A TEFL course covers topics including teaching language skills, grammar, lesson planning and classroom management.
Perhaps one of the biggest aspects of a TEFL course is learning how to plan, structure, and execute a lesson plan. A large portion of the course will be devoted to learning how to sculpt lesson plans according to class size, ability, and language backgrounds.
A TEFL course will teach you how to:
• Teach English Language Skills. Teach the five major elements of language learning:
reading, writing, speaking, listening and pronunciation.
• Simplify English Grammar. Simplify complex English grammar concepts for ELLs (English
• Plan Lessons. Plan and deliver effective lessons that meet class learning objectives and
promote productive learning.
• Manage a Classroom. Manage your classroom and student behaviour to create a welcoming
and safe learning environment.
• Identify Learning Styles. Identify different learning styles and adapt lessons to suit students
and their needs.
• Build Effective Learning Materials. Find, adapt and personalise a wide variety of text-based
and digital materials for use in the classroom.
How to Plan a Lesson
After completing your TEFL course, you should expect to be able to build flexible lesson plans, identify individual needs and plan accordingly, and to establish learning objectives for your lessons. You'll know how to start a lesson, how to integrate activities that help practice a language skill with those that teach new ones, and ways to encourage your students to use English in the classroom.
Lesson planning is an essential component of any reputable TEFL course, online or on-site. For that reason, your online TEFL program should teach you both how to plan effective lessons and allow you to plan lessons during the course to practice the skills you're learning.
Strategies for Classroom Management
Whether or not you have teaching experience, classroom management will be another vital section of your online TEFL course. Managing a classroom full of students -- especially when you don't necessarily share a common language -- is tough work and adapting your teaching space to best help your students grasp a new language will require you to have a sharpened and expanded skillset.
To really help you hone in on this skill, the classroom management module should include specific strategies for teachers to implement in classrooms made up of students with varying learning styles and levels. Though some of this will be along the lines of learning how to give instruction, breaking students up into groups / pairs, or recognising when your class is ready to move on to the next step, part of this will include adapting your teaching style to different learners.
For example, your TEFL course may outline these various styles using the Multiple Intelligence Theory, which covers interpersonal/visual-spatial, intrapersonal/musical-rhythmic, and logical/linguistic intelligence types. You will learn to take into account these different learning styles as you plan and run your lessons.
What Language Skills Are and How to Teach Them
This section should cover core aspects of language teaching: grammar, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and pronunciation. Generally, each lesson you teach should focus on teaching a combination of these language skills (for example, you may teach a pronunciation lesson using listening activities, or a grammar lesson using a reading/writing activity), and a TEFL course will teach you both how to do so and what each means.
In regards to grammar, your TEFL course won't teach you every single grammatical aspect of the English language -- you could spend a lifetime doing that! -- but instead will give you a good overview and the tools necessary to learn enough about the grammar you teach your students. Meaning, you won't necessarily learn the difference between "present continuous" and "present simple" but you'll be given the tools to figure it out before teaching it to your students.
Building Out Your "Teacher Toolbox"
Your materials and resources education will help you to build an extensive and comprehensive toolbox of teaching materials. Your course should include both text-based and digital resources. You’ll learn activities and games for the classroom and how to apply software and the Internet to your lesson plans.