Global English Teaching Academy

The Global English Teaching (GET) Academy

About

The Global English Teaching (GET) Academy and its associated not-for-profit initiative ‘Hello English!’ promote a holistic approach to language learning based on the development of social and communicative competences in an immersive learning environment. The Academy leads the way in Initial Teacher Training for students of TEFL by putting theory into practice in real Austrian classrooms, while Hello English! connects native-speaking English teachers with Austrian children through project-based cultural and linguistic exchange.

The GET Academy and its associated not-for-profit initiative ‘Hello English!’ aim to become educational leaders in the field of contemporary English language teaching by; providing new EFL/ESOL teachers with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required for the sound application of contemporary language teaching methodologies; and bringing them together with English language students through project-based cultural and linguistic exchange.

Founded
2018
Headquarters

Bahnhofstraße 65/2
4810 Gmunden
Austria

Reviews

Default avatar
Gregory
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The senior staff (academic/course managers and tutors) were able to offer support for a variety of issues due to their range of experiences. Course lectures were spread over a wider period than intensive one month programs which allowed more time for new information to be understood and put into practice within the classroom.

The staff were very approachable and frequently checked in with everyone on the course about day-to-day course commitments and general welfare which created a welcoming atmosphere. I felt personal problems could be frankly discussed so that solutions could be found. Some intermediary staff such as senior teachers had personality clashes with students and weren't always available for support in the school but whenever such concerns were raised, they were dealt with.

The course provided accommodation, travel and a huge amount of experience in comparison to any other 1 month TEFL course which usually provides about 10-20 hours classroom experience rather than 350+ hours. This gave me so much more confidence than other TEFL graduates seem to have after speaking to other English teachers I have since met. Due to the course length there was more opportunity for experimentation to help improve teaching skills and see the theory in practice.

Staff were always keen to recommend social activities and events whilst occasionally offering paid days out to local cities and restaurants.

CVs can be reviewed and advice given about where to look for work whilst utilising a network of schools that have previously hired graduates.

The course is tough and demanding but this definitely prepares you for your first job than rushing through a course with minimal teach experience. Teaching jobs can be very demanding so the large workload helps you to prepare for the realities of ESL employment.

What would you improve about this program?
Reviewing the balance between classroom hours and personal study.
A weekday off for assignments would be a big help with managing the workload
Default avatar
Pip
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I joined this course in 2017 and completed a 6 month training program.
One of the most important factors worth considering when looking at TEFL programs is how worthwhile the process will be.
The course was definitely challenging, both physically and mentally, but since graduating and working as an ESL teacher I have seen how much of a benefit my training has been compared to other teachers who have completed TEFL programs. Several of these teachers have not been properly trained to teach and have struggled massively with the standards. By comparison I found settling into my new job relatively easy and have enjoyed a relatively stress free process.
Although there was a high work load which often was stressful, the guidance provided by the academic staff was great and really provided an insight into the standards needed to be a good teacher.
Most importantly, the amount of classroom experience gained through this course was fantastic. The design of the course meant that I taught at a diverse range of schools from the middle of the Austrian countryside to right in the centre of Vienna. This provided me with an insight into how different schools vary and prepared me to be ready for a wide range of differing academic levels and behaviours.
As for the social side, I had a great time living with friends, travelling to different parts of Austria and different countries. The accommodation was lovely in Vorchdorf and Wolfsberg with large houses and plenty of space. Admittedly the Pressbaum accommodation wasn't the best but the location was beautiful and it was only a 20 minute train right to Vienna. This definitely made it worth it. It was occasionally hard to live on food vouchers and this did sometimes become problematic but more often than not I had more than I needed and even the problems became part of the fun.
I had a fantastic time during my 6 months despite any mishaps and it has been hugely beneficial to me since leaving.

Hannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Whatever your age, whatever your experience and whatever your educational past may be, this course will give you the experience and expertise to become the best EFL Teacher you can be. Gaining over 300 hours of teaching experience, living in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, and also getting to share the incredible experience with other Student Teachers, some of whom will very quickly become life long friends, is a life-changing experience.
I arrived in Austria in February 2018 having taught EFL a handful of times, and having completed a few TEFL certificates in the UK. To say you're thrown in at the deep-end is an understatement. Teaching students within 10 days of arriving in Austria and barely having begun your studies is daunting, but there lies the beauty of project weeks. You begin a new chapter every week, and can learn and grow as a teacher from your previous weeks mistakes. You will be too harsh one week, you'll be too laid back another, you can have a class who don't have any interest in English one week, then the next you'll have students bringing in books they've written in English in their spare time the next week. Every week holds a new and exciting adventure, sure, you probably won't love every minute of it, but in hindsight you will appreciate every class you have ever taught, as in one way or another, they shaped you into the teacher you are today.
I can not recommend this program highly enough, if you're willing to work hard, want to become an EFL Teacher, or improve your Teaching skills, this course is perfect for you!

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly adding more options to allow student teachers to incorporate their own lessons into the teaching weeks.
Default avatar
Tom
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I took part part in ABCi’s August - February program in 2017-2018. I had just completed a Masters program in history, and was interested in teaching, traveling, and learning languages. The experience I had was, on the whole, fantastic. Since completion, I have been teaching ESL in China. In this time I have benefited from the experience and instruction I recieved at ABCi, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

The two aspects of the program that really set it apart are: 1) the quality of the feedback, training, and methodologies taught; and 2: the classroom experience. To the first point, the course tutors I had were consistently experienced, thoughtful, and engaging instructors. An emphasis on Task Based Learning, CLIL, and generally communicative, student-centered teaching was central to both our teacher training and the content we delivered in the classroom. The senior teachers are supportive and understanding. The overall rigor struck me as substantially higher than comparable TEFL courses with which I’m familiar, but student teachers who struggled with the coursework were well provided with support and guidance.

The impact of the training and instruction itself was greatly magnified by the opportunity to put it into practice every day in diverse classroom settings. There is no real substitute for being thrown in the classroom and teaching, and ABCi offered the support and structure to enable prospective teachers to experience this without undue stress. Teachers learn, practice, and execute day and week long immersion programs at various schools, generally working with two classes of students (each for half the school day). The vast majority of students are eager and intrinsically motivated to develop their English, all the more so given the dynamic teaching style fostered by the organization. While the first few weeks are, invariably, quite rough for many, the benefits of plunging into the classroom and learning how to manage, engage, and instruct students soon become clear.

Among the greatest appeals of learning to teach in this manner is the broad range of classroom environments one encounters. Over my time with ABCi, I taught students from kinder to high school ages and from low A1 to high B2 CEFR levels. I taught in rural, urban, and alpine environments, in schools in Germany, Austria, and Slovenia. In the space of two weeks, I went from teaching in an isolated mountain town in Carinthia -- where students and teachers spoke a highly localized dialect of Southern Austro-Bavarian, hardly intelligible to outsiders-- to an urban Polytechnische Schule with immigrants whose first languages ranged from Serbian to Dari.

I lived at all three campuses, and found the accommodations largely satisfactory. At the outset of my time there some logistical issues regarding food vouchers occured, though these were ultimately resolved. Each location offers fantastic opportunities to travel independently on top of what you do in going from school to school. The communal spaces will, ultimately, be what you and your fellow teachers make of them. The vast majority of Austrians I met were incredibly welcoming, and each location offers unique opportunities to experience different aspects of local Austrian culture, from Krampus and Christmas Markets to Fasching. Even waking up at the crack of dawn to drive to some far-off school is made considerably more agreeable by the consistently breathtaking landscapes one gets to see at sunrise.
The course is by no means a breeze. Teaching a full school day, then attending input sessions, and finally settling down to attend to coursework can all add up-- particularly if you don’t manage your time well. You will no doubt frequently avail yourself of the coffee and pastries generously offered in most Austrian faculty rooms. But you will also find ample support from your course-tutors, senior teachers, and ofcourse your fellow student-teachers, who will all be in the same boat.

In short, if your interested in rigorous teacher training, extensive and varied classroom experience, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and scenery of Austria, I would strongly recommend this program.

Default avatar
Katharina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living and working in Austria during this 6 month program was such an amazing experience. I learnt so much and really enjoyed every minute of it.

I found all the accommodations perfectly suited to the purpose of this program - to train teachers to teach, while giving student teachers the chance to practice what you learn and implement it in your classrooms.

Depending on when you are there (I was there from Jan - June) there are so many holidays that make traveling all around Austria (and beyond, we went to Budapest) possible (budget extra for this, you'll really want to be able to make use of your days off!).

I do however want to note that this is not exactly a holiday - you will work hard, you will wake up early and if you don't plan your time correctly, you'll be planning lessons over the weekends too.

What would you improve about this program?
In order to improve this program, slight increase in weekly food allowances would be a major bonus

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Marcell Grant

Marcell loves to travel and has worked as a TEFL teacher in Europe for nearly three years.

Marcell Grant

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the TESOL course at the GET academy because it's a unique way of getting an internationally recognized qualification. Whilst other providers of TESOL qualifications may provide an intensive course that lasts a month, the course at the GET academy is spaced over a longer period.

This is a positive because you are able to work in a realistic work environment, traveling to different schools in Austria weekly, meaning that you leave with considerable classroom experience. It's also a great opportunity to travel whilst you work and study.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Though successful candidates must pay for and organize their own flights into Austria, the college helps you with practically everything from then on. Accommodation, travel to and from work, course materials, timetables are all provided. When I was a part of the course, a small supplementary stipend for food was also included.

There is a Welfare officer whose job is to deal with things such as problems with accommodation, trips to the doctors, personal issues, etc. - whilst I was on the course, this was admittedly a new position and needed some improvement, but the college took many of our criticisms into consideration and were always there to help.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I'd recommend making the most of your location as the country is beautiful and there's a lot to see. Whether it be the beautiful mountains of upper Austria - or the amazing parks and architecture in Vienna or Graz. Be prepared to make some very good friends - and to be patient and considerate of others. The schedule seems intense but it is very rewarding and you learn a lot - so hang in there.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You'll have weekends off - though some (many) of these will be spent studying. You'll work Monday to Friday, getting up super early (0500-0630 avg), traveling for up to 3 hours a day and teaching 5/6 lessons daily; you'll also have some seminars/workshops in the week 2 hours a day 3/4 days a week.

Evenings are spent de-stressing, cooking, Netflix binging, more lesson planning, socializing, lesson planning, occasional venture to a local drinking spot, revising.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I've traveled a lot, but it's always nerve-wracking meeting new people, especially knowing in this context that we'd be working together, sharing bedrooms and bathrooms, cooking meals together to save money, etc.

However, honestly your other student teachers are what makes the experience worthwhile and you'll find that you are laughing, crying and partying together in no time.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Joanna Bingham

Job Title
Academic Director
Joanna Bingham

Hailing from a small town in Northern Ireland, where the song Danny Boy was penned, Joanna has since spread her wings and lived in a number of other countries and travelled to many more. She completed undergraduate studies in Belfast and post-graduate studies at Cambridge. Since then, she has been teaching students from many countries. She has fallen in love with Austria and felt the pull to return to the mountains and the lakes…and, of course, the food! Her time abroad allows her to bring a wealth of experience and a unique, personal style to young learners and her role with the GET Academy in Austria.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I am not sure I have one single memory that stands out. I have been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of different countries and I am continuing to tick more destinations off. Some of the highlights have included seeing the Grand Canyon, eating gelato sitting at the foot of the Colosseum in Rome, eating Kaesespatezle (a sort of cheese curd) in a mountain hut in Austria after a busy morning of skiing. A lot of my highlights include food!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Absolutely! As teachers and teacher trainers, we are always learning and developing our skills; important traits to have, no matter where you are in your career. I have taken on new responsibilities in my role as well, like being involved in recruitment and marketing, and learned a lot while here in Austria.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We hear back from a lot of our Student Teachers. It is fantastic when we get messages from them to let us know where they are in the world and how what they learned here in Austria is still guiding them in their jobs today and the experience they gained here has led them to promotions and progression quicker than their peers from courses elsewhere.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I actually did the CertTESOL course and TEFL-YL course with the GET Academy a number of years ago. I would definitely do it again - the classroom experience you gain during the course is invaluable and can be transferred to other teaching in whatever location you end up in. When I see what we achieved with regards to improving the course I would immediately recommend it to others. It is such a unique course and the number of direct teaching hours is more than you will get anywhere else in the world. This, along with the staff you get to work with and the students you meet, all make it the best option for gaining your TEFL qualification. It sets you apart from graduates from courses elsewhere.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our capacity to take on board feedback from our Student Teachers and make changes to continually improve our course is something I am very proud of. The feedback we get from our graduates as well shows us that the experience and methodologies they encounter here with us all set them apart from their peers from TEFL courses in other locations.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

GET Academy, for me, is the perfect blend of teaching and Teacher Training. We get to welcome new Student Teachers and guide and observe them to help them grow and develop into the teachers they are and plan to be. Also, as I mentioned in my previous answer, the capacity to consistently take on board feedback and the drive to improve what you do!

More Interviews