“I would say that the overall course was ok. It is very direct, easy to understand. Before starting a lesson I always watched the video first, that helped me a lot. On the other hand I found the videos very dry and time to time boring.
I say that it is ok, because I think each lesson can be a little more deeper. Almost all the information given in this course is something anybody who is interested in this field can think of.
After having submitted my lesson plan, Jon's reviews were helpful. So I believe that he took the needed time to evaluate my lesson plan. Overall it was not bad.”
“I thought the way the course was structure was okay. I had a friend previously do the course and said she had to write and submit weekly assignments after each unit. The way it is formatted now with multi choice tests is a lot easier than it had previously been. While, it maybe faster, require less admin, easier to know the results after each test, this in no way benefits the learner. This method (and often used in many educational systems throughout Asian countries) means theres less political bias and favors the markers not the students learning the content. While, it may have increased the workload I think the older method would benefit student learners a lot more compared to the way the it is done now.
I wanted to mention that I had a tutor by the name Jon. I did not appreciate many things he did. Firstly, in every email addressed to me about feedback on my final lesson plan, my name was constantly spelt wrong. Now, usually that wouldn't be an issue in most courses, but I felt with this course being a TESOL or TEFL course there would be more effort in making sure someone's name is spelt correctly. It shows to me the lack of interest from the tutor to get it right. I can understand that it is a foreign name but to continually get it wrong everytime makes it very unprofessional. It's not a big ask but it's an important one.”
“I thought the readings were informative and the tests were reasonable, but I have several problems with the lesson plan portion of the course. First of all, we were requested to create a single one-hour intermediate lesson plan for two very different grammar points, the second and third conditionals, which my reviewer, Jon, even described as "one of the more difficult grammatical areas of English". I have taught intermediate English for two years and, first of all, my students were rarely up to the level of these conditionals. I usually taught conditionals in High Intermediate 2, which is closer to advanced. Second of all, two relatively unrelated grammar points is a bit much for a one-hour lesson. In an actual classroom, this would have a very high risk of overwhelming and confusing the students. The lesson plan reviewer also pedantically insisted that we create a single ESA lesson plan comprising both different grammar points, instead of teaching one first and the other second, which meant we had to repeatedly switch back and forth between tenses during the lesson. This was especially confusing since the second conditional takes place in a hypothetical present and future and the third conditional takes place in a hypothetical past. I can't believe that teaching both simultaneously is the most effective way to enable student understanding. I was asked to resubmit my lesson plan for violating this arbitrary rule, and because I hadn't included enough explanation of the tenses. My experience in the classroom has convinced me that the level of explanation the reviewer was requesting would not be easily comprehended in an intermediate lesson, especially in a single hour. I ended up having to include about 600 words of explanation in five minutes, which is frankly absurd. This was all moderately frustrating, but after resubmitting my lesson plan once I was asked to resubmit again because my new plan included a review of the zero and first conditionals. THIS, apparently, was considered too confusing. In fact my reviewer actually had the audacity to tell me that "it’s important not to overload students with too much information in a single lesson." I honestly did not get the impression that he was a real teacher. There were a few aspects of my lesson that I might have picked on if I were him, but including a review of the previous lesson was not one of those things. He went on to say, "Covering additional conditionals in the same intermediate level lesson could be counter-productive, and should therefore be avoided." Yes, Jon, I agree, but if this is the case then why did you ask me to create a lesson plan about two different conditionals in the first place? In conclusion, I had a fairly good opinion of this course until I reached the lesson plan stage. I would have understood if my lesson plan had been rejected for meaningful reasons, but the reasons my reviewer gave me seemed rather hypocritical and arbitrary. It made me lose faith in this course and the competence of the reviewers.”