What position do you hold at UniTEFL? What has been your career path so far?
Peter: I am currently the Head Trainer at UniTEFL and held the position for the past four years. I did six months of teacher training at Chiang Mai University. Before that, I worked in Chiang Mai as a teacher and language instructor for over ten years. At first I taught young learners, but advanced up to adults who were preparing for certain English language exams (IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC etc.). I was the English Principal for a language centre for a number of years, where I experienced dealing with other teachers as well as the school administration.
Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Peter: As mentioned above, all my teaching experience has been in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I, initially, only planned on teaching here for one year, but fell in love with the place and have been here for more than fourteen years already!
I, however, would like to take my teaching skills to other countries as I am very familiar with how Thai students learn and the struggles they face with English. It would be nice to have a new challenge with other foreign students who have specific language learning needs. The inspiration to actually leave the UK was just a sense of adventure and a willingness to help others; plus I didn’t want to get caught up in the “rat race” that is life back home.
What does the future hold for UniTEFL - any exciting new programs to share?
Peter: We will continue to offer our intensive, practical hands-on approach to the 120-Hour TEFL program. We are pleased to announce our affiliation with two premier universities in the Philippines and are offering post-graduate and graduate studies via distance learning courses. As a designated learning facility, UniTEFL can now offer a Certificate in Teaching (1 year program) or Masters in Education – Educational Management or Early Childhood Development, to top up your education credentials and licensing.
What about the future of the TEFL abroad industry? How do you think international education will change over the next 10 years?
Peter: In my opinion, the TEFL abroad industry will change drastically in its size in the next ten years. I notice this most in Asia where I am based. The emergence of China and the demand for jobs there will fuel the industry, as will the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopts English as their common language. The challenge will be to get students proficient at a conversational level as Asian students in general are quite shy to speak out of fear of making mistakes. As long as TEFL schools are focused on quality education for would be ESL teachers, this demand can be met and English proficiency in the region will be much improved.