The English Teacher Training College’s TEFL program includes travel to a minimum of 24 different Austrian schools in 3 different regions, with experience teaching a variety of learners in 300 hours of practical teaching experience in real Austrian classrooms. In preparation for these school visits, participants will get extended support and training in communicative language teaching, student-centered project work, task-based learning, CLIL and total-physical response techniques including over 29 hours of observed and assessed feedback. Observations of experienced Senior Teachers, microteaching video feedback, and regular feedback on Student Teachers' own teaching from Course Tutors and informal coaching will accompany Student Teachers' development. The program is run in partnership with the Austrian Ministry of Education, the Austrian Red Cross, Trinity College London and Cambridge University English. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be awarded TEFL-YL, CertTESOL, CELT-P and TKT (M3, CLIL and YL) certificates in cooperation with those partner institutions.
This entry-level program is a vocational TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training program which aims to provide Student Teachers with a strong set of practical teaching skills to aid them in the sound application of contemporary language teaching methodologies. The approach to English language learning emphasized on the program draws on a range of approaches and methodologies broadly considered to constitute best practice in contemporary language learning and teaching, especially for primary and secondary learners. This includes Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Task-based Learning (TBL) and Total Physical Response (TPR) within a communicative language teaching (CLT) framework. Since the 1990s, a number of authorities in language teaching (e.g. Widdowson 1990, Kumaravadivelu 1994, Ur 2011) have argued for what Widdowson has called ‘principled eclecticism’ (p.50) and Kumaravadivelu a ‘postmethod condition’ that ‘enables practitioners to generate location-specific, classroom-oriented innovative practices’ (1994: 29), primarily in an attempt to avoid the methodological vicissitudes of prior decades.
The vocational nature of the program means that there is a strong focus on practical classroom experience. The College’s partnership with the Austrian Ministry of Education allows Student Teachers to put theory into practice during their teaching practice sessions at Austrian state schools and develop their theoretical knowledge of language teaching and learning from teacher training sessions at one of our three campus locations. By combining aspects of several established and respected approaches, the program aims to train new teachers within this broader notion of principled eclecticism, adaptive to the contextual needs of the learners, the schools, the Austrian national curriculum and the practices of learners’ main class teachers who typically use coursebooks based on a communicative approach (e.g. Puchta and Stranks, 2010), thereby complementing the learning they have already experienced.
This experience will not only equip program graduates with the skills and certification to work in the ESL world, but it will also instill in them the confidence and authority to be successful ESL practitioners across a variety of fields. These certifications, along with the program’s extensive practical experience and job placement program, will allow graduates to choose and follow their own path and give program participants a head start over thousands of other job applicants. Historically, 95% of graduates are working at the job of their choice or in further study within 3 months of completing the program. Student Teachers will be trained to access sources of Continued Professional Development (CPD) and encouraged to continue developing as teachers long after they leave the program.