Published 9th March 2017
So, you’ve signed up for our online TEFL course, you’ve completed the first five units and you’re now ready to begin your first assignment. So far you’re enjoying doing an online course because you like being able to study at your own pace without having to worry about distractions from other people. You like the fact that you can study whenever you want to and you don’t even need to leave your house. So far you’ve been able to handle all the content that you’ve needed to cover.
But now you’ve just looked at your first TEFL assignment and you’re suddenly feeling a bit stuck.
First of all, read through the instructions very carefully to make sure you are clear what is required. Make sure you have downloaded any material we have provided (e.g. the reading text you need to use in the first assignment) as well as the templates on which you need to submit your assignment. Then decide what information you need to help you complete the assignment.
At this point you may feel you don’t quite know what to do or where to find the information you need, and you don’t have anyone to ask for help – no classmate sitting next to you, or teacher standing at the front of the class. You still want to maintain a level of independence, so you’ve decided to look online for ideas to help with your assignment.
Now the question is where do you look?
The first place you should look is your online course. Go through relevant sections again and see if you can find what you are looking for. For the the lesson planning assignments, make sure you understand the lesson procedure we want you to use. After looking at what we say on the online course, start looking more widely for ideas to help you. There’s nothing wrong with using Google to find information because it will lead to a wide range of sources which could all possibly answer your questions. The internet is a brilliant resource for teachers and we want to encourge our students to use it.
Think about the different aspects of the assignment and search using general terms that match these, such as ‘selecting vocabulary to preteach.’ It doesn’t really matter where you find your information, as long as the sources are reputable and you don’t copy them verbatim. In other words, make sure your assignments are original and referenced where necessary and don’t involve plagiarism of any kind, and you’ll be fine.
You can also find support in any of the TEFL books recommended by your course. How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer, Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener and the Macmillan Books for Teachers and Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers are all very reliable sources of information. As a future EFL teacher you should seriously consider investing in your own copy of one or more of these books as they will prove invaluable to you during your career.
Finally, if you’re still unclear on what you need to do or where to find the information you need, make use of our course tutors. You just need to send a ticket asking for help with whatever aspect of the assignment you are finding difficult.
Don’t forget that all work submitted for the assignments must be your own.