Niamh’s TEFL Course Experience
1. Tell us about yourself. We would love to know about your background and what drew you to teaching English?
My name is Niamh Mannion; originally from Athlone but currently living in Barcelona. I have a degree in Philosophy and Sociology, and Political Studies, with certificates in Life Coaching and Psychology. I’ve always been passionate about helping people, and what better way to help than with English? Teaching is common within my family as my sister is an English and Irish teacher, and my dad teaches interpersonal skills, customer service and much more. I love speaking with people and helping others understand concepts. English has become so widespread, and many people need it for jobs, universities or want to know it for themselves.
2. Why did you decide to take a course with the TEFL Institute of Ireland?
I decided to take a course with TEFL because so many of my friends had completed it and could travel to different countries with the certificate. The TEFL course is easily accessible and can be done from anywhere in the world. It also can be done at your own pace, which I found fantastic as I was working another job at the time of completing it. I had looked at other sites for teaching English, but the TEFL Institute of Ireland was by far the best.
3. Which course did you enrol in and why?
I enrolled in the 120 advanced premier course as I wanted to get stuck straight into learning. It was so accessible, and I was able to do it around working two jobs. There are so many resources available and if I needed any help, Aisling was happy to help as was all the TEFL team. I wanted something that would give me enough information to get started with teaching. I am so happy that I enrolled because it has opened so many opportunities for me.
4. How was the course that you completed? Do you think you are ready to teach English?
The course that I enrolled in was easy to understand and some parts, I previously had known through my other studies. Throughout the course, you learned the basics of teaching, techniques to use and what to use to make the class interactive such as games etc. What I also loved about the course was that they included how people learn in different ways. There is three different ways people learn the most and that’s through auditory, visual or kinesthetics. This is so important to understand in a classroom or with a student as they can learn a lot better if you cater to their needs. I’m currently teaching online which I love but I’m excited to get even more experience.
5. Any tips for other learners on how to stay motivated to complete an online course?
I always try to set aside even an hour a day to try to do some study. With this course, it doesn’t have to be an hour, it could even be half an hour as you are given so much time to complete the course so there isn’t a rush. People nowadays, have busy life & and it can seem like they won’t have time to do the course but setting aside a half an hour a day is beneficial. I think a big thing with motivation is to ask yourself why you want to complete this course. Just think of the opportunities it can open for you and that should be enough motivation.
6. Which section of the course you found the most valuable and helpful?
After each completed section, it had a long list of articles and resources referring to each part of teaching. I found this extremely helpful because it not only gives you more information, but you understand a lot better. These resources have been highly beneficial to my teaching now. Having someone you could always email about any problems was a plus.
7. Was it difficult to complete this TEFL course & how long did it take you?
I had around six months to complete it, and I finished it in around 3 or 4 months. I would have had it done quicker; however, I was working two jobs at the time, but I was still able to do a module and get some reading done referring to the module. This course wasn’t difficult as I felt it gave a lot of information and was easy to understand.
8. Do you feel ready for teaching, or would you consider taking part in the 10 Hour Virtual Course which include teaching practice to boost your confidence?
Currently, I’m teaching online while living in Barcelona and I am loving it. However, I am always open to gaining more experience as I am still a new teacher. Practice makes perfect! Although I was extremely nervous when I started and at times, I can still get nervous, it brings me a lot of joy helping students learn English and seeing them grow and understand as English can be difficult!
9. What words of encouragement do you have for individuals considering getting a TEFL certificate?
I would say 100% go for it. Although I am in Barcelona now, I know I have so many other opportunities now to teach in other places and that’s exciting. It can seem daunting at first as I put off doing the TEFL course for so long because I didn’t think I would have time, or I wouldn’t be good enough, but I am extremely happy I took the plunge and started a teaching career. I’m excited to see where this can lead me too next. Don’t doubt yourself, take the plunge because everyone has something to offer when it comes to teaching.
10. Now that you completed your TEFL course what’s your next step? Where would you like to teach?
I am teaching online now in Barcelona, and I have started another course with TEFL as I feel like I can gain a lot more experience and understanding through their platform. I am doing the 30-hour grammar course which I feel will be extremely beneficial as like anyone, grammar can be tricky to learn and teach. I am open to other areas to teach such as Thailand as many of my friends taught there and loved it. I’m excited that I can explore the world while doing something I enjoy.
11. Would you recommend us to others?
I would 100% recommend TEFL Ireland. It’s so affordable, any questions are always answered (special thanks to Aisling again!) but all the team are quick to respond with any queries. There is so many TEFL pages, but TEFL Ireland was the one that stood out the most for me. Especially as they are an Irish company, it made me feel comfortable signing up with them. The affordability and being able to do it at your own pace, anywhere in the world made the decision easy. As I’ve said before, take the plunge and start your teaching career with The TEFL Institute of Ireland.