A Summer of TEFL: Emily’s Story

My journey in Teaching English as a Foreign Language began almost a year ago – I’d returned from my year abroad, which I spent studying in Italy and in Switzerland, and I was also seriously unwell at the time with ovarian cancer. I was looking for something to get me through the following months of agony, waiting for an operation. So, I decided to take the 120-hour Premier TEFL course with TEFL Org UK and I have not looked back since. I enjoyed working through the course and learning about TEFL. Most importantly, it gave me confidence and hope for the future and a reason to want to get better.

EFL teacher Emily with other teachers

This summer, I was able to put my TEFL qualification to use abroad and here in the UK. My first TEFL venture was out in Italy working with Lingue Senza Frontiere, which I had read about on the TEFL Jobs Centre. I was nervous but equally as excited about returning to Italy. There was a one-week training which was held at Blue Beach Bungalows – a beautiful resort on the coast in Sanremo in Italy. I met a variety of people there, and was fortunate enough to spend my 23rd Birthday out there, being wonderfully surprised with renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’, a handmade Birthday card and a bottle of Prosecco! I was then a Camp Tutor in a summer camp in Sant’Elpidio a Mare in the Marche region of Italy. It was the craziest two weeks of my life but it was fantastic. The children in my class were amazing, my host family was great and they took me to a Tiziano Ferro concert in Bologna. The other three tutors were lovely and the whole camp experience was incredible.

Returning to the UK, I’d definitely found my passion in TEFL and I was so keen to do it again so I was over the moon to be offered a three-week contract as a teacher with UK Language Courses at their summer centre in Reading. There I was teaching young people aged from 12 to 18 from a huge variety of countries – France, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. I learnt so much about teaching English as a foreign language in these three weeks. I was able to share my own passions of creative writing, poetry and languages with my students and I even taught a very successful lesson about Shakespeare!

EFL teacher Emily with students

From these two very different and very varied teaching roles this summer, I have learnt so much about TEFL but I’ve also learnt about myself as a teacher. It’s given me motivation to complete my final year studying Translation and Languages at University and then hopefully start a real career in TEFL.

I’ve also extended my TEFL knowledge further by taking the Teaching Young Learners course and the Teaching English Online course. As cheesy as it sounds, I definitely think I’ve found my niche with TEFL and I am so excited to see what my next TEFL adventure will bring and where in the world I will be teaching English next – possibly in Spain, Austria or South America!