ITA ONLINE TEFL COURSE OVERVIEW
 
 
 

The International TEFL Academy 170 Hour Online TEFL certification course is a fully interactive course taught by a seasoned university level professor with a Masters Degree or Ph.D. in TESOL or a related field and international English as a foreign language teaching experience. Learn more about our world-class team of ITA instructors here.
 
This 11-week course will be delivered entirely online through the course management system, Moodle. In Moodle, you will access online lessons, course materials, tasks, videos, live and taped video classroom lectures, office hour chats and resources. All of your tasks will be posted in an online forum or taken as an online quiz.
 
In addition to the online component, there is a 20-hour live practicum component to give students hands-on experience with English language students.
 
 
Click on each section below to expand and view chapter outlines, examples of reading and homework assignments, quizzes, instructor feedback, student-created lessons plans and projects, and video tutorials used in the class.

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SUMMARY

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

The Pre-Course 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...
 
a. Identify and define different parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, pronouns, and prepositions.
 
b. Differentiate between countable and uncountable nouns.
 
c. Summarize the differences between indefinite and definite articles.
 
d. Demonstrate how to form comparative and superlative adjectives.
 
e. Demonstrate how to form comparative and superlative adverbs.
 
f. Define prepositions and explain why they are difficult for ESL learners.
 
g. Define verbs and different verb forms, including infinitives, gerunds, present participles, past participles, stative verbs, dynamic verbs, and auxiliary verbs.
 
h. 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.
 
 
 

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...
 
a. Describe the general history and current global importance of the English language.
b. Define teaching as a profession.
c. Recognize traits of an effective teacher and ways to establish a teaching presence.
d. Explain what to expect on the first day of teaching.
e. Propose ways to build community in your classroom.
f. List some student and classroom issues that may arise and how to approach them.
g. Identify ideas for balancing work responsibilities and leisure.
h. Identify strategies for maintaining professional relationships during your teaching career.
i. Contrast effective teaching practices with ineffective ones.
j. Define common terminology and abbreviations used in the TEFL profession.
k. Provide a general overview of levels of language proficiency.
 

TASKS

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 1 Peer Participation
• Ch 1 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 1 Task 2: Written Response


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.
 

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Essay Question:
 
In your opinion, what are three of the most important qualities a teacher should have? Why are they important? Incorporate information from the chapter in your response. Write between 400-500 words. 
 
Note: To complete your essay, you are expected to use outside resources not found in the course material. Please note, you will also be graded on the presentation of your assignment which includes correct spelling, correct use of capital letters, correct punctuation, correct grammar, etc. 

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 the first few minutes.

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 1 discussion:
 
 
 

  

 

SUMMARY

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

OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...
 
a. Define a student-centered approach and teacher’s roles.
b. Define autonomous learning.
c. Explain the role of collaboration and cooperative learning.
d. Describe best practices of group and individual work.
e. Explain the basic steps to creating scaffolded classroom activities.
f.  Define experiential learning and give examples of some useful EFL activities.
g. Describe different modes of learning and how they can enhance student engagement.
h. Define the basic concept and purpose of a needs analysis.
i. Identify the most common ways to physically arrange a classroom and their implications.
 

TASKS

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 2 Peer Participation
• Ch 2 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 2 Task 2: ESL Activity


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

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Design a Kinesthetic Activity:
 
Design a scaffolded kinesthetic activity to practice grammar for your adult students at a beginning level. Select one of the following grammar points typically found at the beginner level. Plans that do not use one of these grammar points will not be accepted.
 
•  present continuous
•  past simple
•  superlatives 
 
Use or recreate the Chapter 2 Activity Template to complete the task. For assistance in using that template, watch the following video tutorial that contains an example kinesthetic activity.
(NOTE: this example is for a higher-level language than the one given for this task).
Do not forget to include these points within the provided template:
 
•  Language aims/goals for the activity
•  A summary of any problems that your students may encounter, as well as potential solutions
•  Clear instructions for the students and teacher in each stage of the activity
•  Time estimates for each stage
•  Worksheets or prompts that you create or modify (attach and cite any sources)
•  Rationale (100-300 words): What about this activity addresses kinesthetic learning? How is that kinesthetic component connected to the language goal/grammar you’ve chosen?

 

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
 
 

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 2 discussion:
 
 
           
 
 

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...
 
a. Define culture and cultural sensitivity.
b. Differentiate between surface culture and deep culture.
c. Identify five barriers to cross-cultural communication.
d. Discuss four main cultural dimensions and their implications for the EFL classroom.
e. Define culture shock and describe its stages.
 

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 3 Peer Participation
• Ch 3 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 3 Task 2: Written Response/Cultural Report


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.

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Essay Question:
 
Where would you like to teach? Choose one country that you are planning on going to and research it. Write 750 words. You may include some pictures.
 
Consider the following:
 
• Surface-level cultural differences in food, dress, celebrities, etc.
• Deep-level cultural differences in people's attitudes, values, and beliefs.
• Student-teacher relationship and norms, e.g. dress code, preferred teaching approach, etc.
• Differences in lifestyle from what you are currently used to.
• Are there any social blunders of faux pas that are easy for an American to make?
 

QUIZ SAMPLE
 
QUESTION 1:
 
In indirect cultures, the teacher should _______.
 
Select one:
☐ a. Ask individual students to share their opinion.
☐ b. Suggest controversial topics for class discussions to encourage participation.
☐ c. Give both positive and negative feedback openly in front of the whole class.
☐ d. Ask students to work in groups before asking for an individual opinion.
 
 
QUESTION 2:
 
Choose the statement about culture that is true. Cultural norms are _______.
 
Select one:
☐ a. Only acquired in adulthood.
☐ 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
 
 

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 3 discussion:
 
 
 
 
 

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.
 

TASKS

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 4 Peer Participation
• Ch 4 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 4 Task 2: Activity Analysis


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.)


HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 

Essay Question:

Design one activity using one of the approaches listed in the box below. Use the activity template provided. Do not forget to include:

• Clear instructions to students.
• Attach any worksheets or prompts that you are going to use (cite any sources).
• A summary of any problems your students may encounter during the activity.
• Time estimates for each stage.
• A description of how this activity fits into a lesson/series of lessons.
• A rationale: Why might the students in the class enjoy this activity?

Approaches:

• Task-based learning
• Multi-sensory approach
• Total physical response through storytelling (TPRS)


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
 
 

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 4 discussion:
 
 
Chapter 4 Discussion Question
 
Chapter 4 Discussion
 
Chapter 4 Discussion
 
 

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the importance of lesson planning and how it relates to instruction; understanding language level distinctions, creating learning objectives for lessons, characteristics of an effective lesson plan; lesson planning for young learners, the foundation behind effective assessment methods.

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.

TASKS

This chapter requires the following:
 
• Week 5 Peer Participation
• Ch 5 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 5 Task 2: Partial Lesson Plan

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."

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Lesson Plan:
 
You are teaching a class that meets three times per week, with each lesson being 60 minutes long. Students are adults at the beginning level
 
Write 250 words outlining what you will cover during a week of class and what your aims/objectives are for students to have learned by the end of the week. To help you brainstorm ideas, below is a non-exhaustive list of common themes for beginner-level EDL/EFL students:
 
• Greetings, introductions, and leave-taking.
• Describing basic likes or dislikes with topics such as hobbies, food, weather, etc.
• Describing one's family and asking yes/no questions about family. 
• Ordering food over the phone or in a restaurant.
• Clarifying basic information in context, such as correcting errors in numbers, addresses, and/or orders with customer service.
• Giving and asking basic directions to common places in a town/city.
• Using simple health vocabulary to give advice, ask questions, or understand prescriptions.
• Comparing and describing common items, such as food or clothing in a store.
 
Create a lesson plan for one of the three days (using the template provided). Be sure to note:
 
• Your aim(s)/objective(s) for students to learn that day.
• Assumptions on topics such as student background knowledge, language skills, and/or interest as it relates to your lesson plan.
• A summary of any anticipated problems your students may encounter during the activity.
• Any worksheets or prompts that you are going to use (attach and cite any sources).
• Clear instructions to students and role of the teacher.
• Time estimates for each stage.

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
 
 

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 5 discussion:
 
Chapter 5 Peer Participation
 
Chapter 5 Peer Participation
 
Chapter 5 Peer Participation
 
 

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

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 6 Peer Participation
• Ch 6 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 6 Task 2: Quiz
• Ch 6 Task 3: Full Lesson Plan

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.


HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Grammar Activity:
 
In this task, you are going to plan a grammar activity to teach the present simple as a future tense with scheduled events and timetables (e.g. the plane leaves tomorrow at 10 p.m.). Refer to the pre-course grammar module and do any additional research needed to understand the grammar point
 
Your class is low-intermediate level adult students who have already learned the present simple as a present tense.

Prepare an activity that addresses the meaning and use aspect of this grammar point.
 
You should follow the activity template. Do not forget to include:
 
• Clear stages and instructions.
• Any worksheets or prompts that you are going to use (attach and cite any sources).
• A summary of any problems your students may encounter during the activity.
• Time estimates for each stage.
• Rationale explaining on how this activity fits into a lesson or a series of lessons.

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
 
 

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 6 discussion:
 
 
 
 
 

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...
 
a. Summarize how the brain processes listening and reading input.
b. Identify common student difficulties with listening and reading processing.
c. Contrast intensive and extensive listening and reading skills.
d.Identify types of listening and reading materials and how to choose them for the classroom.
e.Describe how to tailor listening and reading activities to student age and level.
g. Summarize ways to set up listening and reading activities within a lesson.
h. Describe types of tasks that can be done within the sequence of listening and reading activities (i.e., pre-, during-, and post- activity).
i. Identify specific techniques for teaching listening and reading skills.
j. Describe how schema theory impacts ESL/EFL listening and reading activities.
k. Identify common listening and reading strategies that can be taught to ESL/EFL learners.
l. Differentiate listening and reading skills by proficiency level.
m. 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.
 
Sample Plan A - Climate Change
Sample Plan B - Marriage
 
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
 
 

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

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 8 Peer Participation
• Ch 8 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 8 Task 2: Speaking and Writing Activity


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.

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Writing Activity:
 
a. Write a paragraph describing a writing activity that you would create for a class that you are teaching. Specify the level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) and the language goal of the task.
 
b. Next, create a rubric to evaluate the task. Your rubric should include:
 
• A grading scale to assign point values, and a definition of what constitutes a satisfactory response to the activity.
• The language areas in which your students are being evaluated.
• The specific criteria for each area.

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
 
 

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 8 discussion:
 
 
 
 
 

SUMMARY

Reading and tasks on the several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners; general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid; 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 video as a teaching and learning tool, and pros and cons to learning language online.

OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, the reader will be able to...
 
a. Define visual aids and how they can enhance learning.
b. Identify the general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid.
c. Describe several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners.
d. Identify a wide variety of low-tech visual aids and explain how they can be applied to the ESL/EFL classroom.
e. Compare and contrast main types of online learning: blended learning, synchronous classes, and asynchronous classes.
f. Analyze some strengths and drawbacks of online teaching compared to classroom-based programs.
g. Identify ways to use the internet effectively with ESL/EFL students.
h. Explain precautions to consider when assigning internet-related activities.
i. Discuss how blogs and wikis might be used to enhance students’ communication skills. 
j. Summarize recommendations for effectively integrating video into the ESL/EFL classroom.
k. Cite an example of an appropriate visual aid for each language skill (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 9 Peer Participation
• Ch 9 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 4 Task 2: Written Response
• Ch 4 Task 3: Video Activity


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).

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Integrating Video:
 
You are teaching a unit that deals with ordering food. Your class has 15 students and they are at the high beginner level. Integrating concepts from the chapter, design an activity that includes the following video. The activity plan should include pre-, while-, and after-viewing steps. Plans that do not use the following video will not be accepted.
 
Use or recreate the Activity Template to develop your activity. Do not forget to include these points within the template:
 
• Language aims/goals for the activity
• Assumptions on topics such as student background knowledge, language skills, and/or interest as it relates to your lesson plan
• A summary of any problems that your students may encounter, as well as potential solutions
• Clear instructions for the students and teacher in each stage of the activity
• Time estimates for each stage
• Worksheets, visuals, or prompts that you create or modify (attach and cite any sources)
 

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
 
 

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 9 discussion:
 
 
 
 
 

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

TASKS 

This chapter requires the following:

• Week 10 Peer Participation
• Ch 10 Task 1: Quiz
• Ch 10 Task 2: Textbook Evaluation


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.
 

HOMEWORK SAMPLE
 
Chapter 10, Task 2 - Textbook Evaluation Process:
 
Overview: The purpose of this task is to provide you with informal practice in textbook evaluation. This is a pass/no pass assessment and you will be awarded 20 points for answering all the questions.
 
Part I: Review an ESL/EFL textbook. You may use an ESL/EFL textbook of your choice OR select one of the following options:
Step Forward - click on "Look Inside" under the textbook image, and then click on the magnifying glass icon for each page.
Compelling Conversations
Practice Makes Perfect - Intermediate English Reading and Comprehension
Alternative Option: Select and review an EFL/EFL textbook excerpt from Oxford University Press. Oxford offers a wide variety of quality samples online. To access samples, you have to register. Registration is free, easy, and fast.
 
Part II: When you are ready to evaluate your textbook or textbook excerpt, press on the "answer the questions" button below. Answer the questions...
 

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.
 

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 10 discussion:


THEMATIC UNIT TASK

The final project for your online TEFL course is to create a thematic unit. A thematic unit can be defined as a collection of lessons centered around a specific theme (i.e. holidays, food, etc.). Students MUST complete the Thematic Unit in order to pass the class. Students who do not complete the unit will not be issued their TEFL/TESOL Certificate.
 
Your goal for the assignment is to create 3 days’ worth of lessons for an EFL class that meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 60 minutes per class. It will be up to you to decide what level the students are and how many students are in each class. Try to address multiple skill areas (reading, listening, speaking, writing, grammar, and vocabulary).
 
Be sure to use the Blank Lesson Plan Format provided in the Course Resources section. Remember you must attach all materials (worksheets, visual aids, etc). Keep in mind that you will be able to add these lessons to your very own "Lesson Plan Portfolio" for use with your future ESL/EFL classes, so it is good to have completed lessons with prepared materials.

THEMATIC UNIT TASK OUTLINE

To complete the thematic unit, use or recreate the Thematic Unit Lesson Plan Template and attach all materials (worksheets, visual aids, etc.).

For the week overview:

Choose one main theme that your entire weeks’ worth of lessons will be focused around.

• Indicate your learning goals for the students to achieve by the end of the week.
• Indicate the age, level, and number of students in the class.
• Include a brief overview of what the previous and next week's lesson was/would have been.
 

For each lesson:

• Include any assumptions and anticipated problems.
• Include all materials and visual aids you will use.
• Indicate the aims/learning objectives.
• Indicate rough timing of the lessons. Remember, each class period is one hour.
• Indicate each stage and the role of the teacher at each stage of the plan.
• Include different types of grouping and activities in your lesson and apply different methods and techniques.
 

Students MUST complete three consecutive plans of the Thematic Unit in order to pass the class. Students who do not complete the unit will not be issued their TEFL/TESOL Certificate.


THEMATIC UNIT SAMPLE SUBMISSION

Below you will find a sample student submission of a completed thematic unit:


THEMATIC UNIT INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK

Below you will find instructor feedback in response to the thematic unit student submission above:

 



PRACTICUM OVERVIEW

Practicum is an essential component to a teacher's training process, as it provides valuable insight and experience prior to obtaining independent teaching positions. International TEFL Academy requires that all students accumulate a minimum of 20 hours for TEFL/TESOL certification. These hours can be achieved through observation, tutoring, student teaching or a combination of 2 or 3 of these in an ESL/EFL setting in which non-native speakers are learning new English language skills.
Hands-on experience with English language learners provides an opportunity for teacher trainees to apply teaching principles to real-life situations, build confidence in their skill and pedagogical style, gain exposure to various learning styles and classroom situations, and acquire valuable teaching experience. These components will assist a teacher in feeling more prepared, as well as add a competitive edge to one's job search and interview process.

FINDING A PRACTICUM LOCATION

You can do a web search for English language classes offered in your community. You will find that many different organizations will offer English classes to non-native speakers. Some examples of class sites are language schools, ethnic community centers, community colleges, park districts, local libraries, and faith-based organizations such as churches or synagogues. You may also find a non-native English speaker to whom you can offer one-on-one tutoring. It is up to each individual student to find a practicum location and set up their hours.

Please view the video to see how to conduct a practicum location search:



Step 1: 
Head to Google.com.


Step 2: In the Google search bar, enter "Free ESL classes in [....]" whereby [....] indicates either the name of the city you live in or the city you want to complete your practicum in. Conduct your search.

Step 3:
 A results page will display. Results that indicate free ESL classes at community colleges,  libraries, churches or community centers are great starting points. Click on one of the displayed results to read more about what they offer, their hours of operation, etc.


Step 4: If this seems like a location you would be interested in doing your practicum at, locate a contact phone number or email address on their page and note it down.

Step 5: Contact the location of interest and ask if they will allow you to observe, tutor, help student-teach, etc. If they are open to the idea, it is up to you to set up your practicum hours with them. 

Step 6: If the first location you reached out to will not allow you to complete your practicum there, try the next location that your Google search provided. Keep trying until you lock one in.

PRACTICUM DOCUMENTS

For a student to successfully pass the Practicum unit, the following documents must also be completed and submit via Moodle:
 
1. Practicum Location Information: This includes details about the location in which the student completes their Practicum, the location website, Supervisor name and contact details, etc.
 
2. Time Log: Student to log the days and hours spent gaining practical experience with English language learners through observation, tutoring, and/or student teaching. Each practicum occurrence must be initialed and verified by a supervisor/cooperating teacher or an English language learner if the student has chosen to tutor an ESL student. Practicum time must total a minimum of 20 hours and the student must clearly indicate the mandatory 6 hours of student teaching or tutoring.
 
3. Practicum Experience Write Up: The final practicum requirement is for the student to write a 550 word (minimum) summary about their experience in an ESL classroom or tutoring ESL students. Items to cover in the one-page summary include:
 
• Where you completed your practicum (City, State, Name of Location/Center/School).
• How you found your practicum location or ESL students (i.e. Organic online web searches, contacting community organizations, etc).
• What practicum option(s) did you choose (Tutoring, Observation, Student Teaching, or a combination).
• What type of language school or class you were in.
• Types of students you worked with (age, background, etc).
• What your overall experience was like.
• Highlights and areas that could have been improved.
• What your duties and functions were in the classroom.
•  Was there anything you learned that you will incorporate into your own ESL classroom one day?
 
4. TEFL/TESOL Certification Completion Form: Requires the student to complete an online survey outlining their full name, address, TEFL course start date and date of birth for certificate mailing purposes.
 

PRACTICUM DUE DATE

Students have an additional 60 days to complete the practicum hours from their course end date. For example, if your course ends on December 1, you must submit your practicum documents by February 1. Please refer to your course calendar for exact due dates.

ALUMNI TESTIMONIALS

Here's what some of our alumni that took our online course had to say about the required practicum component:
 
 
"I was actually very glad there was a practicum portion required, so I was able to get some hands-on experience. I was able to work with some amazing refugees in Austin and enjoyed helping and teaching them very much."
Katie Moss - Czech Republic
"The practicum was very useful. I worked with a teacher at a community center who taught adult immigrants practical English vocabulary. He had taught in South Korea 20 years ago and offered a lot of encouragement."
Amanda Kim - South Korea
"The practicum was an important step in gaining confidence. I was able to see how the theories worked in real life. The experience made me realize how much I loved teaching. I found myself really caring about the process of my students. I was always looking for ways to make English easier to understand and fun at the same time."
Todd Ritz - Argentina
"The practicum was the best part. This, in my opinion, was also the most important part. I loved my practicum because I got that real-world experience I needed. Being able to work with students and participate in their learning really put all the methods from my lessons into perspective."
Cassondra Lopez - Czech Republic
 

.
We've put together a video montage to showcase what our ITA Online TEFL class live lectures look like in terms of practical content, our professional instructors, and student interactions. 
 

 
 
 
One of the many aims of a professional TEFL course is to run a classroom from day one. 
You will be able to assess the level and needs of class and student, create a lesson plan with all supporting materials for each day.
This is an actual lesson plan created by a former International TEFL Academy student.   At the bottom are the comments from the TEFL class instructor for feedback.
 

Beginner Adult Lesson Plan



Class: Beginner Adults (1/3)
 
Level and Number of Students Beginner Level - 12 Adult Students (Class 1/3)
Lesson Duration 60 minutes
Aims/Objectives By the end of the lesson, students will be able to...

- Recognize the differences between a like and dislike in order to make a statement or answer a question, i.e. "I don't like tomatoes," or "I like eating tomatoes."
- Describe their likes and dislikes using the first person singular tense.
- Identify different types of weather with associations of pictures and descriptions.
- Ask questions about different weather using the present simple tense, i.e. "Do you know what the weather will be like today?"
- They will be able to formulate like and dislike in sentences to describe weather that they do or do not like as a response to a question or statement.
Assumptions - Students understand that there are different seasons in the US, and that weather changes based on these seasons.
- Students have knowledge of question asking vocabulary as well as clothing vocabulary.
- Students have a clear understanding of the present simple and some use of the past and future simple tenses.
Anticipated Problems - Students may have difficulty with forming the endings of the different vocab words or verbs, i.e. cloud - clouds - cloudy, rain - rains - rainy - raining. To address this make a chart with singular, plural, adjectives, and verb uses.
- Students may ask about "will" vs. "going to". To address this, explain to students that the use of "will" in the future simple will be addressed in another lesson and not today.
Materials - Newspaper realia with weather information for the current day (or past day just as an example). If not available, then an example from an online source (of the current country I am in, ex. Belgium).
- 5 big pictures for an introduction.
- A scarf/jacket and sunglasses for Presentation stage.
- Presentation text "A Day of Weather in Belgium - Newspaper Style" (make 6 copies and cut in half).
- Practice 1 "Matching Weather Types and Identifying Like vs. Dislike" (make 13 copies).
- Practice 2 "Complete Me! Sentence Completion Activity" (make 13 copies).
Warm-Up (5 Minutes) I write two discussion questions about likes, dislikes, and weather on the board. I then pair students and let them discuss without interrupting but still remaining present to answer questions:

1. What is your favorite season? Why? Ex. I like summer because it is warm and I can go swimming in the ocean.
2. What kind of weather do you like? Why? Ex. I like the snow because I can go skiing.
3. What kind of weather do you not like? Why? Ex. I don't like the fog because it is hard to drive.

After a few minutes, the teacher asks for feedback, calling on pairs to share their answers.
Introduction (5 Minutes) A few pictures are shown to the class of weather I have experienced in the US (snow) and the other two pictures of weather in Belgium. I start by asking them to describe what they see in these pictures, i.e. gray, blue, sky, green grass, cloud, sun, flowers, trees, white, etc. I will then ask why these pictures are different, is it because of country, time of year, season? I then show the picture of myself walking and ask them to describe what I am doing. Why do you think I am dressed like that? Ex. Because it is cold. I tell the students that I like to walk when it is cold because it is good exercise.

I write out on the broad that I have two activities planned for them, matching and sentence completion. After that they will pair off and do a News Report role-play! (See below for materials).
Presentation (15 Minutes) I begin by introducing two pictures that show examples of the weather in Belgium. The weather map and the weekly-predicted weather graph.

I draw pictures on the board to explain different weather vocab, i.e. partly cloudy, cloudy, sunny, rainy, thunder and lightning, fog, and snow. I also draw a thermometer to show how different temperature numbers reflect different temperate vocab, i.e. 0 = freezing/cold, 20 = cold, 40 = cold, 60 = mild, 80 = hot, 100 = sweltering/burning/very hot.

I will start by asking them a question about the current weather outside. "Can anyone help me to describe what the weather looks like outside?" This will help them apply vocab they already know to a new area of vocab to help explain the weather. If they say something like, "It is dark outside," I will write, "It is cloudy."

As we are just working on the present tense today I will also ask them about temperature and how it feels to them or how their bodies feel when the temperature changes. I will do this by utilizing TPR and imitating when I am cold (shivering or putting on another layer of clothing) and when I am hot (fanning myself from the heat or putting on sunglasses). I will associate these actions and sounds with the vocab written on the board and the pictures shown from the introduction.

I will then use the smiley and frowning face for the next stage to show what weather I do or do not like. i.e. I will shiver and point to the frowning face while saying the word "brrrr," to show that I dislike this. I will write this sentence on the board, "I do not like the cold." I will then put on my sunglasses and point to the smiley face while smiling, to show that I like this. I will write this sentence on the board, "I like the heat." I will also have the students repeat these sentences after explaining them.

I will then have them read the short text, "A Day of Weather in Belgium - Newspaper Style" and have them discuss and answer the questions in pairs. (See below for materials).
Practice 1 (7 Minutes) Matching Weather Types and Identifying Like vs. Dislike

I know transition back to the images I have drawn on the board to show the difference in weather vocab, temperature vocab, and like vs. do not like with the smiley and frowning face. I will erase the vocab words next to the images on the board. To practice reading in this activity students will try to match the correct picture with the vocab word, as well as temperature, and like or do not like. Students will complete this activity individually and when they are finished will compare answers with a partner (the person next to them). (See below for materials).
Practice 2 (7 Minutes) Complete Me! Sentence - Completion

To practice associating likes and dislikes with weather types, students will use their own opinions to complete sentences that have varied weather predictions. They will also use their external vocab knowledge to write why they do or do not like this weather type. This is to be done individually before reading their sentence to their partner to learn more about them. (See below for materials).
Production (15 Minutes) Newscaster Role Play

Now that we have an understanding about different types of weather and what weather types we like or don't like and why, I will pair the students off with other students they haven't been working with today. I will write the directions for the activity on the board and explain what they will do with their partner. I explain first that one person will be the interviewer and the other will be the interviewee. They are preparing what to say on the news this morning for the weather of the day. The following will be written ont he board:

Weather News Report

In your interview you need to ask:
- What is the weather going to be like today?
   Today the weather...
- What are the high and low temperatures for today?
   Today the high will be... and the low will be...
- Is there a chance of rain? If so what is the percentage?
   Today there is a ____% chance of rain...
- How will the weather change over the course of the day?
   In the morning it will be... but in the evening it will...
- Do viewers need to make sure they bring any specific clothing with them for the weather?
   Don't forget your...
- Why do you like or dislike the weather for today? (Engage the audience!)
   This is my favorite weather...

One partner will start and ask the questions while the other responds and they will change after they are finished answering all of the questions. I will write that there is a time limit of 15 minutes. I step back out of the action, walk around and observe the students and take notes.
Review (5 Minutes) I return to the board and review the vocabulary we learned today. I ask a few students to share their favorite response to the News Report they created with their partner.
Homework (2 Minutes) I ask the students to take out a piece of paper to write down their homework assignment. When students are ready they listen to what I am saying and write in their notebooks:

"Over the next few days take notes as the weather changes. Create five new sentences about how the weather changes in the course of the day. Describe why you liked or did not like this weather and what you were able to do during this weather. Perhaps you needed to wear specific clothing!"

I clarify that students understand the homework by putting bullet points on the board for what is expected of them. If there is time I will circulate while they begin their homework, or have time to answer any remaining questions they may have.

Images for Introduction

Images for Presentation

INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK

 

Instructor feedback:  Thank you for this excellent lesson for beginner students that will address weather and likes/dislikes about weather. You have included all of the necessary stages, provided an explanation for each stage, and demonstrated excellence in planning a lesson.

To begin, your problems and solutions section lists some realistic and appropriate problems. Overall, your grammar is appropriate for beginners. It is appropriate to teach the simple present, past, and future to beginners. Most beginners are not ready to learn the perfect tenses, however. 

Note that most of your vocabulary is also level appropriate, but some of the vocabulary in your final task may be problematic. For example, the words “viewers” and “specific” are not likely to be understood by beginners.

Yes, drawing pictures during the presentation is a great way to demonstrate the meaning of the words and to include low-tech visual aids, just don’t take too much time in doing so.

I appreciate how your practice activity gradually encouraged the students to try their new learning in a more open-ended way! That is exactly the way it should be.

You also have some great images in here. It is fun to use your own images if they are relevant. It also helps personalize the visuals and the plan.

Your reporting activity on the end sounds like fun! Students will appreciate this activity and the chance to be a weather reporter. Note that this will likely be hard for them because you didn’t do any reading or listing to an actual interview beforehand.

In the future, add one of these models first and it will really help your students. Also note that many will likely “read” the questions you have on the board. As this is a production task, encourage them to try and ask and answer questions without reading. 

Nice work overall!  

On a final note, I would also like to share a link to the International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching.  It is an academic journal that is peer-reviewed, and it is full of lots of stories and research about teaching English as a foreign language.  It is free and you can download the journal at this site:  http://www.ijflt.com/.

 

 
 
Technology Requirements: 
 
In order to take our online TEFL class, you will need the following:
 
• Computer or laptop (Note: the Moodle app allows for course reading to be read on cell phones, however, we do not recommend taking the entire course through a cell phone or tablet.)
• Internet Browser (we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox)
• Microsoft Word or a Word-compatible program (not including Pages)

PDF Reader
• Ability to download, edit, save, and upload files in either PDF, JPEG, PowerPoint, or Microsoft Word
• Access to consistent and reliable Internet (dial-up is not acceptable)
 

Terminology Knowledge: 
 
Please familiarize yourself with the following terms:
 
• Browser
• PDF
• Word Doc
• Download
• Upload
• Cable or DSL Internet speed
 
Take this Online Proficiency Quiz for a chance to navigate through the course platform!
 
 
 
1. Do I need to login on my course start date?
 
Although not required, you should definitely log in on your course start date. In order to stay on track, you must log in to the course at least once a day. If not, you may miss important announcements, date changes, etc. You will not be docked any points if you do not log in to your course every day, but it is highly recommended.

2. How much time should I plan to spend each week on this class?
 
The course is comprised of:
 
• 150 hours of online coursework – which includes readings, tasks, peer participation, and self-checks. (Required)
• 20 hours of Practicum (Required)
 
You should plan to allocate roughly 10-12 hours per week on this class. This should cover readings, watching lectures and videos, quizzes, essays, peer participation, etc. 

3. Can I finish the course quicker than 11 weeks?
 
You can work ahead in the class, but you will not get your official TEFL certificate until your class is over. This is because your professor will be grading your assignments week by week. So yes, you can do your assignments ahead of time to accommodate a vacation or if you just have extra time to work ahead but ultimately you will not be able to receive your TEFL certificate early.

4. Can I take this class from anywhere in the world?
 
Yes, as long as you have access to the Internet and a working computer to complete your course assignments. 

5. Will I have access to course materials online after the class is over? 
 
Students will be able to access all course material for approximately 3 months after the completion of the course.  An email notification will be sent out to students about one week before their access is closed.

6. Do I need to purchase a textbook for this course?
 
Students are not required to purchase any extra material for the course. However, it is highly recommended that students purchase a grammar book. Students also have the option to purchase the coursebook in paperback or PDF forms. 

Read more about the TEFL class books here.
 

7. Will I be able to reach out to my professor with course questions?
 

You can reach out to your instructor through the following ways:

a. Chat Sessions: Students are not required to attend chat sessions however it is highly recommended that students attend these sessions as it is a great opportunity to ask the instructor questions or to discuss ESL learning and teaching. 
 
b. Email: Your instructor is available by email. You can send your instructor an email at any time of the day or night and will receive a response within 24 – 48 hours. To find more information on your course instructor and contact details, please visit the profile section in your course. Your course instructor is not available by phone.

8. Will I receive feedback on my assignments?
 
Yes. Feedback can be found under the Grades section.  Your instructor will provide feedback and comments on all tasks.    

9. Will I be able to reach out to other students in the class?
 
You can reach out to other students in your online class through the following ways:
 
a. Chat Sessions: Students are not required to attend chat sessions however it is highly recommended that students attend these sessions as it is a great opportunity to ask the instructor questions, chat with your peers, or to discuss ESL learning and teaching. 
 
b. Peer Participation:  Peer Participation is a weekly discussion forum where students learn and interact with course peers through posts. Education research shows that participation in online discussions leads to better learning outcomes. As such, ITA students are required to participate in discussion forums for each chapter. The discussion will begin each week by your instructor posting a topic. Students must then respond with at least two posts— one post to the discussion question and another post in response to a peer’s post.

10. Are there set login times that require me to attend live online sessions or classes?
 
Students are not required to attend live lectures.  However, it is strongly recommended that students attend lectures as this is a time to receive more direct classroom instruction, ask questions, and communicate with peers and the instructor. 
 
Lectures are recorded and uploaded online for students to watch at a later time, however, this will not provide you access to live chat times with your instructor and peers.

11. What is the TEFL practicum?
 
Practicum is an essential component to a teacher's training process, as it provides valuable insight and experience prior to obtaining independent teaching positions. International TEFL Academy requires that all students accumulate a minimum of 20 hours for TEFL/TESOL certification. These hours can be achieved through observation, tutoring, student teaching or a combination of 2 or 3 of these in an ESL/EFL setting in which non-native speakers are learning new English language skills.
 
Hands-on experience with English language learners provides an opportunity for teacher trainees to apply teaching principles to real-life situations, build confidence in their skill and pedagogical style, gain exposure to various learning styles and classroom situations, and acquire valuable teaching experience. These components will assist a teacher in feeling more prepared, as well as add a competitive edge during one's job search and interview process.
 
Please refer to the "MANDATORY UNIT: Practicum Requirements" drop-down for additional details. 

 
12. How long will it take to receive my TEFL certificate?
 
After a student has completed their certification course and submitted the necessary documents, it will take about 4 to 6 weeks to receive a certificate in the mail. A student will, however, receive a digital certificate once their course is completed and their practicum packet has been reviewed and approved.

13. Can I fail the Online class?
 
Yes, students must receive a 70% to pass the class and turn in a completed thematic unit.   

* Note in order to be issued a certificate a student will need to pass the class and turn in a completed practicum document within the timeframe outlined in the ITA Terms and Conditions.  See Online Course Section B in the Terms and Conditions.
 


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

Additional Resources:

 
 
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IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT INFORMATION


NOTE FOR ENROLLMENT: Before enrolling in any International TEFL Academy, 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 to assist you with the enrollment process.

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