img article

Dec 19, 2018

TEFL Certification Course in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My experience during Teaching Practice Sessions
These are some questions that I have compiled during my teaching practices at my TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You can find the answers to these questions below

How did the class flow?
What was the highlight of the class?
What would you do differently in another class?
What activity/topic did the student enjoy?
How did you follow your lesson plan?
What questions did the student(s) have? Pronunciation/concepts?
How do you feel now?

December 5 th
Student: Fabricio
Level: Advanced

The beginning of the teaching practice class during my TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires went very well. Fabricio is a fluent speaker. He seems to be interested in improving the language. He would love to travel to countries outside of Latin America but still does not feel comfortable with his English level. The scenes from “Black Mirror” seemed appropriate for his level, but he asked for subtitles. We achieved to have a discussion on this topic and he expressed himself fairly well. However, the second part did not to as well as I planned. The text was too difficult for Fabricio’s level. I tried to break the text down and make it easier and then abandoned it completely, but it was still too difficult to have a debate with Fabricio as he struggled a lot expressing himself in a more complex way and he could not combine difficult ideas/concepts with a game. It was my mistake, as I assumed him to be the same level as Carla, but they are not. In the end I abandoned everything and instead had a debate with Fabricio on cats and dogs, so that he at least could practice how to debate during this teaching practice during my TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires. If I had Fabricio as a student again, I would try to adjust the lesson so that it suits his level more. I would choose a less difficult topic and not try to cover so much. I think it is very difficult to level a student. In the future I would try to have two different texts, an easier and a more difficult one about the same topic but then I could easily switch from one to another. Teaching Fabricio, however, was a good experience. Since he is a motivated student, he made it easier for me to adjust my lesson. Nevertheless I felt a bit lost when I realized that my plan did not work out. If I had had more experience, I could have handled the situation better.

December 6 th
Student: Isabel
Level: Intermediate

My lesson with Isabel at my TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires was good. I struggled at the beginning with adjusting myself to her level. I also underestimated how difficult it is to explain vocabulary to someone who has an intermediate level of English. We managed to do everything I planned and it went well. As Leila, our TEFL Trainer, came to visit us in this lesson I was a lot more nervous about teaching and felt less confident. I felt that Isabel was also a little bit intimidated as two teachers observed her. When I asked Isabel whether she wanted to take a break she said no and wanted to continue study English. I think for the first time this week I felt that the lesson I prepared was appropriate level- as well as time wise. We were able to practice the past, speaking, reading and writing. Especially the writing part became a lot of fun, once we started. Isabel came up with many ideas and was very creative. She wrote one story by herself using the past and managed to gain confidence in this story. The second story we did together which was more difficult as she had no idea, where I was going to and she could not plan a sentence.

For a future lesson I would try to make sure that there is no passive in her text. If she ever takes classes again with a student from our TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires and it might be a good moment to introduce her to the passive form. The highlight of this class was definitely when she towards the end finally understood what an “urban legend” and a “conspiracy” is. My explanations at the beginning were not sufficient, but the practical examples helped her grasping the concept of these two terms.
December 7 th
Student: Carla
Level: Advanced

Since I already taught Carla at the beginning of the week, it was easier to teach her again. I started the teaching practice class during my TEFL Certification Course in Buenos Aires by playing hangman and using an idiom we learned on Monday. We then talked about bilingualism and the advantages of it. After that introduction we watched a YouTube video about a young Venezuelan woman living in the United States who is fluent in both languages. As a plus, that woman invited an Australian to her show and so Carla had the chance to listen to a different accent. We were able to extend the list of arguments a bit further. Luckily Carla disagreed with one and so I had her write a short essay on whether bilingualism helps with multitasking. (Otherwise I had some topics prepared, but since this one offered itself I took this one). Before I had her writing the essay we came up with a list of opinion sentence introductions. As for the second part we watched a linguistic/artistic approach on multilingualism and then compared the two videos. Carla can express herself very well so it became a very interesting discussion. One of the highlights was the explanation of “literally” versus “virtually”. As it was used in one of the videos and Carla also used it more than once in a wrong way (along with many native speakers). Since we already had a little bit of a rapport I also felt more confident in correcting her pronunciation and mistakes during my TEFL Certification Course in Buenos Aires .

December 11 th
Student: Maria Alicia
Level: Advanced

Maria Alicia is a very advanced student. She has a great knowledge of the English vocabulary, idioms etc. Therefore our class went very well as we almost never came across any problems. However, it was a bit difficult for me to handle her, as she wanted to do things her way and she did not want to be corrected, which was hard during my TEFL Certification course in Buenos Aires. Although her English is marvelous she still makes some very basic mistakes like the misuse of he and she. She knows the difference obviously but she simply does not care and does not want to be corrected on that. I came to wonder why she takes this class, and if she only sees it as an opportunity to speak to someone from a different place or to practice communicating. She said that she did not want to lose her English as she has lost her Portuguese, so I assume that for her it’s just an opportunity to speak. Still she seemed to enjoy reading the text a lot and she did not mind me correcting her pronunciation. I enjoyed teaching her as she knows a lot about literature and her very advanced English allows her to read more difficult texts. I tried to be persistent with her, but it did not work so I gave up and instead focused on other things. One of the highlights has been the interesting discussion on The Great Gatsby as well as the song “I walk the line”.

Author: Buenos Aires TEFL