There is a steady stream of people who decide, for one reason or another, to up-sticks and head for Jakarta. Some people do as I did and head for Asia and then consequently find themselves in Jakarta. Other people head for Jakarta or other parts of Indonesia specifically.
If you choose teaching, and teaching English, it usually means learning a new skill (more about that later). It allows you to then take that skill and potentially apply it anywhere that needs an English teacher. Depending on how the experience progresses, you may find yourself diversifying into other jobs. One thing I can pretty safely guarantee though is that the experience will change your life.
So, how to begin........
Well, assuming you aren't currently a teacher then you need to get some experience to become one. Most institutions are looking for some qualification that proves you understand what is involved in teaching either EFL (English as a Foreign Language) or ESL (English as a Second Language). If they're not interested in you having any teaching qualification, worry.
Many teachers take a TEFL course, the 't' stands for teaching. This is often through a company such as i-2-i (http://www.i-to-i.com/about-i2i/careers-with-i2i/) who offer both online and classroom based opportunities. I'm not familiar with this as it's not the route that I took somy advice is that you really do need to check what your future employer is looking for. So don't skimp on the research. Put another way, it may seem relatively easy to do an online course, but will the qualification get you a job? Or just onto an extended course for further qualifications?
I went down a slightly different road and took a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) with a company called International House based in Bangkok (http://www.ihbangkok.com/index.php). I really can't rate this highly enough. It was the toughest month of my life in some ways. It was also the most satisfying ( I should apologise to my ex-wife for that last sentence). What I have found since is that the Tefl courses seem fine but the CELTA is just so much more developed. I can only tell you how I felt at the time coming off the course. It was so in-depth and extremely focussed on lesson planning and delivery that I still adhere to it's formats over two years later.
So why Thailand? Well, Thailand has it's knockers (no pun intended) but International House are a reputable company and the CELTA is directly affiliated with Cambridge University so carries a prestige too. The second reason was that they offered a residential course in Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand which appealed enormously to me. I had absolutely no intention of staying and travelling in the sweatbox that is Bangkok, but Chiang Mai offered a different perspective.(The picture below is not the accommodation, rather it's the view across a serene, tranquil catfish lake, perfect for reflecting on your teaching practice or essay writing.)
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
On 31st May 2011, we said goodbye to Roisin Burke.
To those of us who knew her, she was always the life and soul of wherever she was, encouraging people to see the fun side of things. I believe this is how she will want to be remembered.