I’ve always been interested in language learning so I decided to embark on earning my certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TEFL/TESOL). I started 160 hours of online courses through TEFL Express early last year and completed the program earning my TEFL/TESOL certificate this last July.
Last summer in June 2014 I traveled to Madrid, Spain to participate in VaughanTown, a week long volunteer program to teach English through relaxed language immersion, it was mostly one-on-one conversations and some group activities with adults from all over Spain. The program covers your room and board at nice hotels or campuses, three meals a day and you get to meet wonderful people from all over the world. I met wonderful Spaniards and English speakers from the UK, Australia, South Africa and the U.S. I had to teach the meaning of idioms and helped the Spaniards practice their conversational skills and we had enough free time outside the curriculum to enjoy ourselves so it was a great intern experience!
This year I signed up for another volunteer experience with My TEFL Experience a small English school in Valencia, Spain the first week of September, on the recommendation of a fellow TEFL teacher. This time it was more formal classroom teaching, and most of the students were beginner to intermediate so I taught English grammar and lessons to practice reading, listening, some writing and speaking. It was at times challenging but I taught about 20 hours during the week and got to practice my Spanish, eat good Spanish food and do some sight-seeing outside of teaching at the academy so it was another great teaching experience in beautiful Spain! Again I met some wonderful colleagues from the UK, Australia, Texas and the students were wonderful, they all really wanted to learn.
So now I decided my next teaching experience will be at home here in Colorado. I’m about to go through a short teacher training at Intercambio, a school in Boulder, Colorado that offers English and Citizenship classes to mostly Mexican immigrants. It’s another volunteer experience and I expect to start in November or December for once or twice a week one-one-one in the Boulder county or Broomfield area for six months.
I have 9 years of experience working in the communications and business-to-business field so I’m happy to help individuals learning English for business or career reasons or for any reason really. It’s funny where life will take you if you let your interests guide you.
I’m also learning Spanish so traveling to Spain helped me practice Spanish and hopefully having some language exchanges in Boulder with new students will further my Spanish language learning, as well as hone my teaching skills. Volunteering is it’s own reward and being exposed to new cultures, languages and people is personally enriching. I’m so grateful for these experiences and excited for what’s to come!