Courses; there are so many kinds with so many different aims in mind. While one usually takes a course with a specific employability goal in mind, it does not always have to be the case. As human beings, it’s important to keep learning things both from a self improvement viewpoint, as well as to keep the brain active and healthy. It was Albert Einstein himself who once said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” It’s all too easy as we get older and settle down with a stable, albeit mindless job to simply stop learning things and get caught in a regular 9 to 5 rut. A great way to learn new things, thusly improving our brain activity and mental health, is through taking an online course. Online courses are great for busy individuals who may not have time to attend live lectures, but would like to sharpen their repertoire regardless. One such online course one can take is the online TEFL course. TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language,” and is a comprehensive course of about 100 to 150 hours. It’s primarily taken by recent college graduates looking to become “TEFL teachers,” which are teachers that travel to countries like China or Spain and teach English as a second language to school children. While the exciting career of being a TEFL teacher might not be for everyone, taking an online TEFL course very well may be! Along with being absolutely vital for anyone thinking of teaching ESL, it provides some very practical and useful benefits that absolutely anyone is sure to profit from.
Going back to the Einstein quote, learning is very important in keeping that brain healthy and active. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s amazing ability to continuously change throughout its lifetime. The only way this change occurs is through learning. The neurons fire up new connections and the internal structure of the existing synapses change, strengthening them. This continuous strengthening of neural pathways is one of the best ways to stave off age related brain disorders, like alzheimer’s and dementia. Along with the increase in brain power, it’s always good to learn a new skill! Online TEFL courses teach you all kinds of skills, like classroom management (which is hilariously transferable to managing adults), creating assessment scales, and effective public speaking tips and techniques. All these skills are absolutely vital in a classroom setting, but it’s easy to see how they could come in handy for just about anyone.
Yeah, you already had grammar classes all throughout high school and you’ve been speaking English your entire life, what more grammar could you possibly learn? But do you really remember everything from those years of cafeteria lunches, gym classes, and pep rallies? Do you remember all about synecdoche, similes, auxiliary verbs, pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions? What about contractions, gerunds, interjections, and past participles? Suffixes? Subjunctive moods? Probably not. True, most of it you will never need to know from a practical standpoint, but extra knowledge never goes amiss. Especially if you like things like literature, creative writing, or public speaking; it’s very good to be thoroughly educated on grammar. All good online TEFL courses will have a section on grammar, which is extremely important, considering most individuals who take TEFL courses are aspiring English teachers. It’s not only teachers that need grammar though. Creative use of grammar can turn an article, speech, or even conversation about a normally boring topic into something interesting and delightful. At the very least, good grammar comes in handy when in internet arguments; no one can correct you if your grammar is already perfect!
Perhaps the most important and often used section of an online TEFL course is that of classroom management. One thing that all the TEFL brochures often leave out is the simple fact that children can and will act like monsters from time to time. From disrupting class with animal noises, to beating the snot out of each other, if there’s a way to misbehave, chances are your average kid is going to partake in it. This can be incredibly frustrating for a teacher who is trying to make their class run smoothly and as such, offers up the vital need for impeccable classroom management skills that will make even the most rowdy class sit tight and learn. Online TEFL courses have extensive material on classroom management, covering a wide range of principles and techniques like seating arrangements, punishment and reward systems, and age dependent motivational techniques. Even if one has absolutely no intention of becoming a teacher, knowing how to handle children is a skill that everyone should have. You might already have or aspire to have kids of your own, or could very well have to babysit nieces or nephews someday, in which case the techniques learned from an online TEFL course could come very handy indeed.
Lastly we come to the main reason most people take any course at all; employability. While online TEFL courses provide the maximum benefit employability, and it’s wise for people who are looking to become TEFL teachers, it will certainly be a great boost to the resume for a wide range of careers. A TEFL certificate is a great asset to have on the resume of anyone getting into working with children, tutoring, or working with immigrants. It also helps just for the fact that the individual committed to and stuck with an intensive 120 hour course, showing drive and dedication; something no employer is able to turn, down regardless of the field. While an online TEFL course is essential for those looking into getting into TEFL as a career, that’s not where it’s usefulness ends. Online TEFL courses can be a wise career and life choice for anyone providing a great deal of useful and practical skills anyone is sure to benefit from.
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