Teaching the teacher to be.

I started an online tefl (teaching English as a foreign language) course a couple of months ago and I have to say it is much harder than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong the course I’m doing is great but it uses these words and I just want to scream “am I suppose to know what that means?!”. I feel like I’ve been speaking my own language for 21 years now and all this time I have been so completely oblivious to the complexity and beauty of it. 

I wonder if in a years time I will have a student as frustrated as I am now. Why is that classed as an adverb?  Why can I not use that word there? How am I meant to know the difference between a past participle and a future perfect continuous phrase? And more importantly how is this going to help anyone understand English when it is all so confusing?!

I guess that’s the beauty of it. The way that language is made up of its very strict rules with specific labels or “forms” and then every now and again you come across a cheeky word that just has to break its own rule. The rebel words that don’t quite fit the pattern, the rythmn or the feel of others of its kind. 

I guess language is a lot like life itself. You can learn the rules; what you’re suppose to do, how to be a “good” citizen, the right things to say, the wrong things to say. But even if you learn the rules there will always be occasions where you can’t, and honestly you shouldn’t try. Yes it’s good to have structure, routine and guidelines in life but you have to find ways to break out of those things too. That is where the real living happens. So yes I am frustrated and confused with all the new rules I have to learn but I also have hope that one day I might be a good teacher.

After all “good” is an irregular adjective anyway. 


One thought on “Teaching the teacher to be.

  1. I don’t envy anyone trying to learn English, let alone teach it; it’s hard enough to understand when it’s your first language!

    Great post 🙂 It’s an interesting comparisson between life and language. One helps us to understand the other, but which way round is it? Loved the ending too 🙂

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