Okay, so I blog, so its going to be sort of a "bloggy" review. If you don't like to read, sorry not sorry.
Where do I start?
I moved to Barcelona, Spain and after my Spanish classes and learning that my only source of income as an American in Europe will be to teach English, I decided to better my skills by getting certified. Now I could have just looked for a program in Spain. And, in fact, I did! I learned about The Language House, in Prague, 7 months ago through a friend, and decided to compare the programs available to me here in Spain to The Language House. Let me tell you, Barcelona has my heart but the TEFL programs do not compare. First the value I was getting with The Language House, as far as resources, housing, experience, and in-depth skill development blew other courses I found out of the water. Second the price! The price was cheaper compared to my runner up in Spain. The runner up tried to price match, but I still went with The Language House and I am glad I did. I truly did extensive research when I was choosing a TEFL program. I conducted interviews! Like you want me at your program, sell me! (There were many reasons for that, which I will not go into details on. LOL!)
The first person I talked to was the owner. I was in Prague unannounced during one of my "interviews". I recall the doors being closed (the school had just finished a course, thus the school was closed), and talking to Chris W, who was in New York. It was around 4am, not sure what he was doing up, but he answered and was extremely helpful. As you know first impressions are everything, and the accessibility of the owner had me leaning over the fence. Chris W set up a meeting with Nica, a visa guru. My case was special and extreme and many people like to think they're a guru, but Nica is really the VISA GURU!! I had 14 days left on my tourist visa and she found a solution in which I did not have to go to my country of origin and apply for a visa there, I did not have to hide from boarder control, and I can get my visa quickly. She jumped through many loop holes. A true GURU!
It was time for me to start the course. The course is labor (I'm American) intensive. I am not sure when I became so sensitive, but I did cry. LOL!! Look, I've been out of school for like 5 years! Anyway, everything about that course was as it should be. You are there to learn, to try, to fail, and learn again. The staff is there to help you succeed and they want you to! Overtime, you get better and lesson planning becomes so easy! You become patient and comfortable in silence when teaching lower level ESL classes. You become creative and develop skills you did not think you have. You have your classmates that want you succeed as well and are there to help you. You have the staff you are available to guide you, and you can use them as a student for a mock class. You have an abundance amount of resources and The Language House community is so strong you have previous students you can lean on. I swear to you the community is so rich. You have someone like me, who decided not to stay in Prague, who can help if you need advise or help with job placement in Spain. If you wish to go to China, there is an alumnus that you can connect with. Its a community; a teacher-hood. Alumni are everywhere, and even on the internet teaching! Your course will become your family with ties lasting outside the program.
How it helped me in Teaching?
When I returned to Spain, I was hired to teach at a summer english camp in Girona. I had to teach 15-16 year-old ESL students for 3 hours a day...during the summer...at a camp. If you're not catching my tone: my classes were outside next to a pool with nature as a distraction. Of course I was nervous because who isn't nervous their first day? However, when I had to create lessons that will keep their attention for 3 hours, it was really a breeze! I am not kidding. I was able to recycle lessons and build upon it. I had to teach 3 hour classes for 9 days. My students were so sweet! They told me I was the best teacher ever, and was able to explain why in English in complete grammatically correct sentences. Because, of course, that's the point.
I know this was pretty lengthy but I wanted to share my true thoughts on this program. Things truly happen for a reason and it led me to The Language House in Prague and I am ever so glad it did. :)