My name is Alex Gurley. I went through the 150-hour TESL Certificate course at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute in Spring of 2014. I have had an interest working and living in another culture for as long as I can remember and with a degree in Cultural Anthropology it seemed the next logical step.
How did TESL@TFLI prepare you for teaching abroad?
TESL@TFLI gave me the tools and experience I needed to make the leap to overseas work and life. After the program with guidance from one of the TESL trainers I decided on Seoul, South Korea and found a job within a few weeks after TESL graduation. I taught kindergarten and elementary classes full time for one year at a private school inside the city and during a typical day worked on many different things (crafts, numbers, daily conversation, public speaking, pronunciation, grammar, essay writing, etc).
How else have you benefited from the training you received in the course?
I was under contract and with the training I had received, I found being an ESL teacher to be almost second nature as I began my immersion into the Korean landscape. I could appreciate the cultural differences without the initial struggle of getting settled into the job. Living and working abroad proved to be much less daunting with the insight and practical training TESL@TFLI provided.
Overall my communication skills have shown great improvement, and I have found myself able to organize large amounts of information and use it clearly both inside and outside of the classroom. TESL@TFLI will change the way you look at cross-cultural communication as well as the use of the English language within your own personal and professional spheres even outside of ESL instruction. I am now taking prerequisite classes for a Masters in Speech Pathology and have already used my TESL training within these classroom settings…