The Oxford TEFL Blog

Graduate Story: Stephanie Thornton

Teach English Korea

 

Stephanie Thornton is from the U.S and is one of our Trinity CertTESOL graduates in Prague. We caught up with her to find out where she worked after completing the course and how this course has inspired her to complete a Master’s in TESOL. 

 

1. Which location and date did you take your Trinity CertTESOL?

It took the course in Prague in January 2010.

2. Why did you choose that location?

After teaching in Korea on a year’s contract, I began researching options. I learned I could teach almost anywhere, so I aimed for Europe.  I learned that in Prague I would be more likely to get a legal status as an American, and I thought I would get a chance to travel all over Europe if I was planted right in the center of it!  Getting legal proved to be possible, but very daunting.  However, I am very happy with the amount of traveling I was able to do!

3. Where are you now?

I am earning my Master’s in TESOL at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York.

tefl teacher korea

4. Where did you go after the course?

I taught EFL in Korea, Prague, Madrid, and Barcelona before deciding to return to the U.S.A., where ESL contexts at private language schools were a whole new world.  Also, the American lifestyle is very overpriced.  I was inspired to aim for a Master’s so that I can earn more responsibilities within the ELT world, but hopefully behind the scenes of the classroom.  I am mostly interested in materials design. 

5. Was it easy to find work?

There were a couple of schools in Prague that were willing to hire me under the table and/or help me get a visa.  In Spain, I easily found many private students using websites.  In the U.S., there are a variety of private language schools that seek TEFL teachers.

6. Where are you working and for how many hours?

I’m a grad student, but I have to complete practica, student teaching in the Community Language Program at Teachers College, to earn my degree.

7. What type of classes do you teach?

ESL general English. 

8. Where do you plan to go next?

The future is unwritten!  I would love to find a position anywhere in the world helping to publish ELT textbooks, but I meanwhile I would be happy to keep teaching, especially at a University’s Intensive English Program or a private language school. 

Would you like to study a TEFL course abroad? Get qualified to teach English in only 4-weeks with our Trinity CertTESOL course and take advantage of our free lifelong careers service. For more information visit this page, get in touch or apply here.     

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