Interview With Nick In Prague
Nick has been working in the Czech Republic, Prague specifically, following a CELTA course completed in the same city. He was kind enough to share his experience in a TEFL Logue interview.
New students come into Nick’s intensive English class every other week or so, which means that he doesn’t simply face a totally new group of people every month or two. He of course has a number of Czech students, but also a few Slovaks and Germans and even one Japanese and one Vietnamese student. This has the added benefit of creating an atmosphere where English really is necessary for group communication. Nick’s students range in age from about 19 to 35, and their motivation for taking the course varies: some need to use English for work and others just want to improve for their own reasons (like for travel). Some of the more enthusiastic students often provide comic relief by using the wrong words in earnest. Fortunately they take this in stride… the class laughs with them and not at them!
Nick has a lot of freedom to do what he wants in class and respond to individual students’ needs and interests. He can and sometimes does work from Cutting Edge, but he also incorporates a lot of other material. One interesting idea he has is to bring in a few of the free daily newspapers – either in English or Czech, and the students just choose a story or two to discuss (in English of course). When possible he also incorporates movies and tv.
He has most definitely lucked out, as he put it, by securing a schedule where he teaches intensive general English between 9 and 1, Monday through Friday, with a few one-to-one students in the afternoons a few days a week. I think most EFL teachers will attest to the uniqueness of this schedule – way to go Nick! It is more and more common to work split shifts at different times and locations throughout the day.
Read on for the low down on how Nick got his job, the management style at his school, and his feelings on his CELTA.