So, you’ve just made a $1000+ investment on your future. You signed up for a top-tier TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program. This is the first step on what will be an incredible adventure. Well done!
Now it’s time to pack your bags, set off for Barcelona or Thailand or Prague to learn everything there is to know about teaching English to speakers of other languages. In a one-month course.
Hmmmm…one month did you say?
But you’re not stressed! Anyone can teach English as a Foreign Language, right? You’ve been speaking English your whole life.
You never say “ain’t”.
You know exactly when to say whom vs. who.
You could list the irregular past participles in your sleep. (Irregular past participles, you say? Lemme just google that real quick....)
But you just deposited a serious chunk of change on a 4-week TEFL program—surely they’ll teach you everything you need to know about English grammar!
The truth about TEFL programs
You need to understand what a TEFL program actually teaches before you throw money at the wind and hope for the best.
Most TEFL schools don’t have time to teach you grammar. There are simply too many other things they need to teach their trainees in a 4-week program—and I’m talking about the best schools out there.
Okay, some schools claim to give “grammar instruction” which consists of an hour or two a week of review. It can be intense, crammed with information, and not fun for anyone. And if you’re just getting reacquainted with perfect-continuous tenses, state verbs, conditionals, etc., it can be downright demotivating.
They might give you a list of grammar points you’ll have to know to graduate, but you’ll be expected to research and learn the grammar on your own.
TEFL programs are not for the faint of heart. Nor the unprepared.
A TEFL program will teach you theory and methodology and tactics for controlling a classroom. You’ll learn when to error correct your students’ mistakes, and when to let them keep talking. You’ll learn how to motivate them and how not to crush their spirits.
These are all essential skills you’ll need to teach English as a Foreign Language. But THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is that you know the substance of what you are teaching like the back of your hand.
Here are some of the questions you might field in your first week of student teaching (from real students):
What do we use to express something that’s less likely to happen? 1st Conditional or 2nd Conditional?
Why do we use present simple to speak about the future, but present continuous to speak about now?
Why can’t I say “I like to spend time in the nature?”
Intermediate and advanced students might even know more grammar than you, because they’ve been studying it for years, and you’re only just reacquainting yourself. I was—ahem—schooled by an intermediate student on my first day of teaching, and the memory still embarrasses me.
You’ll also hear your students say things that sound awkward to your natively-trained ears, but when your student asks you why the sentence is wrong, you can’t just say “because it is.” You, as a professional, must know the reason and be able to explain it.
For example, can you explain WHY these sentences are wrong? (and not just because “that’s now how we say it!”)
That rose is smelling good.
(“smell” like taste, is a state verb, and state verbs are never used in the present continuous.) Correct: The rose smells good.
She hasn’t came home yet.
(Present perfect uses have/has + past participle. The past participle of come is “come” not “came”.) Correct: She hasn’t come home yet.
I have many new informations for you.
(Information is an uncountable noun, so it is never plural—no “s”. Also, uncountable nouns use “a lot of” not “many”.) Correct: I have a lot of new information for you.
Test your knowledge
Here’s a sample of the kind of test you’ll be required to take to pass your TEFL course. This test is part of the VULINGO English Grammar for TEFL online, self-study course that gives teacher trainees the foundation of all the grammar they need to know on day one of any TEFL or TESOL program.
Will you arrive on day one prepared and confident in your grammar skills? Or will you let grammar plague you throughout the program as you struggle to learn everything else you need to pass? Take this quick test and find out: (and pssst, test-takers get a 50% discount off the grammar course!)
How to get the most out of Your $1000+ TEFL program (and especially the bargain, online TEFL programs)
Would you go to marathon training camp without testing out your running gear (and taking a few laps around the block)?
Would you go to medical school without taking a few o-chem classes?
Would you spend your hard-earned vacation in Paris without bothering to buy a guidebook or watch a few travel vlogs?
Only if you were keen on wasting time and money.
Don’t start your TEFL / TESOL program unprepared.
Check out the self-study, online course that has helped hundreds of teachers-to-be prepare for their TEFL / TESOL programs, and create the solid foundation in English grammar that every English teacher needs.
By investing 15 minutes a day, the month before your TEFL program starts, you can arrive on day one confident in your grammar skills and ready to learn all the other essential skills of teaching English as a foreign language.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some of our Grammar Course grads have to say:
"Our trainees are much better prepared to approach the grammar sessions on our TEFL course, than our past trainees who did not take the online course. These video help a great deal to deconstruct it into bite-size chunks."
- Nicole Piccinino TEFL Trainer, The Language House Prague
"The online video course is a wonderful grammar resource! The length of each videos is great with the main points being presented. The visuals and stories add a nice personal touch to the videos and keep viewers interested. Also, the various options for testing your knowledge with the flashcards are very helpful."
- Anna Hui
“This program changed everything for me, with its easy to use structure and super helpful, down-to-the-point video explanations. I won't be using any other grammar platform!"
- Alexandr Lyutenskov
"If you are heading to any Teaching English as a Second Language course then you need to prepare! Just because you are a native speaker doesn't mean you remember all those little rules we were taught when we were in 4th grade. This course is a great way to dust the cobwebs off the brain so we can realize WHY we speak the way we speak. It's worth it to take the time before your course to review all of this!"
- Sara Seymour
"[Vulingo's English Grammar for TEFL] is succinct and a great way to brush up on your grammar. It's very useful and saves time for the teacher on the go, especially since key ESL grammar points are all located in one area and each topic is covered in less than 10 minutes. (No more scouring the internet for hours!)"
- Jessie Perdomo
Want to dip your toes in before you commit to the online course?
Get the 55-page Illustrated eBook:
You’re headed on an incredible journey. Don’t forget to pack your passport, your sense of adventure, your sunglasses, your appetite, your comfortable walking shoes and your open mind. And—trust us on this: don’t forget to pack your grammar.