Alex Collin

Teach Enrich Empower

Alex Collin - Teaching in Germany

I’m a student at Newcastle University where I study French, German and Linguistics as my degree. I have already done two of the four years of my course and am thus currently in my third year. As a modern languages student, the third year is conducted abroad as an ‘intercalating year.’ During this year, students can choose to do a work placement, a study placement or carry out an assistantship in a school abroad.

There are a few initiatives related to these sorts of activities, of which the ERASMUS programme is a well-known example of such a year abroad scheme for European students and is the one which I am taking part in.

I am sat writing this in Germany where I am spending the first stage of my year abroad teaching English in a language school in Dresden. I had this placement secured during summer, a few months before my departure in September. Hence, I decided to take the TEFL Academy Course this summer to get an idea of what to expect before starting to teach upon my arrival. I learned a lot about both teaching and classroom techniques during the course as well as making friends with the other course members over the face-to-face teaching weekend.

The language school I am working at is a private establishment that has teachers primarily in German and English, as these are the main languages in demand here in Dresden. Some learners come to the school premises and are taught on-site, while other clients are taught in lessons conducted off-site in nearby local businesses etc. To this end, the school has a small fleet of company cars for use by its teachers and, at 6 foot 2 inches, it can prove quite a stretch for me to fit in these company Smart Cars!

“I would recommend The TEFL Academy to anyone”

The nature of my work sees a team of English language trainers (about 15-20 adults from all sorts of countries) sharing the various classes each week. The learners are usually very friendly, enthusiastic and glad to be there so the teaching is really enjoyable and it is nice getting familiar with particular classes if you teach them regularly. Seeing them learning more and more, and knowing you brought them to understand what they didn’t before is a really nice feeling, while games and various classroom moments can prove hysterically funny themselves – and all the while you’re getting paid!

I really like Germany as a country; it feels very ‘clued-up’ with its infrastructure, excellent public transport, recycling services, initiatives and facilities etc. “The Florence Of The North” is an excellent city too, with interesting history and culture, beautiful architecture and surroundings, a perfect size, cheap cost of living and the liveliness sought by young people! As a German student, being able to converse with natives in the language I study is also obviously hugely advantageous for improving my own language proficiency and so my time here is doubly beneficial in that my German is getting better and better, while the teaching itself is extremely rewarding and well paid.

I would recommend The TEFL Academy to anyone considering a TEFL course. Once completed, you will find many doors opened for you and you will be able to embark upon your own TEFL journey. With your new sought after skills you will be able to travel all around the world, encounter many interesting people and memorable situations. The overall adventure of packing your bags, getting out there and the experiences inside and outside the classroom will make this a perfect choice for you from which you will not look back, just as it did for me.

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