Teaching in Sri-Lanka

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Teaching in Sri-lanka

My name is Imogen Healy and I am 22 years old. After graduating from university with a Psychology degree I flew to Sri Lanka in July 2014 to take part in a volunteer placement which involved teaching English to youths within the local community.

I cannot think of a better way to travel the world.

As the teaching I did here was voluntary, it was not a requirement to be TEFL certified, although I had completed the classroom-based part of the course and was well on my way to completing the online section prior to departing. What I had already learnt about TEFL gave me a head start in the classroom and my confidence was booming! 

I lived with a local family at a homestay with five fellow TEFL teachers. Having never travelled outside of Europe before, adapting to life in Sri Lanka was a true culture shock! I spent seven weeks living like a local – I ate Sri Lankan curry dishes every day with my hands (the chilli took some getting used to!), I mastered Sri Lankan bus journeys after realising the best way for the bus conductor to understand your destination was to just say it very quickly and aggressively, I rode elephants and got to see plenty of Sri Lankan wildlife - I even learnt a little bit of the local language! (My students often laughed at my pronunciation attempts.) I taught regularly at a youth centre and my class ranged from students were aged between 16 and 20. At first I thought that teaching older students would be much more challenging for me as a new teacher, however I actually enjoyed teaching this class more than my younger groups. I built such a rapport with the class that they often helped me out with a spot of teaching themselves! Some of the older students were very confident and I challenged them by getting them up to the front of the class to lead certain activities. We had such great fun! My lesson-planning skills I had developed from my TEFL Academy work even gained me extra responsibility as lesson plan manager for the whole youth centre. Overall, this journey led to my love for TEFL blossoming and my urge to continue teaching was overwhelming.   

My experiences in Sri Lanka were truly life-changing and since returning I’m ready to start an even more exciting adventure, with an added bonus of an EFL teacher salary. I have chosen my next destination to be Vietnam and I depart next month. Being TEFL certified has not only given me the essential information to succeed as an EFL teacher but I also now have the relevant training to start earning an extremely competitive salary in Vietnam. I just cannot think of a better way to travel the world independently with such lucrative earning potential. I am sure my experiences in Vietnam will again further my love for being an EFL teacher, so who knows where I will end up next!  

I cannot think of a better way to travel the world.

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