Interview With Kate, Recent Trinity Cert TESOL Graduate In England, Part 2
After finding out why Kate chose the course she did and how it affected her outlook and challenged her in Part 1, I asked her for her opinion on the difference between doing a course at home and abroad – perhaps a difficult question for anyone to answer because of course most people will do just one course, not one of each! But her predictions matched much of what I would expect (having done a course abroad myself). She mentioned the practical advantages – the comfort of being in your own home, access to materials and resources, knowing “where to buy things like packs of multicoloured card when you want them”. She also mentioned that she benefitted greatly from communicating with her course-mates, and thought greater proximity (living in the same neighborhood or even building) during a course abroad might be useful.
Kate’s advice for those considering whether to do a course or not:
“I’d say that if you want to teach, and particularly if you don’t have any experience, it’s definitely worth doing the course. It gives you loads of ideas, and you learn where you can search for other resources. It gives you a qualification, which I think is becoming increasingly necessary to find a job teaching English.
If you do an intensive course, there will be a lot of work and not much time for anything else whilst it’s on – but that’s only for a month, and you end up with the qualification, a feeling that you’ll at least have some idea what to do when you step into a classroom, and plenty of ideas for creative teaching. I expect that whatever school you’re working for would give you some help with teaching methods anyway, but I don’t think I’d want to start teaching without having done any kind of preparation.”
Kate’s career plans include teaching refugees and asylum seekers, probably in the UK at first at least. She realizes she may need some other experience to get her foot in the door, and is open to the possibility that she may end up going in another direction entirely. She’s started her job search by speculatively emailing Christian English schools and depending on how that turns out, she may also look into online adverts for teaching jobs, including positions in summer schools in the UK.
Thanks to Kate for doing the email interview. If you missed the first part, find it here, and find Kate’s ESL Base TEFL Course Diary Blog here.