I recently finished the on-line Connectefl course and honestly can say that I miss the stimulating lessons/videos/observations. I taught high school and elementary school for years and when I moved, I wondered how I could find a new career or vibrant volunteer work combining my love of teaching and my enjoyment in meeting internationals. I've found it! This program was better developed and more substantial than others I investigated. I feel the cost is very reasonable for the quality of instruction, feedback, and availability for extra help. Designed around common "myths" about TEFL, every week's lessons showed me that I certainly did make some of the erroneous assumptions. However, the encouraging thing was that we had great examples and suggestions for applying better strategies. The only reason I did not rate the overall program a '10" is that I am a technological dinosaur and my only difficulties were with organizing and processing my assignments. Whenever I faced a roadblock, Richard Dalton patiently walked me through the process. Thus, an added benefit for me was that I am much more familiar and confident in computer usage. My only regret about the course is that I didn't start my observations earlier. They were informative and encouraging. and well---lots of fun. I visited ESL classes at the college level, elementary school ages, church sponsored international support groups and other community classes. I've been volunteering at a local ESL course and I am feel that I have improved in my teaching technique, use of time, and understanding of different cultures. I've already learned of a wonderful opportunity to teach English in Asia. Connectefl prepared me for it and now I'm eager to see if I can make it happen.
What would you improve about this program?
I couldn't have participated without the on-line course and the freedom in scheduling of when I studied and submitted my lessons, so I am very thankful for this long-distance learning. However, I think it would have been good to have 3 sessions when students and teachers communicated live. . . At first, we could have "met" the fellow students with whom we discussed concepts, later we could have enjoyed hearing about everyone's progress in the middle of the course, and then learned each other's plans when we said "goodbye!" at the wrap up. Another possible improvement would be to encourage students to start pursuing observation appointments early on. Initially, I thought I would go to Memphis (where I used to live) and observe where the on-campus Connectefl students went. Then, I realized it would be easier and more helpful to observe locally since that would introduce me to possible jobs. I waited until the suggested time and for a little while was worried that I wouldn't be able to meet the requirement because I got answering machines and no instructors. Once I made connections though, I had tremendous, generous help and advice.