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Tereza’s Story

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What made you want to take a TEFL course?

I decided to move to Tokyo to study Japanese. At the same time, I wanted to teach English there, that is why I signed up for a TEFL course.

Why did you choose Live TEFL when you were choosing a TEFL course?

I wanted to take the TEFL course in Prague and based on online reviews I chose Live TEFL.

What were the best and worst moments of your TEFL course?

The best part was definitely the feeling when I finished my last teaching practice lesson, looked back and realised how much I had improved, learned and how much more confident I was feeling during the lesson compared to the first one. On the other hand, I do not think there was any bad moment. Just the overall pressure of finishing the tasks we had to do was sometimes stressful but that is part of the process.

How did you feel after finishing TEFL?

I had so many different feelings after the course, all positive. I was happy that I was able to finish all my assignments, understand better what it means to be an English teacher, and I was very motivated to meet my own class of students and help them improve and show them that learning languages can be fun.

Did your expectations from the course differ from the actual reality of it? 

It was a little bit more difficult than I expected. I certainly did not expect that writing one lesson plan would take so much time.

How were the two months after finishing TEFL? Can you describe your first experience with English teaching?

After TEFL I started teaching in Tokyo. I was afraid it would be very challenging because all the teaching experience I had was with European students and Japanese culture is very different from ours. However, everyone was very nice, polite, and welcoming. After a few lessons I realised that I can learn about Japanese culture from them; they were happy to introduce me to their heritage whilst practising English. Japanese people were always very passionate about sharing their customs with me and I used it in my favour when I was planning my lessons.

What was it like to be an English teacher (in Japan)? Was it what you expected?

It was amazing. I expected Japanese people to be more introverted and shy but I could not have been more wrong. They were all hard working, fun to be around, they often brought me gifts when they came back from holiday, and overall they were very friendly.

What did you like the most about life in Japan? What didn’t you like?

I loved the convenience. They have pre-made food in every convenience store. The food is fresh, very tasty, and the convenience stores are everywhere. I also enjoyed getting to know Japanese culture. I liked how their facial expression changed when they found out that I could speak Japanese, and suddenly became really friendly, excited, and wanted to talk to me more. Also travelling around Japan, seeing all different shrines, temples, trying a lot of delicious food. Things I did not like were frequent earthquakes, and men who thought they can touch girls without their permission. However, there are so many positive things that I could talk about them all day long, so they surely outweigh the negative side of Japan.

 

What were the main difference/s between life in the Czech Republic and the life in Japan?

In Tokyo there is not much space. Therefore, all apartments are very small with only a little storage space and high rent. What I like better in Japan is that everyone is mindful of their surroundings, they do not bother others, and the streets are very clean. One thing I do not like is that there are almost no trash cans. People are expected to put their trash in their bags and carry it home with them or until they run into a trash can. Those are usually only in convenience stores or train and metro stations.

What are you doing now?

Now I am studying a Master’s in International Management in Berlin. However, I am considering moving back to Tokyo next year to teach there again.

What would you recommend to someone who is now considering taking a TEFL course in Prague and teaching English? Do you have any advice for them?

Be kind and patient. Not all students can learn at the same pace. That is why they have you, to help them when they are having a hard time understanding something. Also, make your lessons fun for your students, so they are excited for the next time they see you again.

 

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