Monday, March 31, 2014

Week Two of TEFL Classes

I have a piece of advice for anyone taking these classes:

Don't take the quizzes before you finish the readings. 

Seems like a silly thing to do, why try and do the homework before you've heard the lesson? Of course I didn't follow the logical thing. 

Hello everyone, I am a college graduate who thought she could just skip the last 50% of the reading material on Pronunciation, Stress, & Intonation and take all 5 quizzes without a problem. I shouldn't have a problem, right? I am a fluent English speaker and I know how to, well, speak English.

Obviously I didn't learn English as a foreign language and a lot of components English speakers inherently understand are really hard for foreign speakers to pick up and understand. Like the "schwa".

Turns out the "schwa" wasn't part of my childhood curriculum and I tragically made a stunning 50% on the quiz after skipping the reading. Maybe I'm not the only native English speaker who didn't know about "schwa" before this class, but lord do I do now. I had to redeem myself from that embarrassing quiz attempt (that I only had one shot at mind you). "Schwa" refers to an unstressed vowel sound, like teacher, library, Sunday, woman, begin, and so on. I distinctly remember being taught that certain words are said a certain way because that's just the way it is. It's not pronounced TEACH-ER, stressing both syllables, it's TEACH-er. 

So here lies a big, new, exiting challenge for this teach abroad adventure:
Teaching students these intuitive aspects of English I've always known, but I couldn't explain to you why I know it. 

Thank you TEFL class for seriously getting my butt into gear. Week 2 = check.

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