The Oxford TEFL Blog

Prague Graduate Interview: Jessica’s Story

How did you feel when you first arrived in Prague?

For me, arriving in Prague was like landing smack bang in the the middle of a fairy tale. The cobblestone streets, the majestic architecture and that enchanting Czech language drifting through the streets. I was quickly smitten. I had decided to go to Prague on a whim. Oxford TEFL was definitely the school of my choice from the beginning, but they offer the Oxford TESOL certification from Trinity in Spain and England as well. Honestly, I chose the Czech Republic because I knew the least amount about it, and an adventure was what I wanted.

Trinity Cert TESOL trainees Prague

What was the course like?

I’ll never forget my first week on the training course, it was the most thrilling, challenging, learning-packed week of my life. And then came week two! The best part about the course is that you are promptly given the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned by working with actual living breathing English language learners. There is no better way to learn, then to do. Then, at the end of the course, when you feel confident that you know the difference between the second and third conditionals, when you’ve passed the test and turned in your unknown language journal, when you can stand up in front of a room of students and explain the difference between their, there, they’re–Then, you are ready for the job search.

As daunting as it may sound, it really was not bad at all. There is a free careers service so help with my CV was given readily and I had no trouble setting up several interviews. Also, to clam my nerves, a few mock interviews were available as well. That, coupled with the hours of teaching practice and both trainers and peer critiques; we were all confident when it came to our actual interviews. When all was said and done, I actually was able to choose between a few different offers and find a job that truly suited me.

Were you nerbous about teaching?

Teaching itself turned out to be my niche! I had always known that I enjoyed people, but through my experience in Prague, my purpose in life was validated. Over the two years that I was there I taught children of all ages, both in school and in after school programs. I taught adults in groups and individually, I taught in banks and coffee shops and beer gardens. I truly became an English teacher.

Most of my students were eager to learn the newest idioms and slang. English is taught starting at a very young age in the Czech Republic, so most of my adult students already had the basics down and were looking to build on their fluency. Really, they just wanted to talk, be corrected, and be given new words and phrases. It was such a treat to see that moment in my students eyes when they went from not understanding to suddenly getting it. There is a flash, then a smile, and then pure confidence. It’s magic.

Did you enjoy living in Prague?

Living in Prague was just as magical as teaching in Prague. I grew up in rural Texas. The sights, sounds, smells and historical beauty of the streets of The City of 100 Spires was as different from my hometown as one could possibly imagine. A fairytale. And I got to live in it. I got to catch the tram each day for work and ride the metro. I got to walk down to the farmers market each Saturday and buy local fare. I got to drink in the beer gardens on the weekends and tour the cathedrals and castles. I experienced the everyday adventure of navigating through a world very different from the one I had come from. And I thrived. Prague is the place that I can truly say I became an English teacher, and it’s a place that will have a piece of my heart forever.

If you would like to find out more about why Prague is so special and why you should take a TEFL course there, watch this video.

For more information about the Trinity Cert. TESOL course click here or contact us.

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