By Ken Su, Guest Blogger
Thinking about getting a TEFL?
TEFL is your ticket to teaching English abroad or online.
For Ken, an experienced educator and ESL teacher, a TEFL helped him further his career and create more teaching opportunities.
Find out what it was like for Ken to take this course while juggling being a parent, teacher, and lifelong student.
Ken's story will be told in two parts.
In part one, Ken shares his experience as a student: what it was like to complete his TEFL certification online and two specialization courses:
Part two will be about Ken's teaching journey, from a former Yankee scout to teacher and parent!
When it comes to learning, always bring yourself back to your 'why'
This program has been the perfect example of enhancing my lifelong learner’s understanding of the teaching world and how to support others on their journey.
Written by Ken Su, Guest Blogger
My name is Ken Su. I’m a recent graduate from the OISE TEFL program, where I was able to receive and learn profound wisdom.
I gained an understanding of the fundamentals of teaching and gained new knowledge that supported me to interact better and lead students.
The focus of the program has been on helping others develop and excel in their English language skills.
The virtual learning platform and environment have been a significant resource and key factor supporting my personal and professional development.
Since stepping into the world of education in 2011, I have continued to take advantage of what online learning can offer. It has been an incredible asset for improving myself.
I would like to share my own personal ‘why’ that led me to choose the OISE TEFL program to further my learning.
First, I'll share the 5 criteria I looked for in an online TEFL course provider and that I recommend you include in your research, as well:
- Is the course offered by a reputable resource?
- Are the learning modules structured, organized, and easy to access?
- Is the course content relevant, up to date?
- Is there program support: self-assessment, feedback, and content review?
- Is there anything that makes this course stand out from the others?
Is the course offered by a reputable institution?
It's always helpful for learners to look for reputable resources as a point of reference when looking into online programs.
Choosing a credible and reliable course will assure you're learning the best course content. It will also make your teaching resume stand out.
Look for a course like that has good reviews and comes from a reputable institution like OISE University of Toronto TEFL.
Are the learning modules structured, organized, and easy to access?
Learners need to be able to understand, preview and review all content, and have the ability to post new learnings.
This is precisely how the OISE TEFL program has been designed.
The program ensures learners can review and revisit previous lessons/modules as many times as needed before moving on to the next phase of course content.
This component was also an excellent teachable moment that reminded me of the proper lesson deliveries I should be giving to students on a daily basis.
Note: The updated OISE TEFL course is mobile friendly!
Is the course content relevant, up-to-date?
There are times when we enter a program only to find the materials being offered are out of date.
While understanding the past is essential to notice how things have changed, it is crucial to have access to current and up-to-date materials.
This is what connects us to the recent trends and what will enhance our learning.
This is exactly the type of information I have seen and experienced through the OISE TEFL program.
Is there program support: self-assessment, feedback, and content review?
Similar to how we would like to assess students’ learning progress, the OISE TEFL program offers a self-assessment practice at the end of each session and a comprehensive self-assessment module.
Available in both multiple-choice and question-design written format, this allows learners to put all their newfound wisdom into practice in real-time.
Learners will be able to review lesson content anytime they need to without repeating the same course.
The program has trained module experts that offer feedback for all written assignments and provide needed guidance to steer learners’ understanding towards the intended learning outcomes.
Everything is done in a timely manner, offering yet another good teachable moment that reminds educators how students would also like to hear from us promptly for their improvement and development purposes.
What makes this course stand out from the others?
OISE TEFL's course stood out because of its unique course specializations.
These specializations allow you to focus on key areas of learning based on specific needs or interests.
For example, as I live and work with primarily Mandarin-speaking students, I was able to take a ‘Teaching Mandarin Speakers’ specialization course.
I put my practice into good use, plus learned even more valuable knowledge about how I can support Mandarin-speaking learners.
When it comes to different language learners, understanding each student's unique needs is just one thing that sets me apart for English language learners.
These are all the TEFL certification specializations offered at OISE University of Toronto:
- Teaching English to Arabic Speakers
- Teaching English to Korean Speakers
- Teaching English to Mandarin Speakers (I took this one)
- Teaching English to Young Learners
- Teaching Test Preparation Courses
- Teaching Business English
- Online Teaching and Learning (I took this one)
- Learner Centered Lessons
- Teaching Abroad
Investing in OISE TEFL
You may have questions like, “It sounds pretty similar to other online programs? Is it worth spending money to do this kind of certification program?”
My answer to your questions is, “Yes, as long as you know why. Everything you do will make a difference to your own life from this moment and onward.”
As I have shared with you, I started my online learning journey when I identified my different needs and the future development of my career (here comes my why again).
I greatly appreciate all the learning opportunities that built me into the teacher, father, and son I am today.
It is natural for there to be challenges along the way, but always return to the why.
Everyone has their preferences for content and learning platforms, so I encourage you to do your research. Look at the program descriptions and costs, and anticipate your timeline.
Choose a course you can trust and that works best for you.
These were the steps that led me to Teach Away’s OISE TEFL certification program.
Everything starts from learning the fundamentals. Whether it’s to become an expert or to authentically teach students based on their needs, connect to your own why and it will serve you right on your journey in life.
Be sure to check out part two on Ken's teaching journey and experience teaching abroad with a family!