From Cádiz to Cambodia

Tera took the Trinity CertTESOL course with us in August 2015. Here, she shares her experiences on the course and what she’s been up to since.

What inspired you to do the Trinity CertTESOL and why did you choose Cádiz?
I always knew I wanted to live abroad for a few years. Teaching English as a foreign language sounded like a perfect way to combine my passion for working with children and my love of travel. After doing some research into the various TEFL programs, which was definitely overwhelming, I decided to go for the Trinity CertTESOL because it had great reviews and promised to equip me with the basics I would need in order to feel confident in the classroom.

I wanted to do my course in Spain, and the options were Barcelona or Cadiz. The description of Cadiz as a lovely seaside town with amazing food and culture resonated with my heart and as soon as I arrived I knew I had made the right decision.

What was the course like? Why do you think Cádiz is a good place to do it?
The course was definitely intense but in all the right ways. You could tell the tutors really wanted us to succeed, not just in the course, but afterwards wherever we decided to go. As a native English speaker, you don’t always think about why the language works the way it does. The classes we took, from grammar to phonetics, were really helpful in this aspect. We even took a week of Finnish lessons, which was a lot of fun! Of course, all I remember how to say is “thank you” and “cheers,” but it’s managed to get a smile out of the many Finns I’ve met in my travels.

Our group of trainees definitely bonded in the 5 weeks we were together. It was incredibly helpful to have that support whenever you had questions or wanted feedback. And as intense as the course was, there was still plenty of time to socialize and explore Cadiz and all of its beauty. I think about my time there often and I know I’ll be back to visit one day. It’s a very special place.

What have you done since the course? How has the course helped you?

Tera with some of her students in Taiwan

Initially, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to teach. I never pictured myself in Asia, but I saw a posting for a position in Taiwan that peaked my interest. After looking into the country, I decided to go for it and I’m so happy I did! I taught in Taiwan for 14 months and it was an incredible experience. Since leaving Taiwan, I’ve traveled in SE Asia a bit and am currently teaching in Cambodia.

Looking back, I’d say that the course at Active Language was hugely beneficial when it comes to being on your own in a classroom. It taught me that it’s okay to totally change direction if you realize that your learners are struggling to grasp a concept during a lesson. Also, how important it is to consider the different learning styles your students may have.

What are your plans the future?
As for the future, in January I’m doing a month long camp with Korean students in Malaysia, which I’m really excited about. I’ve never done a camp before so it should be a good experience. And after that, I’d like to
see myself back in Taiwan for at least another year.

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