Why did you decide to get TEFL Certified with ITTT TEFL in the Philippines?
Josephine: I decided to get TEFL certified with ITTT TEFL here in the Philippines because I have realized that my knowledge of Methodologies and Strategies in teaching other learners of English were not enough, that in order for me to get to the top and get an edge I must possess a special skill certified that is accredited in the whole world if I want to land a teaching career in other countries. Having this mindset is where it all started.
I have been teaching English to those with Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Russian backgrounds for almost 10 years now, but my skills cannot be acknowledged if I wish to work abroad. ESL in the Philippines is a fast booming industry but when the demand for teachers is high, the salary offers become low, and so teachers have now turned abroad where offers to ESL teachers are quite promising. This certificate also opens a lot of opportunities for me anytime and anywhere in the world.
Did you teach abroad? How did this TEFL Course impact your experience?
Josephine: I haven’t had the opportunity to teach abroad, nevertheless my experience with students who are not English speakers I should say could be considered like working abroad, it’s just that the teaching did not occur in other countries but in my own country. If I may relate my TEFL training to my teaching experience with students of different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures I could say that it had a great impact on me in a way that I am able to understand my students well that if I will put myself in their shoes I would also have a hard time learning any language and in TEFL I was given a chance to deeply understand the difficulties that each learner undergoes when studying a new language. My opinion about those people who tried their best to learn other languages for the sake of self development and improvement or for whatever reasons has changed a lot, I became more patient in teaching them, my preparation time has been extended and I learned to prepare a more thorough, achievable, interesting and fun lessons everyday, lessons where the students can learn and gain much.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering this TEFL Course and teaching abroad?
Josephine: If I may give an advice I would say that the person should be ready emotionally, mentally and physically considering that the training is no joke, the preparation of materials alone, the lesson planning, the thinking and executing the lessons especially memorizing basic lines or dialogues is already a great challenge that a trainee must surpass. If the trainee does not have the above mentioned readiness she/he will end up packing her/his things and eventually give up. One must put in his/her heart that the TEFL training will be of great advantage and that no amount of money can equal the experience that one will acquire during the training.
Though I haven’t had the opportunity to work abroad yet but based on my experience with different nationalities it is best to equip oneself with as much training and skill based seminars as possible that would arm the individual in handling and hurdling challenges that would come their way. As the saying goes, those who rule themselves rule the world.
What was the highlight of your experience?
Josephine: The whole training indeed helped me improve more but the highlight of that training was the execution of the lesson because it is in the execution one would know if the preparation, the visual aids, the practice and the other components has contributed to the success of the learning of the students. What is the most important factor that a teacher should keep in mind in teaching is to know the fact that the students in your class have learned and transferred their learning in the real life situation.
We can gauge our success in the execution of our lesson based on the students’ reaction, participation and cooperation. A successful lesson I should say would end up in a very lively discussion about the topic and it means to me that the students have transferred their learning through personal experience. In other words the learners were now able to relate the lesson in their own schema and that language control is taking place. I personally believe that the best achievement both parties can get is the fact that the learner is able to speak or express his/her thoughts.
Anything else you would like to share?
Josephine: TEFL training was really fun and full of learning, though other methods or strategies and styles are not new but for me it was a good way to be refreshed. I am sure that if others will say it was tough, I guess others would miss the course especially meeting students who were very enthusiastic to learn and speak the language. The boisterous laughing during activities, the choral reading, the individual sharing, and many others, were just some of the things that I missed in the training. Seeing these students learn and enjoy the lesson is very rewarding.
In addition to that, meeting new classmates, prospective employers and making friends with them, doing the lessons and visual aids, long hours planning and helping each other are also a good way of connecting to the world and eventually find a job as some of them are company owners. That’s how I landed this fulfilling current job of mine. I met my employer during the training and I guess she saw my potential, ability, skills and knowledge about ESL so within the span of time that we were together as classmates she believes in what she saw in me and finally offered me a job and I am very happy working with her in her ESL online school which caters to Japanese Nationals. I am presently the Administrator and Curriculum Developer of her school.