Comments from past attendees
Annabelle Newbury- TESOL Course IALF Bali, October-November 2012
The IALF TESOL course was an extremely valuable experience for me. The course was very rigorous, well taught and completely engaging and the support from the tutors and other IALF staff was nothing short of superb. My class (November 2012) was a wonderfully diverse group of 10 students, ranging in age from mid 20s to late 60s and the opportunities afforded from peer review in team teaching were very useful in developing skills and confidence. Feedback from tutors on our teaching practice was extremely thorough and effective in building skills over the four week period. It did seem much longer!
It was a baptism by fire and certainly not for the faint hearted, but a training experience that I would recommend to anyone wanting to complete a TESOL course that can only be characterised as excellent.
Ian Sherrey- TESOL Course IALF Bali, July-August 2011
I found the quality of the instruction both in the teaching practice lessons and their mentoring excellent. If ever there were a group of people who 'walk the talk' these people are it. From the very first session they modelled in our lessons what they expected of us in our approach, lesson structure, instruction, execution and support. Along the way we picked up innumerable tips, methods, ideas and yes, 'tricks of the trade' that will serve us all well in our future teaching. These were of course, reinforced by our TP lesson observations. Each teacher had their own style, which they adapted to the paradigm without compromising either the quality of their teaching or their own personalities. I found these observations extremely valuable, not only for exemplifying the learner centred technique but also in a less easily definable way. I would describe it as a type of osmotic process, where the pedagogy is absorbed at a deeper level than one could ever experience from reading a hundred textbooks on the subject.
I think the course was extremely worthwhile not only as a foundation for building my ESL skills on, but also because it has informed and will completely shake up my approach to teaching all subjects. Well done IALF Bali, and many thanks to our patient and long suffering tutors.
This is an amazing course that exceeded by far my high expectations. The quality of the IALF Bali facilities are 1st class and absolutely as good as you will find anywhere. The teaching staff are hugely experienced, incredibly helpful, and 'walk the talk' in everything they do. It's been a very intense four weeks but I now feel really well equipped to take on virtually any ESL job I apply for. Not only that, but I feel I will be a much better teacher in my native language when I return to Australia.
Sam Morgan - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November 2010
Looking back, my TESOL training was an insane period in my life. I left England and came to Bali alone, got off the plane and spent the first night thinking 'What am I doing here?'. Three days later I started the course and that question vanished (partly because all of a sudden I had literally 1 million other things to think about, such as how I would cope teaching for the first time the very next day). The next four weeks were an intense blur and I feel like I went from knowing nothing to knowing everything (though I know Josie and co would disagree with me on that last part). The teacher trainers were exceptionally helpful and the critique was only ever constructive. You are made to jump in at the deep end but they make sure you end up swimming. Everyone else on the course felt the same strains and I know everyone felt the course was well worth it (not to mention the friends that we made, now spanning all corners of the globe).
The course itself covered a wide range of teaching techniques, all designed to prepare you in the best possible way for the unique world of TEFL. After finishing I had the confidence to approach the English schools around Bali and before long I found myself a great job. I currently teach in Bali, and intend to do so for a while. I have a great life here and it's thanks to the TESOL course at I/A/L/F. Cheers guys!
Lynzy Moutter - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November 2009
Completing the Trinity Cert.TESOL course is by far my biggest personal achievement and I am very glad I decided to be a part of this course. The first thing I would like to mention is how inspiring and supportive the tutors are; for it being as intensive a course as it is there was not one moment where I felt stifled, stressed or lost because the tutors were always there, even for the smallest questions. You can feel how passionate they are about teaching in the input sessions they deliver and the feedback is so detailed that you are very quickly able to identify what you should and shouldn't be incorporating into each assessment in order to complete each stage well. The input sessions are incredibly helpful and designed in a very intelligent way that enables you to embody the persona of both a student and a teacher; you get to see the classroom from both angles and it is ultimately beneficial to your performance on the course. The course allows you to observe a number of different teachers and also your peers which I thought was a great part of this course.
The facilities at the school are incredible; a fully stocked Resource Centre, an area specifically for creating and compiling your classroom materials orders, a recording studio (in which I was able to create my own listening exercises), computer areas and decent sized classrooms with wonderfully large whiteboards! All of this made the whole teaching experience more exciting because all of it was ours to use for whatever purpose and whenever we needed it. The canteen obviously housed us for a substantial amount of time over the course of the four weeks; friendly staff sold excellent food which was welcome when we were needing some rest-bite from the workload.
I was part of an amazing group of students and we supported each other, no end, through the whole experience. I am happy to say that some lasting friendships have been formed and I am now very fortunate to have a brilliant English Teaching advice network between them and of course the excellent tutors at the school. I could go on and on as I have many positive things to say however I don't want to give away the story to those of you reading; this course is certainly full of great surprises!
Thank you IALF!
Hazel Taylor - TESOL Course IALF Bali, June – July 2009
The Cert TESOL course is the toughest, but most rewarding training I have ever done (and I have a brown belt in kickboxing so they don't come tougher than me!). I had no teaching experience and was terrified when on the first day they announced, 'tomorrow you'll be teaching'. Of course the tutors give you lots of support and advice, but nothing can quite prepare you for that first moment when you stand in front of a class of students and are expected to function intelligently. The great thing about the intensive course is that you really have no time to worry about how you are feeling as you are straight into planning the next lesson and after that first class you know nothing will ever be as bad as that. It was a steep learning curve, but the tutors are excellent, knowing when to help and when to back off and let you fend for yourself. The course involves lots of input sessions from experienced teachers and they are always modeling the techniques you need to survive and succeed as a teacher. The facilities at IALF Bali are also excellent and by the end of the month you feel that the resource centre staff are part of your family (you spend so much time there). The most important thing you take away from the course is how to reflect on your teaching and how to improve things next time. I am teaching in Indonesia now and really enjoy it, but sometimes find myself thinking if Josie or Joe were watching me what would they say to help me improve.
Jo Zopf - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November – December 2006
Doing the TESOL course changed my life around. It was an intensive 4 weeks, but well worth the journey. You get out of it what you put in. The course involved all aspects of teaching, including the experience of what it's like to be a non-speaker of a foreign language. This was an eye opener regarding how you might feel in the same situation. My background didn't include any teaching and I am by no means an academic. During the course we experienced 6 hours of teaching practice. I will never forget the sheer terror I had facing the students for the first time. What pulled me through in the end was, I know, more than these students. Having the support from the tutors and my peers gave me the encouragement I needed.
Having the certificate enables me to work worldwide. What a chance!
Go for it!
Christopher Stern - TESOL Course IALF Bali, May – June 2005
I would recommend this course to others without hesitation. This has been
the most rigorous and well supported academic experience I have had since I completed my bachelor’s degree. The tutors have obviously put in years of dedicated energy to become thoroughly professional language teachers and language teacher trainers. Not only have they done a superlative job at presenting a very complete curriculum, they also provide an inspiring model for those wishing to better develop themselves as teachers in every facet of the word. Overall, this is an excellent course.
Jen Langley - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November – December 2003
Well, where to start? AMAZING how much I have learnt and what a month it has been! I feel I have come a long way, still have a long way to go but am ready to face the challenge ahead of me.
The input sessions were extensive and varied and provided a solid framework for us to build on. The teaching practice component was intense and spread over the four weeks. It was a good idea to rotate us so we had an opportunity to teach with each other. The guided observations were a valuable insight into different teaching styles – I learned a lot from them.
I have absorbed a tremendous amount of knowledge during this month and have found it to be an inspiring though challenging process. Here I am one month later, armed with the necessary tools, skilled in time management, organization and planning required to fulfil my future role. I feel I have been given a wonderful opportunity and the rest is up to me to apply all that I have learnt in the last month.
Paul King - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November – December 2003
Although the course has not waved a magic wand over me to instantly make me a great EFL teacher, it has provided a strong foundation to build on. It has shown me the need for well-staged lesson plans, versatile materials and
clear and concise instructions.
The Cert TESOL course has also shown me the importance of considering lessons from a learner’s point of view. I now feel that I will be able to work, with more confidence, as an EFL teacher who provides a learning environment that achieves good learner outcomes.
Kayti Denham - TESOL Course IALF Bali, June 2001
I was a participant in the TESOL course of June 2001 conducted over four weeks at IALF Bali. I had long wanted to undertake a TESOL course but due to family and work commitments and the cost of the courses run in Sydney I had postponed and postponed my enrolment and this was also partly because past participants and others had told me how horrendously intense the course was and the likelihood of failure even for real academics was high let alone for a woman of forty-one with two school aged children.
I didn’t feel like an academic, most of my training in teaching was through experience, diving into the deep end, and I hadn’t enjoyed my school years overmuch. I was scared of being in a classroom surrounded by superbrainics but I went ahead anyway.
On the first day in Bali I met the other participants and found that....they were human just like me, none of them seemed to possess larger craniums, they wore normal clothes and talked of normal things!
The course itself was great, it was intense but a real sense of camaraderie developed amongst us. The classroom atmosphere lent itself to learning and I found myself working alongside some really interesting individuals who were friendly and funny. The course materials were comprehensive and I had to grapple with a barrage of new language and concepts almost daily. The tasks came upon us thick and fast and I think every one of us had a moment of tears and fears but the group supported itself and there was always someone who had the time and energy to give me a hand.
The teachers were really skilled at keeping up our interest and level of enthusiasm, they made us feel good when we did well and were really constructive in their criticism when we weren’t doing so well. I think they had a good routine worked out between them of good cop, bad cop so that after a particularly heavy session we would then have a fun class on songs or teaching kids.
Our students, the poor guinea pigs, were subjected to some hysterical teaching practices. After being taught about using drilling techniques I subjected all my students to about twenty minutes of drilling. They looked petrified; my enthusiasm for drilling way outweighed theirs.
The month didn’t go fast but it didn’t drag either, by the last
week we felt like friends and family and had the chance for a few celebrations, walks on the beach and nights out together.
I really enjoyed the course and the icing on the top came when I passed and was awarded a certificate to say so. I could hardly believe it and wanted to fax copies to all the teachers who had been so dour in their appreciation of my academic abilities. I didn’t need to though as the best revenge of a bad educational experience is to become a teacher yourself and try to give your students the help you didn’t get in feeling confident and able to learn. This above all was what I got from the TESOL course, a sense of being enabled to learn, and only good teachers can give you that.
With the certificate hoisted like a sail ahead of me I embarked on my career as a teacher of English as a Second Language. I headed to Dili, East Timor and taught students from Timor, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, Poland, Thailand, Panama, Cape Verde and Serbia for a whole challenging year and then accepted a job in Bali with IALF.
I have never looked back, on many levels taking the TESOL course in Bali at IALF was possibly the best thing I have ever done for myself and my only regret is that I have yet to meet an attractive Swedish man in order to ask him “Vad ar din telefon nummer?” and thereby utilise my four hours of unknown language.
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Diah Susanti- TESOL Course IALF Bali, June 2003
This training has improved my teaching skills a lot. It has also helped me to build my awareness in material selection, presentation and classroom management. Unfortunately we weren't provided with enough time because of the heavy workload. Therefore the results were often not maximum. I guess that's the only (and the biggest) drawback of this course.
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Dian Wijayanti - TESOL Course IALF Bali, November 2000
No pain , no gain! It's a lot of hard work. Feels like doing four years at university all over again - compacted into four weeks. Despite all the pressures of finishing the tasks on time, the input was very useful and the teaching practice was quite fun. Problems will always be there, naturally, but not to worry, the instructors are 110% ready to help. Don't expect to be able to have an 8-hour sleep at night, it's a rare luxury. But again, it's worth it!
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