Should You TEFL?

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Where I’m from, not many people have done TEFL  (Teach English As A Foreign Language). So I was going into unchartered territory when I signed up to teach English. I had no prior experience teaching anything, let alone teaching a language, which made me a little apprehensive at the whole idea of (trying) to embed knowledge into student’s minds.

So if you’re thinking of teaching English, here is a list that I compiled of why you SHOULD TEFL.

Meet new people– I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some lovely people, from all over the world. You learn so much about them and what they want to do with their life.  From the people I have met, they decided to TEFL because they wanted to experience something different.  Like me, they didn’t have a clue what they wanted to do in life, so tefling is a great way to try new things and find out what you would like to do (and not do) in life.

Experience a new culture– When I arrived in China, I was shocked at how different it is from Western countries. You watch about far off countries on the TV, read about them in the books, but it’s not until you actually live there that you get to experience the culture. You learn so much about its history, food, people, customs and beliefs, it makes you more appreciative of the country, but also for your own country. I realise what I love about my country (lush green grass, open fields, castles) and how I took certain things, for example our education system, for granted.

Try new food– Although I’m not adventurous with food, with regards to chicken feet and creepy crawly foods, I did try horse and fish (which I still hate). When tefling, you will try so many different types of food, many of which will be delicious. You will most certainly eat, whatever country you choose to live in, their most famous dish.  There will be food you don’t like, while you won’t be able to get enough of others.

Learn a new language– In today’s society, the ability to speak another language is becoming increasingly important when looking for jobs. It’s not until you live a non-english speaking country that you realise the importance of learning that countries language in order to, not only communicate with others, but it also makes it easier for yourself in daily life. Although my Mandarin is definitely not fluent, I plan on improving it.

You learn more about yourself– I have learned so much about myself since my time in China. I’ve realised that I CAN speak to a large group of people. I am more confident and independent that what I previously thought. I’ve also realised, that, at the moment, I just can’t see myself living in Ireland. Maybe in the future I will settle down here, but at present… no.

Live in a new country– simply, you get to LIVE IN A NEW COUNTRY. How exciting is that??!

Moving to a new country, leaving your family, and teaching English is a big step. But, if you’re unsure about what you want to do in life, want to experience a new country, or just want to push yourself and see what you’re capable of, then teaching English is the way to go. It is an experience you won’t forget!

Aisling.

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