Tell us a little about yourself. What position do you hold there?
My name is Christine Thompson and I am one of the Directors of Studies at Threshold Training Associates which hosts the TEFL International Prague program. I am chiefly responsible for career guidance and job interview training.
I have been teaching EFL full time since 1996 and have worked for universities, language schools and primary schools in Japan, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. My original degree is in International Relations with a Spanish minor and I hold a teaching certificate and teaching diploma from Cambridge University.
What makes Prague a unique destination to obtain TEFL Certification?
Prague is an interesting and fun city with a long history of preparing and employing TEFL teachers. I am the prime example of this phenomena; I took my DELTA course in Prague 7 years ago and have yet to leave. Our program runs in a functioning language school so trainees get an authentic TEFL experience and will come into daily contact with TEFL teachers and their students.
What are some extracurricular activities students participate in during this course? One of the best features of Prague and the Czech Republic is its pubs and of course, its beer. Our course coordinator is a self-studied expert on the city’s hostelries and has found some of the most authentic Prague pub and musical experiences available to share with our trainees. In addition, we employ several teachers who also work as city guides who can give tailor-made tours of the city.
Do students generally stay in Prague to teach after completing this course?
A number of trainees stay in the Czech Republic to teach after completing the course. There is quite a demand for qualified teachers in Prague and the Czech Republic in general. As part of the course we help trainees with writing CV’s, creating successful demo lessons and interviewing techniques, skills that they can apply to any position they decide to apply for.
Both Prague TEFL and TEFL International have a broad network of personal contacts who can provide career advice and contact information for schools the world over. Also, our course has an intensive and hands-on young learners component that makes our trainees attractive for destinations with a high concentration of YL classes like China, Korea and other parts of South East Asia.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering obtaining TEFL Certification in Prague?
My advice for anyone considering doing a TEFL program anywhere: do as much reading and preparation as possible before you come. Read up on English grammar basics, what types of EFL are taught and where, consider what your expenses will be and what the visa restrictions are for places where you might like to work.
Being well-prepared will help you to make the most of your time on the course; be it asking good questions to the trainers or knowing what kind of teaching you would like to do when you finish or having an idea of where you’d like to live and work.