Teaching and TEFL Articles and Travel Advice
Thinking of teaching English as a foreign language? Then make sure you read Christina Chandler's useful tips on teaching English in Europe to help get you prepared.
Teaching English as a foreign language is one of the most popular activities you can do on your gap year and Prague is one of the most beautiful cities to do it in.
Teaching English as a foreign language is a popular thing to do on a gap year. In fact, it's so popular we thought you'd like to know all about TEFL.
Ben Robson spent 5 months volunteering, teaching English in Sichuan Province, China. Big classes, great food and smart kids; he shares his experiences.
If you want to spend a year or so living in Japan whilst getting paid at the same time, teaching English is the easiest and most common route for the majority of foreigners. In general, the only requirements are that you’re a native speaker of English and you hold a degree (the subject doesn’t usually matter).
Helen Hughes taught English in Ik-san, Korea. Living and working there was a bit of a culture shock, but it left a lasting positive impression on her.
"You can teach some of our students" said my new boss, in hesitant English. "Now?" I said, shocked. "But I arrived late last night and I'm really jet-lagged." I'd dragged my luggage through customs, been bumped about in the back of a taxi for half an hour and slept for just a few hours. To say I felt like pap was an understatement.
They say that teaching is something that is in your blood. Well, my mother is a teacher, and a result, in every country I travel to, sooner or later I find myself standing at the front of a classroom, while rows upon rows of expectant faces stare at me. I don't quite know how it happens, but I seem to teach on a regular basis.
The plane journey was possibly the longest journey of my life, both literally and mentally. Then actually getting off the plane was the most intense thing I've ever done; imagine stepping into a sauna just that little bit too hot and then triple that, then you will have half the idea of how the heat hits you as soon as you enter Ghana.
My job was a cross between teacher and clown. Some of my Japanese teaching colleagues let me do what I wanted in class (mad games to teach directions, bringing in my much-loved funk music, generally having a laugh) while others made me teach pronunciation and spelling (once I wrote 'embarassing' on the board but spelt it incorrectly... which was embarrassing).
I have so many good memories of being a teacher, from getting a pile of cards from my students and being presented with flowers on Valentines Day to telling my students the story of Helen of Troy and watching them perform their favourite parts of the story. I got such a buzz walking out of the classroom knowing that my students had enjoyed the class.
Before I came to Japan, I had a notion that Japanese classrooms would contain row upon row of immaculate and impeccable children, disciplined and studious. This was certainly not the case, particularly at my junior high school, where in my first week my English teacher warned me what to expect.
Meet Lewis Smith and Dani Mason, best mates from Cardiff who are currently out in tropical Sri Lanka taking part in two volunteer placements with gap year organisation Travellers Worldwide. This dynamic duo split their time in Sri Lanka between teaching in schools for under-privileged children and working in an elephant orphanage.
For me, taking a gap year was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made. I was fed up of learning facts just to regurgitate them all in exams. I wanted to learn about people, the world, and get a grasp of the bigger picture. So I set out looking for a way to fulfil my dreams.
South Africa was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life! As most people would be, I was apprehensive before I went, but at the same time really excited. I was going half way round the world to work with young people who were not as fortunate as myself. After several phone calls and emails back and forth with Travellers, my trip was planned, flights booked and bags packed!
Teaching and volunteering as a teacher is a highly rewarding and very popular way to spend your gap year. There's so much advice out there that we thought we'd ask some of the gapyear.com members about their experiences and what are their best tips and ideas on teaching on your gap year.