Online Courses for Mexican English Teachers
Dec 19, 2014 English Language Teaching (ELT) 1883 Views
I have taken several courses and workshops for teachers, but only few online. Four years ago I took my first one. I took it mainly to experiment and I paid for it. It was offered by TESOL. It was a course to learn how to teach young learners. Our online instructor was Annie Hughes a very experienced teacher and teacher trainer as well as book writer.
We learnt how young learners learn, how to implement activities for reading, writing, listening and speaking skills as well as techniques for using stories, songs and rhymes, games and role-play in the classroom. We also considered the role of assessment and evaluation in teaching English to young learners.
It was really good course I learnt that some of the activities for young learners can also be used for teenagers in high school and young adults at university level, we just need to adapt or adjust a bit.
Annie was an excellent facilitator. She always gave us great feedback and guided us through the topic in very friendly non-stressing way. The other participants in the course, who were from different countries, were also very supportive and helpful.
Then I took another one offered by the University of Oregon. The Office of English Language Program through the American Embassy granted scholarships for the Shaping the Way We Teach English online course. There were some requirements for candidates. Applicants had to be Mexican teachers, should be motivated and dedicated to their own professional development, and willing to share knowledge through workshops or professional presentations.
About the English language skills they required the following:
· Ability to do academic work at the level of a U.S. university (an advanced level of reading and writing, roughly equivalent to a minimum TOEFL score of 525);
· General understanding of technical terms in English relating to computers and the Internet;
· Good command of vocabulary related to English teaching methodology
Computer basic knowledge:
· Regular and dependable access to e-mail and the Internet;
· Ability to navigate in Windows and create a Word document;
· Basic familiarity with the Internet and web browsers;
· Ability to type in English well enough to perform on-line tasks in real-time and to submit written assignments in a timely manner.
The scholarship included tuition and materials that would be paid for by the Office of English Language Programs in Mexico City. To be granted the scholarship we had to complete a format with our personal and professional information and write and a statement of purpose explaining what impact our participation in this program would have in our institution or region, and how we expected to put into practice what the knowledge acquired in it.
I completed everything, and submitted my application. A few weeks later they send me an acceptance letter. I had got the scholarship. Throughout the course we watched videos, read EFL/ESL articles, (methodology and techniques) we wrote essays and, created a final action plan. There were teacher participants from different countries, backgrounds, contexts, and teaching different levels and ages. All of us sharing experiences, materials, and tips. It was sometimes tiring, but at the same time rewarding because of all the knowledge we got. Our online instructor is a teacher at the American Language Institute from University of Oregon. She was also very helpful and gave us excellent feedback and advice.
I have taken two more courses, these two were also scholarships granted by the U. S. Embassy in Mexico; Teaching English to Teenagers and Teaching English for Specific Purposes, great courses I really learnt a lot from them.
To me these courses have been great learning experiences and a fantastic option for teacher who cannot attend regular courses or cannot travel abroad, but are interested in learning more about teaching.