TEFL for Dummies is a comprehensive, well written book. If you are familiar with other books in the “for Dummies” series, you know that they are not really dumbed down books. I consider them typically well written and organized with useful information on the book’s subject. TEFL for Dummies is mainly written for people who are starting out.
Part 1 is an introduction to the wonderful world of TEFL. It starts with a description of what TEFL teachers actually do. It also examines courses, qualifications, and jobs.
Part 2 is about how to put your lesson together. It includes tips for proper lesson planning and delivery, how to let students practice, how to correct and give feedback, how to best use course books, and general classroom management advice.
Part 3 of TEFL for Dummies covers how to teach all four skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each skill is covered in its own chapter, giving the reader many ideas how to structure their lessons in an interesting and engaging way.
Part 4 is a refresher on grammar and how to teach it in a way that won’t put your students to sleep. I particularly liked the in-depth section on verb tenses and verb structures, something that can be difficult to teach when not done in an engaging fashion.
Part 5 is discusses the different classes you can expect to teach. It deals with the difference between teaching a group vs. one-on-one. You also learn how to cope with young learners, and how to handle exam classes.
Part 6 describes ten ways to liven up your classroom. The author makes recommendations from bringing real world objects to the classroom, to how to best do project work and how to play interactive games. This section of TEFL for Dummies also points to further resources that will be useful in your life as a TEFL teacher.
The author has almost 20 years practical experience as a TEFL teacher. She has the Trinity Certificate and Licentiate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Previously she was Director of Studies at Avalon School of English. She now trains TEFL teachers and also one-to-one English courses.
Why I recommend TEFL for Dummies?
Although Teaching English as a Foreign Language For Dummies is written for beginning TEFL teachers, I consider it also a good refresher for more experienced professionals as well. It is comprehensive and well organized with a logical flow of subjects.