Sunday, September 26, 2010

TESOL course

I just returned to La Fortuna from a week spent at the beach on the Pacific Coast, more specifically Quepos/ Manuel Antonio.  I was there to take the first half of a two week course in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  As a WorldTeach volunteer, I'm doing the course in two weeks, rather than the normal month.  Second week is the last week in October, so in a month I get to go back.

While, the week was very busy and tiring, being a student was nice for a change.  I also learned a lot of different teaching ideas to incorporate into my lessons.  While the focus was not on teaching English content lessons (such as science), the instructor did have experience teaching ESL students in the US, so we brainstormed some ideas to help me teach better.

Rather than go on about everything I did during the week (eg. I really like grammar now and surfing is just as hard as I always thought it would be) I'll just talk about why yesterday was such a good day.  One thing that has thrown me this year is the amount of time I spend with people who speak English and its one thing I miss most about the US.

Either, like in January during orientation, or Monday- Friday this past week, I'm with people who speak English all the time all day and it can be overwhelming.  Even this past week when it was some of my closest friends in the WorldTeach group, it was still a bit much by the end of the day, from 6 in the morning till 9 or 10 at night with them.

The other extreme is here in Fortuna, where I speak English with one of the other English teachers, but other than that I speak in Spanish to everyone I know around here and will go weeks without speaking in English to anyone except for friends and family on Skype.  I've gotten much more used to that as this year has gone on, which has been a relief and one of the main reasons I am much more comfortable here now than I was 6 months ago.

Back to yesterday. I spent the morning and afternoon happily reading. napping, and drinking way too much delicious coffee by myself (for the most part).  Then, 4 friends and I went out to the all you can eat sushi place in Quepos and spent 3 hours having great food and fun.  The right amount of alone time and time with friends to make a relaxing Saturday. Now I feel recharged to return to teaching tomorrow and improving my Spanish.

Also, my WT friend's post about anonymity and autonomy is really good.  I have similar feelings and she's a better writer than me.  Win win!

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