Last year, I decided to challenge myself not only academically, or by completing a semester abroad in Hawaii, but by signing up for teaching course to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at The Language House Prague (TLH).
After thorough research of the course style, approach, reviews, and international accreditations, I picked the school TLH. I wanted to keep my options open for freelance employment in the future and to explore whether or not teaching could become my passion.
Teaching English may not seem to be the most intuitive thing to pursue when your mother tongue is German and the place you grew up in is – for the most part – Germany. But if surfing in Hawaii taught me anything it’s that once you put yourself out there, you need to commit.
I had my interview sitting in my minimalistic dorm room in Hawaii and was a fair bit nervous. What if my accent would prevent me from being accepted into the course? Throughout the years, my English was influenced by living in various English-speaking countries and my accent was oftentimes mistaken for an Australian. Fortunately, the interview went smoothly.
I met my fellow trainees, teachers, and, by the end of the week, my first group of Czech students. Planning lessons on the weekend before my first class was nerve-wracking, but the founder of TLH kept saying that we would survive and should enjoy the experience since the first class never runs smoothly anyway.
Learning about echoing, eliciting, trailing, and fluency error correction, among other things, helped me structure my first 45-minute class with 6 students of a B1 level English. During the following classes, I got more comfortable with standing in front of a group of strangers and building rapport with my students. After teaching multiple classes of various levels, completing many assignments, and being offered my first job, I was able to graduate with newly gained confidence to teach English to non-native English speakers.