It’s likely by now you’ll have heard of TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – as a sure-fire way to fund your travels around the world. Maybe you’ve heard gap-year survivors bragging about their time teaching abroad, or you’ve received emails for online versions of this teaching qualification from many popular discount voucher websites.
Regardless of how you’ve heard about it, teaching English in Prague is a great way to make a living, as long as you do it right.
In many countries, an online certificate is readily accepted. However, in Prague, due to the amount of English teachers around, and the quality of courses offered in-country, an online certificate is often not accepted by employers. Many language schools will request proof of an in-person program, and some employers even have connections set up with local TEFL schools, offering job opportunities on successful course completion.
You can likely find TEFL schools in your home country, perhaps even your home town, which would put you in good stead to start work as soon as you land. If that’s not an option, there are many language schools in Prague you can train at.
TEFL courses generally tend to last four weeks, around 120 hours or more, and are pretty standardized prices (although this can change slightly depending on if you require housing or not) and offer you a range of practical, hands-on classroom hours. However, the benefit of training in Prague is that you’ll gain a month’s worth of experience teaching Czech students, learning their preferences, learning the nuances of language that they particularly struggle with or connect with and gaining classroom management skills.
When it comes to teaching English in Prague you have a few different options:
A very popular choice for TEFL graduates is to sign up to a language school. If you are employed by schools such as James Cook Languages or Glossa, you will be able to fill your schedule depending on your free time. You’ll be teaching a range of levels in different environments – local offices, high school language clubs, sports clubs, and much more. These schools tend to have facilities with an e-learning suite for teachers, a library, mentors to support you and observers to assess you and help you to grow.
Many businesses employ Business English teachers to come in and teach lessons to individuals or small groups in their offices. For example, you could be teaching at a health care centre, providing lessons for new receptionists on the best ways in which to talk to patients. Perhaps you will be explaining medical terminology, or how best paediatrics ward or helping with insurance terminology
Working at a kindergarten or pre-school is a much more fixed schedule. You’ll be following school hours (and holidays) and will teach English by way of games, interactive lessons, outdoor trips, arts and crafts as just a few examples. Some schools will pair you with a Czech co-teacher, or a classroom assistant who can help you throughout the day.
Teaching young learners is a lot of fun, and an option that a lot of TEFLers love!P
Private lessons are, for many, one of the best perks of a TEFL certificate. You can set your own schedule, and fill it as much or as little as you please, and you set the parameters for your lessons. Do you prefer to teach one on one? Small groups? Are a grammar whizz kid, or do you prefer to teach strictly conversational lessons? The choice is entirely yours.
Some TEFL graduates rely solely on private lessons, and word of mouth and reputation completely fills their schedule. Often, the learners you teach during your TEFL program will reach out to you for private lessons, or will recommend you to their friends or for their children, so treat every lesson like a job interview!
Some private teachers work more closely with university students, who need to practice for speaking exams or who are studying for English proficiency exams. You can set your own times and your own prices, although, in the beginning, it’s best to start out a little lower.
Timing wise, TEFL course tends to run year round, although March/April time is considered the low season. Summer is when schools let out, so it can be harder to find a job around that time of year. However, numerous language summer camps run throughout those months, so you’d be in great stead to apply for the school year starting positions in September or October time, after a summer of teaching out in the nature surrounded by beautiful scenery.
English teachers are always in high demand, and many TEFL schools find that their graduates walk into employment within three weeks of graduating; many even find jobs before they’ve finished their course, certification pending. It’s pretty rare to find a school that will allow you to teach without some kind of certification, so give yourself the best chances of qualifying and making great connections.
Provided by Canadian Medical Care – private medical clinic in Prague