Simon Firth took the Trinity CertTESOL course in Malaga in June 2017. Originally from England and working as a journalist, he decided to take the plunge and switch to language learning / teaching. Find out more in this blog post about Simon and why he took the course in sunny Malaga.
What made you decide to take the TEFL Course in Malaga, Spain?:
I moved to Spain in August 2016 and worked as a journalist for six months. I realised though that I wasn’t learning as much Spanish as I wanted. So I left my job and started concentrating on getting a grasp of Spanish, basing myself in beautiful Malaga city. I’ve now decided to write to the King to complain about the fact that a 21st century language, spoken by countless millions, can have TWO sets of endings for verbs in the subjunctive! What’s that all about? I pick the one I fancy on the day? Grrrrrrrr.
Anyway, during this period I had my Damascene moment and realised I had a lot of knowledge to impart about English and how to use it. It was then that I realised I could do this best by teaching. The obvious choice was taking an accredited TEFL course and because I lived in southern Spain, the course offered in Malaga was the equally obvious option.
What was your overall experience like on the Trinity CertTESOL course?:
The course is intense. Being older I would say we take longer to process information: what’s good, bad, indifferent etc and what should be retained? There isn’t a lot of time to do that on this course. It’s only afterwards that you begin to do that. Rather like learning to drive – you take your test and then it’s only later that you start learning your roadcraft. My advice is stay on top of your workload in the first week. Don’t be tempted to put any of it off. If you stay on top of the schedule in the first week, you’ll be ok. If you don’t, you’ll feel like you’re always running to catch up – and that’s not pleasant by the fourth week!
Were there any highlights or funny moments on the course?:
The highlights come every day…you’re working in a small group and everybody’s going through the same thing…if you’re lucky, and I was, you find everyone pulls together to get each other through it and that’s a great feeling. I took the shared apartment option and was lucky that my flatmate was a great laugh. We could rely on each other when the going got tough and that meant a lot of funny moments although not necessarily inside the building!
What have you been doing since gaining your Trinity CertTESOL certificate?
My CV needed to be rejigged to make the most of my little teaching experience and that took a little doing. Luckily, there is a 2-hour careers inut session in the final week where the careers advisor helps you re-write your CV and produce a cover letter. They also send you weekly job posts and prepare you for your interviews. Since completing my TEFL course I’ve been doing some teaching practice. Any teaching experience at this stage is good. I’m hoping that September will bring great job opportunities.
Where will you go from here and what are your future plans?
I’m hoping to teach a mixture of private classes, group lessons and also Business English (as I took a Teacher Development Course on completion of my TEFL in Business English).
Do you feel TEFL has changed your life?
It certainly affected my life! I’m hoping that one day fairly soon I’ll be able to give that question a definitive and resounding YES!