A TEFL Documentary, Courtesy Of TEFL.net
British filmmaker Daniel Emmerson is currently filming a 60-minute documentary film about EFL – to be released on DVD in Spring 2008 to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of sponsor Tefl.net (hat tip to TESall.com). Based on a quote from Tefl.net founder Josef Essberger, it sounds like the film will include parts of both native speakers and local teachers and in a variety of countries. Apparently the director has been in Krakow filming teacher training courses and will soon move on to South East Asia.
I am probably swayed by my immersion in the online world of EFL, but it is surprising that there is not more out there about this field, which I like to think of as filled with adventure and intrigue. Indiana Jones and the Korean Hagwon Crusade and such. For feature films, there is The English Teacher (made by a friend of EFL Geek) with an EFL teacher in Korea as the protagonist.
I will find it interesting to see how they portray all that is EFL – and I hope the fact that the director is at least in some capacity working with Tefl.net will mean that a good variety of locations, types of jobs (university, kindergarten, etc.), and teachers are included. I think it surprises many TEFL newbies and other uninitiated folk that a) it is actually a job, and b) it is very different from language classes at home.
I will be looking forward to seeing on the screen experiences in different countries. Different jobs in the same country differ, of course, so I think even those who have worked in different countries have a hard time comparing all that is out there.
If Daniel Emmerson would like any suggestions on what to incorporate, here’s what I’d like to see:
– A lower-level class at an eikawa school in Japan
– A higher-level class in a university in Saudi Arabia
– A kindergarten class in South Korea (do levels exist in kindergarten?)
– A hagwon in South Korea
– Adult business students in Czech Republic, ideally a group including a high ranking boss and a few receptionists who speak better English than their boss
– A class of teenagers in Spain – any level
– A class in a mountain village in South America
– An “English language village” in Taiwan
– An international school anywhere, but in at least two countries to compare
– Classes for call-centre staff in India
– ESL classes in at least two English-speaking countries
– A (non-English) language class in the US for comparison purposes
– Pre-college age teachers who volunteer in China for a month through an organized program
– VSO teachers in Eritrea or maybe Sri Lanka
– Peace Corps volunteer teachers in Central Asia
– Independent volunteer teachers for CasaSito in Guatemala
I’d also suggest some comparing and contrasting of:
teachers at the beginning of their first year and at the end
– Teachers who decide to continue for a second year and teachers who don’t
– DELTA and Master’s training
– Career teachers and “do it for a year or two” teachers
– The lives of two friends or classmates with similar educational backgrounds and career goals: one teaches EFL and the other works another job at home – how are they still similar or different after a year?
And finally, the last half of the film dedicated to EFL bloggers, of course.
This may be getting on the long side for a 60-minute documentary. Any other suggestions?