Before completing your course, what were your aspirations for teaching once you had your TEFL certificate?
I work as a scientist in Germany and I enjoy the English language quite a bit. That’s how my situation was when I began the ICAL course and that’s now it remains. Through some coworkers and friends, I was asked to help translate a few scientific papers and a thesis and I realized that there’s a need here for an improvement of English skills, so I decided to explore what options are available for certification in teaching English as a foreign language. The TEFL course at ICAL was ideal since it was online (I’m overseas) and I could go at my own pace (I have a four-year-old).
How has your life changed since you completed your TEFL course and how are you using your TEFL certificate?
Since I’ve received my certificate, I’m afraid it hasn’t changed my life – I’m still a scientist working in the same lab. I love my job and I’d be hard-pressed to leave it. It was never really my intention to get on a different career path as an English teacher. This is more of an extracurricular or side interest than a career for me.
That being said, when the head of the administration at our research institute heard that I’m now certified to teach English as a foreign language, she expressed an interest in having me hold classes for both the scientists working here and administrative staff. When I have a little more free time I plan to do that. I think that would be a lot of fun and that’s more along the lines of what I wanted to do with this certificate than to leave science and work as an English teacher full time.
Getting this certificate hasn’t exactly been revolutionizing for my life, but for me it was never intended to be. I feel like it’s opened an opportunity for me to help my own community here as well as socially network and meet other scientists I might not otherwise have the chance to get to know. For me, that’s ideal – it’s just what I wanted.