Thomas

Teaching for 32 years
Qualifications: CELTA, Trinity Diploma, Advanced Dip in Applied Linguistics, MA in Education, Leadership & Management

What countries have you taught in?
Spain France & Portugal.
What languages do you speak?
English and Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
I was in Madrid, Spain and decided to stay. As I couldn't speak Spanish, I couldn't find work, and so a friend told me about teaching English.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Helping people to change their lives, and giving them opportunities to learn and teach others.
And what is the most challenging part?
I'd say teaching groups of teenagers! They can be a little wild at times, but it's also fun to work with and channel all that energy!
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
I had one of those wild teenagers! He just couldn't focus and was disturbing all the other students in the class. After a few classes, I realised he felt under-challenged, and so I made a deal with him; if he focused more on the classwork, I'd add more challenging activities. For example, they made a class magazine together. I mean, they were in charge of everything, who did what, and what types of articles they would have. I was there when they had questions, and I promised to print out the magazines for than then they finished. It was a massive success, and the student who felt under-challenged was happy. In fact, he invited the other students to his house for out-of-class work on the magazine!
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Over the years, I have done the lot! Teaching children, adults, business English, English of academics etc. I have taught in classrooms, on the phone and online too.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
I would say, make sure you plan your classes well, and always have extra material, just in case. Students know when you haven't planned a class well, and they may lose respect for you if you try to wing it through a class. Don't be caught out when a student goes through the plan materials quickly and you haven't got extra materials. The students know when you don't have enough materials and drag activities out.


Alex

Teaching for 21 years
Qualifications: CELTA, BA honours in Business & Law. MA in Applied Linguistics

What countries have you taught in?
England, Spain and Italy.
What languages do you speak?
English and Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
To travel after university - so I went to Spain!
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
It's a very rewarding career as you're not making money for a faceless corporation but helping people progress in their individual lives and reach their goals. Fantastic for meeting and understanding different people and cultures and helping people communicate with each other.
And what is the most challenging part?
Probably at first adapting to new cultures and managing different personalities and goals in the classroom.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Living and working in Barcelona.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Over the years every type - exams, young learners, Business English, online teaching, general English, classroom-based teaching, one-to-one teaching, all ages and levels.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Dive straight in! And also remember your lessons are about the student more than about you - they can't learn the language by listening to you use it, it's about getting them using it as much as possible themselves.


Jo

Teaching for 20 years
Qualifications: CELTA, DELTA, MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, BA Literature

What countries have you taught in?
USA, Poland, France and UK.
What languages do you speak?
English, French, Polish and Russian.
Why did you start teaching English?
It's a family tradition 😉
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Meeting interesting people and having a positive impact on their lives.
And what is the most challenging part?
Paperwork!
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Working at a university.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
EFL, ESOL, face to face, online, military, exam prep.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Do a lot of shadowing of experienced teachers


Michelle

Teaching for 23 years
Qualifications: Trinity DipTESOL, MA Education (Applied Linguistics), Postgraduate Certificate in TESOL, Postgraduate Certificate in Teacher Training (ESOL)<br />

What countries have you taught
in?

I've taught in the UK, Greece and Italy and taught students and teachers from all around the world, including from countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Somalia, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, India, and China. I've also spent time/travelled in a number of countries including in Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Morocco, UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Cuba and the USA.
What languages do you speak?
I can't claim to really speak these languages but I know a bit of Greek, Spanish and French.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
The most rewarding part is seeing people progress and achieve their goals and being able to play some part in that. The most enjoyable part is meeting and working with people from all around the world.
And what is the most challenging part?
Probably trying to ensure that you can meet all the individual needs of your learners.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Too many to pick one! Seeing learners progress and achieve their goals such as passing an exam or being able to do something they couldn't do before always puts a smile on my face!
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
I've taught general English, business English, exams prep for various exams, ESOL, EAP, YLs and adults, football English, online, English literature, English for IT, and probably a few other things I've forgotten!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Do an accredited course and learn as much as you can. It will give you a great foundation upon which to develop your teaching skills and knowledge, give you confidence and give you the opportunity to check it's really something you can see yourself doing.


Kirsty

Teaching for 13 years
Qualifications: DELTA and CELTA

What countries have you taught in?
Peru, Scotland, Ecuador, Bolivia
What languages do you speak?
English and Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
To travel and volunteer.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Giving people real skills to communicate and interact in daily life.
And what is the most challenging part?
Working with students who aren't motivated.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Teaching a women's English and cooking group with refugees
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
ESOL, online, business, one to one, young learners, exams.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Get as much practical experience as possible


Carl

Teaching for 15 years
Qualifications: Ba (hons) in Language Studies and TEFL, CELTA, DELTA, Certificate in ELT Management, Diploma in English Language Teaching.

What countries have you taught in?
South Africa, China, Vietnam, Japan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Republic of Ireland.
What languages do you speak?
English.
Why did you start teaching English?
To travel the world and meet interesting people.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
When I started it was seeing new places, now it is helping people to fulfil their dreams such as emigrating to a new country.
And what is the most challenging part?
I can't really think of anything, maybe saying goodbye to people when you move countries.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
It was helping some people to move them and their family from a dangerous part of Iraq to a safer country. Very fulfilling.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
General English, Business English, IELTS , Legal, Kids from 4-17, Online, Academic pre- and in-sessional, Conversation.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Don't be afraid of teaching grammar, you will get to understand it. Also don't be afraid to go to a city you've not heard of before, sometimes they are more fun and you can have a more rewarding experience.


Arthur

Teaching for 10 years
Qualifications: BA in History in Philosophy and Religious Studies. TEFL Cert. MA in TESOL

What countries have you taught in?
USA, China (PRC), S. Korea.
What languages do you speak?
English.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Getting to know people from different cultures.
And what is the most challenging part?
The tediousness of the work.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
S. Korea, a very vibrant society.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Online, Business, EFL, short-term.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Get some experience by going abroad, especially to countries with a reputation for having well managed schools.





Rachel

Teaching for 20 years

What countries have you taught in?
Poland, China, The USA, The UK
What languages do you speak?
English, French, Polish, Chinese
Why did you start teaching English?
I wanted to travel, use my English Language degree and find out if I enjoyed teaching.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Meeting new people from different cultures.
And what is the most challenging part?
Answering grammar questions.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Working in Urumqi in the north west of China - it's the most unusual place I've ever been.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Business, Young Learners, Exam courses (IELTS, FCE, CAE, Proficiency), Online, Academic and General English.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Do a short certificate, get your first job and give it a go. It might be the best decision you ever make (and if not, you'll have a great experience to look back on in the future.)


David

Teaching for 15 years

What countries have you taught in?
UK, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Argentina.
What languages do you speak?
English and German
Why did you start teaching English?
I had absolutely no idea what to do after University and luckily got a job in a summer school, and loved it.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Meeting people from all over the world and being able to help them, and make learning a language fun rather than a daunting experience.
And what is the most challenging part?
Meeting a new class for the first time and wondering what they might be like.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Teaching in a beautiful ski resort in Italy.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Pretty much everything to be honest. Not online teaching though.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
You learn on the job, you don't need to know everything about language before you get in the classroom so don't panic


Stephen

Teaching for 19 years

What countries have you taught in?
The US, England, Korea, Thailand.
What languages do you speak?
English, Spanish, Thai.
Why did you start teaching English?
I wanted to travel the world.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
The pride students feel when they achieve their goals.
And what is the most challenging part?
Initially, getting used to a new culture can be challenging, but it's usually only temporary.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
I spent a year teaching in a small fishing village in the south of Thailand. The beaches, food, and people were wonderful, and the students were appreciative and happy to have an English teacher. It was a year of pure serenity.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
English Language Arts for primary and secondary, English teacher training for prospective teachers in Seoul, in-class ESL and EFL, English for young learners.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
First, decide which country you want to go to. Then research the teacher requirements for that destination. Then take a TEFL course, so you can learn the system and gain some confidence.


Asif

Teaching for 21 years
Qualifications: TEFL Cert. MA in TESOL

What countries have you taught in?
Uk, Eire, Italy, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, Russia, Kuwait, Greece, Germany, Turkey, France, Someofthestans, Acoupleofias.
What languages do you speak?
Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Urdu, Farsi, (naff schoolboy) Italian, (grammar school) French, (unschooled) Greek and (unprintable) Pashto
Why did you start teaching English?
To convince my mother I could get a 'real' job.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
When lower-level learners complain to or about me in English.
And what is the most challenging part?
The working hours, seven-day weeks not being uncommon.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Delivering a lesson on a yacht, which served as my classroom and accommodation.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Secondary school, Online, Professional level, Postgraduate level.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Make sure they leave class able to say more walking out than when they walked in.


Caroline

Teaching for 14 years

What countries have you taught in?
Spain, China, Poland, U.K.
What languages do you speak?
English, Spanish, French, Mandarin.
Why did you start teaching English?
I knew for a long time that I wanted to teach, but I wasn't sure what. I worked in training in the corporate environment and for the Home Office but really wanted something more rewarding. I trained as Mainstream Primary School teacher and found myself working with Special Needs and with children with Speech and Language barriers - including English as a second (or additional language). Here is where I found my 'calling'. I loved the creativity and the impact of the role. Then, of course, the travel bug came calling. I had always wanted to travel and learn new languages and that's when I discovered the world of TEFL. I couldn't believe how simple it was and how many opportunities there were available to me. I was working in Spain (a lifelong dream) as an English teacher within two weeks of completing my TEFL course. I haven't looked back since 🙂
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
There aren't too many jobs where you get to see, straight away, that the students are learning and can produce the language you teach them. I love it when my students are engaged and enjoying their classes and watching them grow and develop over time is hugely rewarding. I have to say that I have learned as much from my students as they have from me too! Being accepted into a new culture that your students want to share with you, as you share yours with them, is priceless.
And what is the most challenging part?
It can be a little lonely sometimes, depending on the environment that you are teaching in. Making sure you have a good support network around you is important. Finding a good work / life balance can be challenging, especially in the beginning when lack of confidence may lead to over-planning and hours on the internet. Accepting that sometimes things go wrong, and that's OK, is key!
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
This is such a hard question - I have had so many! I think looking out of my classroom window one day overlooking People's Square in Shanghai and the crazy skyscrapers over the river. I was organising 'Western night' with my students (a casino themed party that we set up in the language school) and thinking 'This is so COOL!!' After returning to the UK, starting a family and teacher training with TEFLorg one of the best things for me was when I started to get messages and photos from students who had done their classroom course with me. I love hearing my students teaching stories, having their own 'This is so COOL' moments in different corners of the globe!
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
A bit of everything! I've taught 1-1 and classes of 100 (and everything in between). My youngest student was 2 and my oldest 80. I have taught Business English, general English, exam preparation, tutoring, online, telephone - from lecture theatres and classrooms to living rooms and coffee shops! I've taught from absolute beginners to 'Yikes, these guys speak better than me'! 🙂
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Remember that we are all learning as we go along. Lots of my students have said 'I want to be really confident about the language before I start teaching' - but guess what - the way you get to be confident is BY teaching! So just take it step by step.


Michela

Teaching for 12 years

What countries have you taught in?
Australia, Spain, Italy, UK.
What languages do you speak?
Italian, English, French, Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
My degree is in English and French languages and literature. I started my teaching experience by teaching Italian in Australia and I really enjoyed that. I decided to continue to teach when I came back to Europe.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Transmitting my knowledge and seeing my students succeed in their exams.
And what is the most challenging part?
Keeping the students' attention and interest piqued.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
There have been so many that it would be difficult to choose one.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Cambridge Esol Examinations, Trinity Exams, general English, Online, business.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Keep your students busy and keep them speaking.


Denise

Teaching for 40 years
Qualifications: BA Honours in Humanities. CELTA

What countries have you taught in?
Spain and United Kingdom
What languages do you speak?
English, Spanish and Catalan
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Seeing students gain confidence as their level improves and they are able to see their abilities to communicate in the language.
And what is the most challenging part?
Uninterested students who are forced to study - not studying because they want to. This can include both young learners and adults in a business context.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Coaching business executives in Spain to enter an EU competition, which they went on to win.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Face-to-face (pre internet era), Blended Learning, Online, Telephone, General English (adults), Young Learners, Business English, ESP, All Cambridge Exams, All Trinity Exams, Spanish School System English, Teacher Training.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Don't give up! The grammar gets easier with practice! Don't be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.



Charmian

Teaching for 26 years
Qualifications: Cambridge CTEFLA & Cambridge DELTA

What countries have you taught in?
France, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, England.
What languages do you speak?
English and French.
Why did you start teaching English?
I was living in France and needed to earn money quickly.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
No lesson is ever the same and it's a great feeling when you see a student's face light up because they've understood.
And what is the most challenging part?
You don't always have an audience who wants to be there, and you still have to motivate them.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Seeing my ex-trainees go on to make a career out of TEFL.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
Young learners, business English, general English for adults, Cambridge Exams, EAP & online. TEFL/TESOL training.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Get as much teaching practice as you can and ask your colleagues to observe you. Listen to feedback, don't stagnate, but continue to develop.


Joanne

Teaching for 29 years
Qualifications: CELTA & Level 4 ESOL Subject Specialist

What countries have you taught in?
Spain, the UK
What languages do you speak?
English and Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
To live in Spain.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
When my students grasp a tricky grammar point. When they go on to higher education in English. When they develop confidence in their English language skills.
And what is the most challenging part?
Teaching complete beginners who cannot read or write in their own language. The attitude to women in some cultures.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
There have been too many to mention!
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
One-to-one and groups, business but mostly general English.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Make it fun!


Richard

Teaching for 13 years
Qualifications: CELTA & Level 4 ESOL Subject Specialist

What countries have you taught in?
China, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Spain, Italy, UK, Vietnam
What languages do you speak?
English, Mandarin and Spanish.
Why did you start teaching English?
To work in exotic locations.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
The insight into other cultures.
And what is the most challenging part?
Keeping an entire teaching team happy, without micro-managing.
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
Helping to set up the English department, for the new campus of a well respected Hong Kong University.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
All kinds.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Consider working in locations that may be more unfamiliar to you, as they often hide the greatest rewards.


Antony

Teaching for 13 years
Qualifications: Celta/Delta/PGCE

What countries have you taught in?
UK, China, Poland.
What languages do you speak?
English.
Why did you start teaching English?
I first started teaching English as a means to travel the world but teaching soon became a vocation. It's a highly rewarding, diverse and dynamic sector and industry.
What, in your opinion, is the most rewarding part of the job?
Seeing my students achieve their goals, big and small, and making connections with so many different people.
And what is the most challenging part?
Getting up early!
What has been your best TEFL experience to date?
I love teaching but TEFL specifically has given me the opportunity to experience so many memorable things - standing on a quiet stretch of the Great Wall of China, taking in the hills poking above the mist was particularly awe-inducing.
What kind of lessons do have you experience teaching?
General, business, primary, secondary, professional, exam preparation, online, one to one
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start teaching English?
Sign up to a training course and be open minded about the opportunities available.


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