I read most of the thread on TEFL courses, but didn't see the answer to the question another person asked. It's the same question that I have. So I'm going to ask it again, in my own way, in the hopes of getting some very useful information.
I know TEFL schools advertise here, and recommending or not recommending a school could be a delicate matter. I also get that I should visit some schools to make my own best choice. Can you suggest to me some of the best schools to look at, so I can plan to visit them? I'll have a few weeks to explore.
I don't need to be in a tourist location. I just want to get the best preparation I can so that I will be able to be an effective teacher. If there is information I can get online about how to teach, I would also like to look at that.
I may want to move to Chiang Mai because it is a bit less hectic than BKK, but I wouldn't mind studying for a while in BKK either.
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My second question is, how important is it that I know my English grammar well? Should I brush up on the parts of speech . . . ?
First: Chiang Mai is a lot more hectic than you've probably heard. I used to live there, and still visit regularly (I'm now near BKK), but my friends in CM are all retreating northwards to escape the traffic and pollution. I'll be visiting them in bloody Burma soon.
Second: whether or not you need to know grammar and such depends on what kind of teaching you expect to be doing. If you want to be able to handle the full range of potential students, then yes. It will be expected of you, and being caught out by some matayom hotshot may well undermine your credibility. But if you teach kindergarten, or "conversation classes" you can probably get by on the notes in the Teacher's Books. The better employers will expect you to know how to teach your presents and pasts continuously and perfectly, though.
Third: I've no opinion on any of the local TEFL training schools.
I, I, I, I, moosey
The first 10 million years were the worst
And the next
After that I went into a bit of a decline
It's important to know how the language works. This will help you focus on what needs to focused on. And knowing the proper situations to use particualer grammar usages.Originally Posted by 32D2
not sure what you mean. Pronunciation, vowel stress, stops?Should I brush up on the parts of speech . . . ?
I've been to Chiang Mai, and to me it was less hectic than Bangkok. That's not saying that it's Paradise.
It sounds like I should brush up on the grammar. Is it also covered in teacher training? If not I'll start going over some books.
Nobody has said a word about which teacher training schools I should visit. I guess this wasn't the right place to ask. Can anyone tell me where asking wouldn't be so sticky? I'd like to visit about a half dozen ones that are known to be better ones.
The topic of which TEFL course to attend is a landmine. When I took Text'n'Talk in Chiang Mai, there was a separate course for grammar review, which I didn't take. Yes, you should brush up on it. Yes, CMai is hectic but less so than BKK, and I still live there, though I teach in a neighboring province. Sooner or later, grammar comes up. If you're in a govt. school, the teachers there think grammar's important (because they can't speak English well).
Yes, you could begin, on your own, learning parts of speech, tenses, clauses, punctuation, most troublesome spellings, etc.
"The times I've been mistaken, it's impossible to say" - by the Moody Blues
Well, "less hectic than Bangkok" is a bit like saying "less dangerous than downtown Baghdad", but if you're happy with Chiang Mai, by all means do give it a try. I still like the town, but I'm finding it less and less relaxing as time goes by. Things may improve when the current round of highway construction ends (scheduled to be completed in late '05. so expect mid '06).
Nobody's saying anything about local teacher training schools for a number of reasons. Past experience has shown it to be a flame-prone topic so there's a disinclination to fuel a new blaze. And many (if not most) of us have never been inside one, so we've little or nothing to say. You could just check the links on the ajarn.com front page and e-mail them directly.
Thanks. Guess I'll just pick a half dozen and see what I can learn from going there. Sorry to hear Chiang Mai is going down the tubes. Heard there's a lot of new luxury hotels coming up, too. I hadn't considered doing training in a provence because I didn't think they would have schools. Will look into that as well. Thanks for input. Expect for questions as time goes on.
I don't want to start wars here, but the idea that you have to visit a tefl school and sit in a class comes mainly from one source. Initally it was annoyingly repeated like a mantra in every post. Now it's considered "mainstream". Or is it?
not meaning to continue wars either, but what's wrong with visiting? I did it at the only place I knew of, and it's a great idea to see the training facility, a class of students, the instructor, etc. Such visitation rights should be mainstream, shouldn't they?
Nothing's wrong, but lots of schools dont' advertise themselves as "come and visit, see if you like it" way and they are in no way worse.
If you ask they might try to accomodate you, or might not be so welcoming. It's a marketing thing - it doesn't make one course better than the other.
Theoretically, there might be situation where ALL the offers to come and sit come from one and the same school running courses in different places.
Come and observe in CM, Phuket, or Bangkok - it will be the same outfit. Theoretically, of course.
Get the customer inside, sit him down, let him see what he's buying.
PB, you are still questioning and weighing the value of a tefl course, after two years? Do you sincerely think that a total newbie can make a intelligent decision after sitting in for one hour?
Trep just asked, "PB, you are still questioning and weighing the value of a tefl course, after two years? Do you sincerely think that a total newbie can make a intelligent decision after sitting in for one hour?"
No. This week I realized (as I often do) that a four week TEFL course just gives you a beginner's permit. I've never regretted taking the course I took. I'm not saying a total newbie can...in one hour. He's doing his research on the net, and should visit BKK, CMai or whever to investigate further. The more information he gets, the better he should be able to decide. I didn't travel halfway around the world to devote US$1,100 and four weeks to a place I'd never even seen.
This sounds like a good deal. Is the province a bit less polluted and touristy?Originally Posted by PeaceBlondie
I was thinking of doing teacher training in CM, but I wouldn't mind teaching someplace a little further away, if it's got more nature . . .
A lot of the people who run/sell the courses are members of this (and just about any other Thai-education-related) website. If any of them start to try selling their courses to you, blatantly or sneakily, it will start a big war of poop with all the others. A better approach might be for you to ask those WHO HAVE ACTUALLY TAKEN THE COURSES, such as PB, to give you their opinions. But this doesn't guarantee that you'll get a well-rounded or fair opinion of ALL the courses- just the ones taken by current members who bother to reply. And it still doesn't leave out the possibility of "fake" handles of the course sellers recommending or slagging courses and then starting the same big war of poop by proxy. We had a rather boring time of it a year or so ago with that sort of thing.
Finally, it isn't likely that many members will have taken MORE than one course- so you're not going to get many comparative opinions from an individual. Your best bet, as it usually is, is to shop around and compare. Yes, it takes time. But it's better than having another big war of poop here (or on any other board).
Good luck collecting information! I have no info on any of them, because I've never taken any of them!
"Teachers, we are having some technical problems with our PA system. If you are having any difficulty hearing this announcement, please send a student to the main office to let us know."
Heard in a U.S. Public School
32D2, why do you bother so much about the location? Does your idea of teacher training include images of coconut palms and misty mountains?