What position do you hold at Oxford TEFL? What has been your career path so far?
Frankie: I am an English teacher and the community manager for Oxford TEFL. This means I get the best of both worlds: meeting lots of people, working in a dynamic workplace and drawing on (what I like to think of as) my skills in marketing, events and community-building. Completing the Trinity Diploma in TESOL and the Diploma in Educational Management a few years ago has helped me to fine tune my teaching and management abilities. Now eight years after qualifying as a TEFL teacher, I am still in Barcelona teaching English as a foreign language to the residents of the city, organizing events, and making sure that as many people as possible know about our courses. We are proud of what we do and we want others to know that too! I also run my own business, Immersed English, which provides intensive English immersion courses in the UK.
Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Frankie: I am originally from Winchester, in the South of England. In 2003, after traveling for a year and a half in Asia and Australia, I realized that I wanted to continue to travel but also be able to fund it myself. I spent some time in my hometown saving up the money to take a TEFL course and I selected Barcelona because I already had a good friend there, who recommended a training center to me. At first it was difficult to feel comfortable and confident in the classroom, but once I got over this, it felt like second nature to me.
What does the future hold for Oxford TEFL - any exciting new programs to share?
Frankie: In 2013, Oxford TEFL Barcelona moved and expanded to new premises one block from the famous Passeig de Gracia. All of our centers, in Barcelona, Prague, London, Cadiz and Kerala (India) follow the same mission as us and we have a very loyal team of people working to ensure that the same standard is consistently met. We continue to offer free teacher training workshops, career services, and accommodation finding service to our trainees. We are always looking to improve our courses. This means that we listen carefully to our trainees and to the market, in order to develop courses, which are perfect for those wanting to start or develop a career in TEFL.
What about the future of the TEFL industry? How do you think international education will change over the next 10 years?
Frankie: I think that TEFL training institutions will develop more options for studying online with the support of a tutor via the internet, online platforms or telephone. However, I don’t think that face-to-face options will lose too much popularity; I personally believe the experience you get online versus face-to-face in a group isn’t as effective at teaching the skills you need in a classroom environment – you need to experience it yourself to understand it.