TEFL Training Videos: What’s It All About?

Check out Guy Courchesne’s own YouTube videos of a TEFL Trainee to get a better feel for what your TEFL course teaching practice will be like. Generally this portion of the training will last no more than an hour a day, sometimes less…but it’s a highly prepped-for, much-analyzed hour.

I’ll include a few thoughts that struck me as I was watching these videos, but first want to put a “thank you” out there – not only to Guy for filming and making these videos available online, but also to the trainee himself. TEFL training courses tend to be pretty intense experiences and certainly not every trainee would be relaxed enough and willing to have their performance videotaped and posted online. Clearly this guy has got a good head on his shoulders and knows what’s what – I think he’ll do well in TEFL.

Some random thoughts on these videos:

  • In the first video, notice how long it takes the male student to answer – and compare it to the female student’s reply. This apparent difference in English language fluency/ability/however you want to phrase it is not at all uncommon in EFL classes, and remains a challenge to deal with. As the teacher, I’m pretty cool with waiting around for a student to answer, but sometimes the stronger students in a group lose patience with the slower ones.
  • I personally also find smaller groups (this one appears to have only a handful of students) more challenging than medium-sized ones.
  • One of my all time favorite moments in these clips is when the trainee asks “What animals do you have in Mexico?” and the reply is “Oh, cats and dogs.” It’s funny to me as a symbol of what a more experienced teacher once told me: don’t overestimate students’ creativity. Sometimes you do have to move people along, even when it seems fairly obvious what you’re asking for – and just to be clear my amusement is more at students universally than at this situation in particular.
  • It is also striking to note how the trainer (who we hear occasionally but never see and who I imagine is Guy) helps elicit what the trainee is going for when “What different cultures do you have in Mexico?” is met with “Mexican…English and Japanese.” He asks “What about in Oaxaca?” which seems to prompt the kind of reply needed here. These are the kind of tips you can learn in a course and with experience.
  • Finally, I think it’s interesting for experienced teachers just as well as pre-course teachers to watch these clips and step back into the trainee’s shoes. It wasn’t that long ago!