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TEFL in Prague

CZECH REPUBLIC | Sunday, 20 March 2016 | Views [293]

Second of two posts.

It’s been a whirlwind of a month!  It’s hard to believe how much I’ve learned in 4 weeks and how much confidence I’ve gained in teaching from day one to now.

We started off as a group of 7, but finished as a group of 5, as two co-trainees dropped out after the first and second weeks, respectively.  It is a very intense program encompassing a LOT of work, and I don’t think everyone was quite prepared for that.  But the 5 of us that saw it through have spent the past 4 weeks huddled around our kitchen table on weekday evenings and all day on weekends studying, lesson planning and sharing ideas.  It’s been a great experience to live in a house with people going through the program as well—it really fosters an environment of learning and support, and I’m honestly not sure if I could’ve gotten through the program without it.

We spent weekday mornings in workshops with our Trainers learning the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) method (or communicative approach).  This teaching method promotes the usage of interaction as the means and final goal of language learning/teaching.  I have really seen the benefits of this approach, as I think back on my own language classes in high school and college, which were a combination of the grammar-translation method and rote memorization.  I found myself wondering how much more Spanish I would have picked up had I been taught through the CLT method.  Anyway, I’m glad that I can believe in and support the method of teaching we’ve learned, and I look forward to learning more about it!

After workshops we had an hour of lunch—the first week we tried a bunch of the restaurants near the school, but by the second week we had found our favorite:  the deli.  Full plate of delicious Czech cuisine for 59 crowns (approximately $2.40), so needless to say we went are there at least 3 days a week.  We also found some quick and affordable spots for Chinese, Kebabs and Italian.

The afternoons were spent either teaching or observing our fellow trainees teach.  We had 2 lessons a week and then observed the rest of the time.  After these teaching practices (TPs) we would give each other feedback on how to improve, as well as get feedback from our trainers (who observed all the TPs).  The feedback sessions were definitely constructive and very helpful—especially coming from multiple angles (peers in the same position of learning and from trained professionals).

Though most evenings were spent lesson planning and/or studying, one of my housemates invited me to yoga the second week and I am SO glad I went.  Wednesday evening yoga has become a habit and my mind and body absolutely appreciate it!  Between yoga and all of the walking involved in living without a car, I can really see and feel a difference in my overall well-being.  And I love it.

This past Thursday was our last day of the course and I found out on Friday that I passed!  I am super excited to begin teaching in this wonderful city!!  The graduation party (when we receive our certificates) is tomorrow evening with all of the trainees, trainers, coordinators and students—super excited and will post pics, I’m sure.

 

Do přiště!

Tags: exploring, learning, prague, studying, tefl

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Utah, USA, 2015

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