by Heather Holding, Greenheart Travel Intern

Heather is taking our Professional 170 hour online TEFL course, and sharing her experiences through this blog series.

About a month before my TEFL course started I received an e-mail from the student affairs department with a 37 page grammar review guide as well as recommendations and book titles. Purchasing the class text-book is not required however they do recommend purchasing a grammar book and included various titles that they thought were best suited for the class.

I moved around a lot as a kid and I don’t think I ever received the proper amount of  grammar training that every other student my age has under their belt. I have been reviewing the grammar guide that the course sent me and it’s really great because it includes activities to complete with the answers at the back of the guide. I’m feeling much more confident going into week one!

The first day my class started, I was e-mailed around noon with my log-in information and directions. The course is really organized and has countless YouTube videos on how to access the course, how to  turn in assignments, how to access the course calendar, and so much more. I am more of the adventurous type who never reads the manual or instructions. Keeping with that same mentality I chose not to watch the YouTube videos or read instructions and accessed everything perfectly fine. The first assignment that was required for the class was a discussion board due that Friday with two simple questions. Everyone in my class had some great responses and answers and it was a nice way to get to know my classmates. This discussion made me begin to think about what would be the most difficult grammar lesson to teach your students. It was easy for me….TENSES! Ugh. Luckily I then thought of something that will come extremely useful to those of you planning to teach abroad: If I don’t know the answer then there is no way that my students are going to know the answer.

Believe it or not I have been so excited about taking this class that I never really had that thought. This week did hurt my brain a little bit, but otherwise I have no complaints.

Before completing the required tasks I read the required reading online and took notes. The tasks didn’t have much to do with the reading, but the reading includes some great teaching advice for those of you planning on teaching abroad. I found the reading really interesting and many of my classmates referred to the reading on the discussion board.

Each week there are a couple of things that are required to be completed:

1. The reading

2. The discussion board

3. The tasks (homework/quizzes)

This week I was required to complete 7 tasks. Task 1 was a quiz and task 2-7 was a worksheet. I decided to complete the worksheet first so that it would help me prepare for the 20 question online quiz. It was an EXCELLENT idea! The worksheet took me an hour or so and with the help of the grammar review guide and google. After completing the worksheet I feel much better and more confident about my grammar skills. This week I am on vacation on the island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. Needless to say working on a 9 page grammar worksheet did not seem too appealing. Once I sat down and started the worksheet I couldn’t stop. It was like a scavenger hunt of where and how fast I could locate the answer. My brain hurt a little bit afterwards, but it was fun.

The worksheet was easy peasy next to the quiz. Without enough packing space in my suitcase my grammar book was left at home…oops. I regretted that decision when taking the quiz. The quiz wasn’t hard but it was not easy and required some thought and effort. Having my grammar book on hand would have made my life much easier. At the end of the quiz the program shows you which answers you answered correctly and incorrectly. The incorrectly answered questions give an in-depth explanation, which was really handy.

A picture from the beach I’m blogging from:img_4742