Why did you decide to take a TEFL course with TEFL International in Rome?
Manuela: I have an advanced level degree in Teaching Foreign Languages and Literature, as well as a passion for languages. I love teaching and my inital goal was to hopefully teach in a state school in Rome. Unfortunately, Italian state schools have changed over the past few years. I believe that due to the Italian economic crisis, the government is no longer willing to invest in research and refresher courses for teachers, which is essential for a good education system. I felt very discouraged by this situation, but at the same time I didn’t want to give up teaching, so I decided to find another way of doing it.
I remembered my English Language teacher at my university had encouraged me to receive an international certificate (such as CELTA or TEFL) after university, in order to teach in language schools. She always praised me by stating that I could have taught the language at a higher level. This is why I started to find information on international certificates and discovered that there was a TEFL International center close to my home, here in Rome. At the initial meeting, I met wonderful, friendly people who gave me positive advice about the course. TEFL Internatinal is a very professional environment. The teachers are all well-trained and very emphatic.
What made this TEFL course experience unique and special?
Manuela: The teachers and the school environment made this experience unique and special. I really consider this one of the best learning experiences of my life. Angela Giordano, the director, is a very helpful and kind person; she is always available to help with any problems students may have. Moreno Stracci, the Director of Studies, is a very knowledgable person and teaches very amusing lessons. Grace Kavanagh, in my view, is the best English grammar teacher and Manuel Paone, my supervisor during the teaching practice, gave me very interesting and useful advice.
How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.)
Manuela: I definitely feel this experience has had an important impact on me personally, academically and professionally. Personally, it built up my self confidence. Before the course I felt, psychologically, as though I was still a student even though I wasn’t a student anymore. The teaching practices developed my in-class skills, giving me a methodology of teaching and planning lessons. Professionally, it has opened up many teaching opportunities here in Rome; all language schools in the city are seeking certified experienced English teachers throughout the academic year.
What is one piece of advice you would offer something considering a TEFL International course in Rome?
Manuela: I would suggest to students to study and hold onto all the precious information from the course, especially from the grammar lessons. Although I have an advanced level degree in English Language, I must say that Grace Kavanagh is the best English grammar teacher I have ever had. An English teacher in Rome must have a very good knowledge of grammar as Italian students, especially adults, always ask for grammar rules. Italians learn a lot of grammar at school and always want to know the reason for a rule. This is the way they learned their native language and is also the approach they use to acquire a second language.