PUFS TESOL Program 2004

General Course Information
(for courses taught by Thor May)



Welcome to the TESOL Program. I hope you enjoy the courses I teach (Grammar and Second Language Acquisition). Please tell me often what you are thinking. Your ideas and opinions will be important for others who come in later years. The lecturers may make some adjustments as we progress.

Assessment: a) Weekly quizzes 25%; b) Assignment 25%; c) Exam 50%. There will be one exam for each unit of the course.

Weekly Quizzes : Many students find weekly quizzes difficult in the beginning. However, the same students have often told me at the end of a course that the quizzes were the best thing that happened because they were motivated to learn constantly. By the end they had a real sense of achievement.

Attendance : You should attend all classes. The courses are based on a) new information and b) developing new thinking skills about how to understand the inner working of language. If you do not attend classes, you will not obtain the necessary information, and you will not learn the new skills needed to pass. Text books alone will not give you the necessary skills and information. The PowerPoint slides on this site only offer an outline, which will be expanded by extra discussion in class.

Resources : The lecturer will give you some references to follow up during the course. However, this unit is partly skills-based, so a lot of the extra work will be about solving grammar problems and teaching problems rather than reading. You will get some problems to solve for homework. This is important.

Standards : The PUFS TESOL Program is cross-credited to Masters courses in America and elsewhere. This means that international best practice must apply to course standards. American and British type universities are often quite easy to enter, but difficult to remain in. That is, American students must work very hard and many fail. We do not expect you to fail, but you will find that you do have to work hard. Note : cheating or copying will be penalized. The lecturer has a special computer program which detects material copied from the Internet.

Teaching skills : The PUFS TESOL program is designed to train teachers. The course material is selected especially for teachers. The lecturer will often ask you, the "student", to explain ideas and problems. A teacher must explain things, so you will get a lot of practice in explaining what you understand. Here is the teacher's golden rule : when you don't understand something, be honest about your ignorance. No teacher and no student knows everything. Don't worry about looking silly. "Chemyeon" (fear of losing 'face') is the enemy of good teaching and good language learning.

The important thing is to be skillful in solving problems : a) try to think about problems creatively; b) ask others what they think, but don't just accept their answers blindly; and c) practice explaining things in English whenever you can; (that is, practice explaining anything, even how to tie a shoelace!).