Posted by: Andy | May 26, 2009

TEFL Lessons

I recently passed the online Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) class I was taking, so yay! It is another much needed step in the direction of getting to Turkey. It seems like with every completed step, I’m able to look back on things and realize what I’ve learned in the most recent step. With TEFL, it is no different, so here’s a list of things I learned from the course.

1. The plural of index is indices.
Though WordPress doesn’t accept indices as a word, and does accept indexes (Microsoft Word accepts both) according to my TEFL course, the plural of index is most certainly indices. I guess that makes sense since the plural of appendix is appendices (something any good Lord of the Rings nerd knows). The course was through an organization in the UK (or should that be organisation), so it could be simply a British vs. American English argument.

2. Catch Phrase is going to be a great game to use as a learning tool.
One of the last modules asked me to list all of the games that would be good for language learning and Catch Phrase was the first that came to my mind. Granted I may need to use a junior version since I don’t know what half of the phrases or people are in the adult version of the game. But it will be a true joy to introduce the game to students. I hope they find it as entertaining as I do.

3. Apples to Apples may be an even greater game to use as a learning tool.
Granted it may be difficult for students to learn the complete subjectiveness of the game and for their own sake of learning English, I’ll probably have to play cards that actually match and aren’t that funny, but it will still be quite fun to play.

4. Taking Greek, Hebrew and Spanish were actually quite helpful in keeping my grammar fairly sharp.
It is not a common occurrence for people to think about their grammatical structures as they write, probably even less common for when they speak, but as I answered questions on verb forms, noun pluralizations, and a host of other things. I realized that much of what I’d retained of grammar was due to the foreign languages I’d already taken. Granted the rules for each are much different, but thinking about the rules in Spanish for instance makes me realize just how complicated the rules of the English language are in comparison. I’m not sure how complicated Turkish is to learn as a foreign language, but I’m sure I’ll soon find out.

5. I maybe should pay better attention to grammar if I want to become a successful novelist.
It sounds rather obvious, but I think these next two years of teaching English (and who knows maybe more beyond that) will be incredibly valuable to me as I continue my writing endeavors. I look forward to this adventure shaping my writing both from a grammar standpoint and a culture standpoint in the future. Hmm, that might make its own decent blog post.


  1. A couple of other games for your consideration. We will be bringing In a Pickle and Bananagrams.
    More on – In A Pickle –

  2. I think it would make sense to pool resources when we’re there. I can’t imagine we’ll all be using CatchPhrase the same day in the classrooms.

  3. I think I’m going to try to create my own cards for catch phrase at some point (yes we have the much better, non-electronic version of Catch Phrase). I think that would be a neat resource to have.

    • We also have the non-electronic version. I was telling Andrea we might as well just sell it at our garage sale, but maybe we’ll bring it (or at least the cards) along. Having some extra cards that we could paste our own words on, or to replace ruined cards might not be a bad idea.

  4. I have made my own version of Catch Phrase according to the lesson I was teaching. So if we were talking about jobs, i would make job flashcards (using: and we play with those, but with the same rules as Catch Phrase.
    I’ve also had the students make their own cards, which ends up being very random, but quite fun.

  5. Another good board game to bring is: Guess Who? It is great at helping your students describe people and practice question words.

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