What You Won’t See In The EFL Classroom

chalkboard1.jpgIf you expect TEFL to go like your high school English class, you may be in for a surprise. Following the TEFL Logue is one way to get a sense of the differences…and here are a few things you WON’T see in the EFL classroom.

Chalk. Dryerase whiteboards and red, green, blue and black board pens are all the rage.

Essay or other in-depth writing. There are exceptions, but most contexts in which native speaker EFL teachers teach will emphasize speaking or working on skills which are harder to practice alone.

Computers – at least not as often as you would expect to. I’ve been teaching since 2002 and in Eastern Europe at least (and I’m talking about countries that have joined the EU) you can’t even count on CD players

Regular desks and chairs. Say hello to plastic chairs with minuscule tables that fold down.

Hardcover books. EFL books tend to be glossy and slim and they tend to have nice colors and pictures…well, nicer pictures than the ones in my high school language books.

A teacher’s desk. Teachers rarely have their own classrooms so you’ll get plenty of exercise moving from room to room.

Okay, there might be some, and maybe this is particular to me…but…not like your high school in this way.

The teacher lecturing from a podium. The U-shape configuration for students’ desks prevails in many classrooms, with the teacher at the “top” of the U. Trainees in my TEFL course were encouraged to sit, not stand, to be a member of the group, rather than a “teacher-centered leader”.

Disclaimer: this is based on my own experience of course! There will most certainly be exceptions…I may even be wrong from time to time. But in general, these are some of the ways the EFL classroom differs from your high school French classroom.