A lot has happened in the past two weeks. To sum it up, I finished out my job as a nanny and flew to Chicago. I've spent the past week at Wheaton College taking a course called "Reaching Out with English" from the Institute for Cross Cultural Training. It's been a wonderful week! I've learned so much and I already feel better prepared to teach overseas. I've learned so much new information that it's been just the right amount of challenging and thought-provoking. There are so many factors to teaching EFL that I've never even considered before. After this week, I now know things like the difference between ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language). I've also learned so much about lesson planning, language functions, learning styles, etc.
One of my favorite things about the course is the other people taking it. There are about twenty of us, each taking the course for a different purpose. Several people are taking it so they are better prepared to teach ESL in America. There's a group taking the class together and then leaving for Asia on Monday to spend two months teaching children English. One guy is planning to work with refugees in Europe to help them learn English. There's even a lady from Central America that came to take the class so that she can learn strategies for teaching in her home country. There's such an amazing mix of individuals and it's been so fun hearing the plans they all have.
The highlight of the class is most definitely the instructors, though. I've been really impressed by the ICCT department at Wheaton. The professors are absolutely incredible. They work so hard to put together a well-organized, thorough course. I couldn't imagine enjoying the training so much if it were taught by anyone else. I'm going to be taking a second course with the same instructor next week. Then I'll have a week long orientation with my organization, and the last week in June I have one last week of training. This month of classes will bringing me one step closer to teaching in Budapest!