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Prospective new teacher questions

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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Ireland...and beyond?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Prospective new teacher questions Reply with quote

Sorry to bother ye with this but I've just done a short TEFL course here in Ireland and am screwing up the courage to go applying for jobs in Europe. I'm wondering am I expected by schools to be familiar with various texts? And if ye think I should be can ye suggest a fairly common series I should look at. Any help would be great. Ta.

(Also, on a completely unrelated topic, the course I did was one one of those weekend thingymajigs with extra grammar work to do at home and send in and stuff. Is this type of certificate actually worth anything when it comes to job hunting? It was with i-to-i if anyone's ever heard of them.)
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Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3030
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i-to-i is actually the course provider that I was referring to when I said 'some of the websites I've checked out have presented TEFL in quite an amateurish/childish light' on the 'Online Certification vs. hands-on TEFL Course??' thread in the "Announcements" forum.

Please note that I did go on to say 'Perhaps their actual ("paid up") assignments are more challenging', and I do recall their tutors seemed to be reasonably well-qualified, so I'm not saying i-to-i is totally useless or not value for money in its own way, and it's been a while since I checked them out (total newcomers to TEFL might not want anything more "daunting" than the sort of "taster" questions that i-to-i was asking visitors to their website to "consider") all this is just based on my own impressions and feelings from over a year ago.

How was the i-to-i course, and its assignments, then? Do you feel you learnt much? If you feel some/most/almost all of it was beneficial then I am sure you'll be able to wax lyrical and present whatever certificate you've gained in a positive light to a potential employer - but bear in mind that you might be up against people with CELTAs (not saying the CELTA is necessarily the best thing since sliced bread)...

Anyway, you were asking about textbooks! If truth be told, the ELT publishing industry is so lucrative and competitive that nobody can possibly keep up with all the new publications - all that one can really do is try to remain aware of trends, in SLA (Second language acquisition/language learning theory), syllabus design and the connected pedagogy, all of which is reflected at some level in textbook design. For example, textbooks over the past decade or so have paid more attention to vocabulary and lexis, then "tasks"...quite what they are incorporating right this moment, who knows! But the general trend is one of gradually widening the scope of the syllabus and making it ever more multi-strand...

Off the top of my head, some of the interviews and articles over on the ELT News website are a good place to start, because they feature quite famous textbook writers (mainly British, but Steve Molinsky of Side By Side fame is an exception). Here are some of the goodies there in a roughly chronological (older to more recent textbook) order:

These are also worth a look:

There are more interviews with the likes of David Nunan, Michael Rost and Michael McCarthy that are worth reading. You can get a good idea of what else is on offer by viewing the ELT News archives:

Edited-in bit: The TEFL Farm has recently been resurrected (and renamed), check out some of their interviews with famous textbook writers there too!

At the moment I'm re-reading Felicity O'Dell's chapter entitled 'Incorporating vocabulary into the syllabus' in Schmitt and McCarthy's Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy (CUP).

A.P.R. Howatt's A History of ELT (Second Edition) details influential courses in...well, the history of ELT! I mentioned it here:

Dave Willis's The Lexical Syllabus is available freely online:

Lastly, Michael Lewis gives a somewhat polemical overview of trends in syllabuses, textbooks and teaching in his The Lexical Approach.

Obviously, I am very interested in syllabuses and textbooks from especially a lexical point of view. Wink
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Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: unethical Reply with quote

Is that not a bit unethical Wink of yourself?
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Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:13 am    Post subject: i-to-i Reply with quote

As for i-to-i ... I completed my TEFL-diploma online with them and was quite satisfied with the course. I have a M.A. in English and many years of experience as a translater, but decided to go into teaching. I got my TEFL-diploma last October and started teaching (English to Germans) in two language schools right after.

My experience with i-to-i ... The course was quite easy - they said the online course could be completed within three months. I did it in four weeks (and I am a non-native speaker). My conclusion is that unless you don't have a B.A. or M.A. in English (especially as a non-native speaker), this online course is not sufficient to teach English. I finished it in a short time because actually the course was only a revision of what I already knew.
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