The Oxford TEFL Blog

Prague Graduate Interview: Julia Chan

When did you take the Trinity Cert. TESOL course?

April-May 2014

How was Prague? Things you enjoyed? Loved?!

I love Prague! It’s a truly beautiful city full of history, with countless nooks and crannies to explore. I also appreciate that it’s clean and relatively inexpensive compared to other major European cities. During one of my very first visits in 2010, as I was standing on the Charles Bridge at night and enjoying the view of the towers on the west end, I remarked to my friend, “Wow, it’s all so magical! Like Disneyland!!” To which he replied, “Uh…except that the castles here are real.”

Some of my favorite things to do in Prague: people-watching on the metro, catching a theater or ballet performance at the National Theater, enjoying klobasa or zmrzlina (or both!) in Wenceslas Square, checking out restaurants that are part of Prague’s up-and-coming foodie scene.

Julia Chan

Where did you work after the Trinity Cert. TESOL course?

I took on a couple of private students, helped start up a local English Club, and landed a job at PROGRESS Language Institute in Kladno. Some of the biggest clients at PROGRESS include Lego and La Lorraine Bakery Group. I teach Business English courses at both companies.

Me and Jeena (my roommate, also an Oxford House alumna and English teacher) will be forever grateful to Adrian Marriott (one of the Oxford TEFL staff) who first connected us with PROGRESS during our job-hunting days.

Where are you now?

I’m still in Kladno, teaching privately, helping to run our weekly English Club, and teaching for PROGRESS.

How did the course set you up for the realities of teaching?

The course offers an excellent balance between teaching methodologies AND practical experience. Our teaching practice sessions with real students were quite challenging, but they were also my favorite part of the course. I benefited greatly from the feedback and from watching other students and teachers teach. I learned how to write an effective lesson plan, how to speak more concisely, and how to think about teaching (and learning) outside the box.

In teaching, there will always be things that come up unexpectedly, and it was through the teaching practice sessions that I learned how to think on the fly, adapt my lesson plan if needed, and be more sensitive and empathetic to my students’ needs.

Best thing about the job? Best thing about your current location? 

The thing I love most about teaching is the relationships I can have with my students. Whether it’s through open conversation, grammar games, or guided discussions on specific topics, I greatly enjoy getting to know my students and hearing about their lives. Humans are so interesting!

I’ve been living in Kladno since moving to the Czech Republic, and I have no intentions of moving anywhere else. 🙂 Sure, Prague is beautiful and fun, but Kladno is where my community is. I live several minutes away from both my church and the PROGRESS main office. Since a majority of my students also live in Kladno, it’s nice to feel more connected to them because we share the same local experiences.

If you would like to read more about the Trinity Cert. TESOL visit this page, contact us or go ahead and start the adventure in Prague by applying here.

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