Saturday, September 19, 2009

Update for the past 2 1/2 months

Introductions Because post cards no longer suffice after two and a half months, and because they're expensive to send, I think my adventures here in Prague call for a blog. A way to communicate to the wonderful people I have left to come here to live and go on adventures for a while.... I have neglected every single person at home and abroad in part, because of the chaos of life here, the amount of people to write to is daunting, and the hardest part of traveling for me is being away from my loved ones; I therefore neglect them, which is terrible. This is my third attempt at a blog. My first was in London and the second was Vienna. This one however will be a success because I'm actually living here; I am a citizen of Prague, Czech Republic and not a student or a traveler. There is more routine to my life here and therefore more time to write and update. Also, in the future, this will be amazing to refer back to. Update
Synopsis of the TEFL Course For the past two and a half months, life has been nothing but chaotic. I haven't had time or energy to sort through the experiences, but here is a tiny and detail-less synopsis. When I arrived in Prague in July, I lived in Prague 9, a rather newish suburb of Prague. My neighborhood was called Vysocanska. It was far from the romanticized version of Prague that I had imagined.
Vysočanská metro stop

I lived in a hotel which was right next to my school, TEFL Worldwide. It was convenient, however I lived on the top floor which resulted in me only having sky lights for windows, and walking up 82 stairs multiple times a day. The four week course, to earn my TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) consisted of classes in the morning on methodology, meaning how one exactly goes about teaching English in a realistic and understandable way. The method that I learned is amazing, and I wish that in all my language classes that I've ever taken I had learned this way: very slowly, with a focus on not translating from the mother tongue, but simply using the language. We had Czech lessons every Monday, so that we would understand how tough it is to learn a language, and how the teacher can actually make it easy and fun.
We taught our second day of the course. It was intimidating and scary! We were observed by one of the two instructors and graded on our teaching and given feedback for improvement.

Teaching the 3rd Conditional

Each week we had to teach two, 45 minute lessons to learners of all levels and ranging in age from 14 to 82. My favorite was the 60+ crowd. We also had to meet with a student for one to one lessons, three times. At the end of the course we had to turn in a 10+ page paper about our one to one meetings, the students abilities in reading, writing, speaking, areas for improvement, and personal observations. Within this essay we had to liberally use the proper language to describe our student, including Lexis, Phonology, and parts of the mouth where words are said, such as: unvoiced dental fricative consonants. To say the least, it was the most arduous four weeks of my life, but incredibly satisfying in our progress of learning and teaching.
The July TEFL class

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