Why did you choose to do a UK-TEFL course?
Following my retirement 7 years ago I have been actively involved in developing a voluntary organisation. This has provided many varied and stimulating experiences but I sensed it was time for a change. Over the years I have periodically thought about doing a TEFL course but have doubted my linguistic ability and experienced difficulty in learning foreign languages. In the event, signing up to a UK-TEFL course was a spur of the moment decision, following a suggestion that I might like to spend some time teaching in an orphanage in Laos as part of a trip to Asia.
I was particularly attracted by the information provided on UK-TEFL’s website, the intensive nature of the course and the breadth of content to be covered. The accreditation by NFCE and the high ratings accorded by previous students also made the UK-TEFL course a very attractive prospect for me. More fundamentally, I sensed that doing this course would lead me to ‘embark on a journey’ wherever that takes me – serendipity, if you like.
How did you find the course?
I found the course challenging in terms of the amount of concentration and effort required but it was also a very intriguing and satisfying experience.
Would you recommend to others?
Without hesitation! I was very impressed with all aspects of course design and delivery, and the course materials. The service provided by the Head Office team was also excellent.
What was the best part of the course?
No single thing but three in particular:
The quality of teaching: In a career in industrial training and education spanning more than 40 years I have never come across a more skilled classroom trainer - Naheen Madarbakus merits 10/10 for lucidity and clarity in presenting the material to be covered, engaging students, and general classroom management.
The course design: A student centred approach with great balance between the need to ensure conceptual understanding and developing individual skills through practical and experiential activities.
The variety and range of learning methods employed was also great!
What are your future plans with your UK-TEFL qualification?
I am currently committed to other activities but, as a result of the course, I have identified a particular interest in working with business people on a one to one or small group basis making use of my extensive business experience. I also want to work with adults in higher education drawing on my tutorial skills, and young people according to the needs of the situation.
With the myriad opportunities in the UK and abroad, there are plenty of routes available for me. More important, perhaps, are the conditions – I do not want full time or permanent work; and for me the primary rewards arise from the satisfactions derived from what I do.
What is the most interesting/helpful thing you learnt on the course?
Simple: learning that I can do it!
Are you going to keep in touch with other students and trainer?
I would like to maintain periodic contact with three or four students. I would also like to stay in touch with the trainer, Naheen.
What are your long term goals or ambitions?
To live an active and useful life for as long as possible.
Any advice for those thinking about doing a course?
Trust your instincts. And if the time isn’t right now, it might be later!
Have you done any travelling? Any travelling tips?
I have travelled extensively in Western Europe and to a lesser extent in Mexico, USA, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, and India. As I reflect on the experiences, I wish I had taken more risks – those that I have taken, for example when travelling solo, relying on others or approaching local inhabitants, have generally resulted in rewarding experiences.
My advice to others would be to try to be ‘yourself’. You should aim to always be polite, understanding and respectful of other cultures however daft they may seem to you, and tolerant of the frustrations that inevitably arise.
UK-TEFL wish Philip a successful future in TEFL!
UK-TEFL wish Jon lots of luck with the move to Spain and his new EFL car