments have to come first. Ask as many questions as you can. Pay close attention in class and take notes during all of the lectures. You'll remember more if you take notes and you'll value them later when you get behind on Moodle reflections. Godspeed and have fun!"
4. Can I buy the textbook at International TEFL Academy Barcelona?
No, students are required to purchase the textbook at least one month in advance of starting the TEFL class. There is a paperback and PDF version available to purchase.
Read the following page for more information on which textbook to buy - The Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
5. What kind of English language learners will I be teaching during the practicum?
International TEFL Academy offers very economical ESL classes to non-native English speakers that live in Barcelona. Our students are adult learners and are of varying levels and cultural backgrounds.
ALUMNI TIP: “Understand how hard and intense this course really is. Way harder than any college or grad. school I did."
6. Are there any specific technology requirements for the course?
- Laptop - Students are required to bring a laptop with a long battery life (at least 4 hours). *Tablets, Chromebooks, and mobile devices cannot be used in place of a computer.*
- Flash Drive - Students will need a flash drive that is compatible with his or her computer.
- Word Processing Software - Students should have a
reliable word processing system on their computer such as Microsoft Word.
- Adobe Acrobat - Students will be required to submit assignments as PDFs. Most computers already have the capability of saving documents as such.
- Google Drive - Students will need to know how to use the basics of Google drive. If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive, check out this quick tutorial. Many others can be found on YouTube.
7. How can I prepare for the course? Can I begin working on my assignments prior to the course?
Students should plan on reviewing grammar prior to the start of the course. See question 2 for more information on reviewing grammar. Should you need to consult anything, these websites have good section on English grammar:
Due to the requirements of the assignments, we do not recommend that our TEFL students attempt to complete any assignments prior to the course start date.
ALUMNI TIP: "Organize, Organize, Organize! Keeping everything written down saved me multiple times. Falling behind in this course is not an option; but if you do, go to your instructors immediately."
8. What should I pack? What do I need to do before I leave?
For those of you who have never been outside of your own country before, you may be wondering how to pack. Pack light! Unless you intend to stay on in Europe indefinitely or travel elsewhere directly after the course ends, do yourself a favor and pack only the essentials. If you don't need it, don't bring it.
In terms of adjusting to your new home in Barcelona, on arrival and throughout the course, we will give you information on getting a phone, opening a bank account, gyms, where to get materials, places to eat etc. So don't worry.
9. Does ITA recommend housing or arrange it?
Yes, ITA Barcelona has a list of recommendations on the main websites where students can find shared apartments. ITAB can also advise on where in the city that is convenient (such as by a train or bus stop).
ITAB can also arrange accommodation for you. The options available vary month by month. The options usually include your own room with a single bed, (sometimes a double) in a shared apartment. You would be living with the host of the apartment, and maybe one or two others. These may or may not be ITA Barcelona students. The apartments are generally within 25-30 minutes travel time of the school, and may involve a short metro ride. All apartments are near the city centre. The price of the rooms range from 450 Euros to 550 Euros; this includes the Saturday night before the course begins up to and including, the Saturday night after it finishes. Any extra nights before this are charged at 20 Euros per night.
You may be allowed to stay in the same place after the course finishes, but this depends on availability, as we generally need the rooms for students starting on the following course.
ALUMNI TIP: “To future TEFL students, please disconnect from the world during the certification. Also, know that your classmates will be the reason you get through if you all use your minds collectively.”
10. What do I need to bring on the first day of class?
Items to Bring: Students should plan on bringing with them the following items on the first day of class:
- TEFL Course Book
- Pre-Course Tasks
ALUMNI TIP: "DO NOT GIVE UP. You will make it through if you put forth the effort by participating in class and doing the prescribed work. It's completely worth it in the end!”
Want to Learn More about TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad?
Your first step is to speak with expert advisor who will cover all of your options & questions. Contact International TEFL Academy now for a free brochure and to speak with an admissions advisor. You can also call us directly at 773-634-9900.
Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy is a world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online. ITA offers accredited TEFL certification classes online & in 25 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards & widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world. ITA provides all students and graduates with lifetime job search guidance. ITA has certified more than 25,000 English teachers and our graduates are currently teaching in 80 countries worldwide.
Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad?
Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad or online, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.
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