Today`s interview is courtesy of an experienced teacher of English as a foreign language. TEFL has opened up the world to this interviewee, and herein she shares some experience and advice from those travels.
Where are you working and in what capacity?
I teach English and EAP Hotel Management part time at a university. In the afternoons, I teach private lessons to elementary students.
How long have you been working in TEFL?
Six years. I started in the Czech Republic by studying an intensive course, then I did an intership there. From there I went to China to work at a language school and later a kindergarten. After that I went to Peru, taught at a university for two years, then moved on to secondary school, elementary school and teaching part time at a university. I recently went to Korea for three months for a camp.
What got you into TEFL?
I had always wanted to teach English, but was looking at British Literature and teaching to secondary students. I later changed my major to Art and Business Management, but still liked teaching. While at university I got the chance to teach in Venezuela, China and Taiwan and decided to dedicate myself to TEFL right after graduation.
How did you get your first job?
The place where I got my TEFL diploma was opening a school in China. I had taught in China for one summer during uni, so I interviewed and got the job.
What are the highs and lows of teaching English abroad?
Lows, it’s a lot of work. You need to lesson plan, do research, attend classes. But for me, the most difficult is all the travel time due to private classes. Salary is another low, but you can make more with more experience and just being in the right place at the right time.
Highs, you can have a nice lifestyle abroad. Although you work a lot, there are vacations and you get the chance to visit wonderful places. Plus, the whole idea that you’re living in another country and culture are great as well.
I’d like to go back to Korea for a year or two. I miss Asia, there’s something about Asia that’s calling me back.