TEFL Practicum Student Reflection

By guest author Mia Madrid

TEFL Certification is for fluent English speakers looking to not only earn a certification but also learn how to be a successful English Language Acquisition teacher. A practicum is required for the certification.

After finishing a 10-week TEFL certification course it was time to complete my practicum. The practicum consists of 20 hours of volunteer teaching, tutoring and observation. After a frustrating string of rejections from schools and organizations requiring longer time commitments than I was able to give, I found New America College.

The administrator at NAC’s enthusiastic response to my inquiry immediately encouraged me. We quickly set up a meeting and talked through my work flexibility. All of my required practicum hours were scheduled right away. I sat in on morning class sessions for two different language levels. Eventually I assisted the instructors and led a couple lessons. The opportunity to stand up in front of a class of students and practice teaching is invaluable. However, what stood out to me most about my experience at New America College was the warmth and kindness of the staff.

All of the teachers and administrators with whom I interacted were excited for me to do my TEFL practicum there. They were excited for my future! Many had also completed TEFL courses. Our conversations included stories of their travels abroad and their love of teaching. They were quick to help me with simple things like printing, and to pass along wisdom and even classroom materials and textbooks.

It is also clear the students at New America College really want to be there. NAC students recognize the value of the classroom experience and take full advantage of the opportunity offered to them.

I learned so much from my TEFL practicum at NAC! I encourage anyone to reach out and spend time there. If I could go back and do it again I would ask for more hours!