Take up zumba? Become a vegan? Nah, sign up to Spěváček ‘s TEFL course in Prague to really enhance your life, recommends Mark Pickering.
New Year’s Resolutions. Ah yes. Those inherently evil, often laughable, self-assertions made on 1st January when your head is swimming with rum and your life feels like a pitiful, slothful mess. Over the years, I’ve made a tonne of them: go running twice a week; eat fruit other than the corner of a Fruit Corner; make an effort with people I think are not worth making an effort with; wear ironed shirts.
At the time, all of them were meant with the fullest of intentions, but of course, none were properly followed through with. Except one, that is.
Yes, there was one tiny resolution I did make that was massively worth it – starting a TEFL course. I’d toyed with the idea for some time, but after being made redundant from a magazine and floating around a few freelance jobs, I decided to go for it. Head to Prague, do a TEFL course, teach a bit, drink a bit, eat massive plates of goulash. What could go wrong?
Well actually, nothing. Seven years later, I’m still in Prague, still teaching a bit, still drinking a bit and still eating massive plates of goulash. The only differences are that 1. I’m now a bit grey; 2. I’m now married to a Czech girl; and 3. I am now a TEFL instructor, not a trainee.
The course where I do all my instructing is called Spěváček LiveTEFL Prague. It’s a certified, TEFL-accredited course, located slap-bang in the centre of Prague, and taught by the most talented bunch of academic baboons you will find. As one of these baboons, my job is to teach trainees how to incorporate the four teaching skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – into fun, useful and engaging lessons. And I love it.
So, why should you do a TEFL course? Well, firstly, Prague is massively fun. You’re in a city that is glowing with amazing architecture, dripping with brilliant beer, and packed with 70s mullets, giant beards, huge bellies and some of the most beautiful faces you will ever see in your life.
Secondly, teaching English is great – and a whole lot more interesting than the jobs most people are doing. Whether you’re playing Family Fortunes in a class full of Czech teenagers, chatting about Murakami with a student in a cafe, or trying to stop a company director from mispronouncing the word ‘sheet’, each day throws up many a joyous and amusing moment.
Thirdly, you’ll get to meet me. No, I’m joking, that really isn’t the reason to come. However, the social scene of TEFL is perfect. Pub nights, trips to castles, walks in the Czech countryside, quiz evenings, summer parties, the lot. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be embraced in the warm, social Spěváček bosom, which will make you smile, feel loved and extremely glad that you made the trip.
Anything else? Well, yes, you can get a job with us! As well as being a TEFL training centre, Spěváček is also one of the biggest language schools in Prague. If you work hard on the course, display some flare for teaching and convince us that you’re neither a heroin addict or a serial killer, we’ll offer you a full-time job. Sound like nonsense? Well, no actually – since January 2014, over 30 TEFL trainees have been hired.
So anyway, this New Year, go out and enjoy yourself. Drink tequila, dance like your mum, vomit into a wellington boot, pass out. But in the morning, don’t just say you’re going to drink less or join a Zumba class. Enrol on a TEFL course. And not just any course, but the Spěváček LiveTEFL course.
It may sound ridiculous, but it could just be the most ridiculously worthwhile New Year’s Resolution you’ll ever make.