In the next interview in our series, find out about teaching ESL with Jan, an industry veteran of 30 years.
Jan is originally from Melbourne, Australia. She taught English there to adult migrant and international students before moving to Asia. Jan worked in Hong Kong, mainland China, Thailand and Vietnam for around twelve years, and now teaches online from the USA.
Her interests include language, literature, culture, intercultural communications, media, writing, art of all kinds, and the natural world.
What are your qualifications?
Examiner of Speaking and Writing, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), 2002 – 2016
B.A. (Honours) in English, French, Linguistics
Graduate Diploma in Education (English and Modern Languages)
Graduate Diploma in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
How long have you been working in the ESL industry?
Around 30 years!
What made you choose teaching ESL as a job?
My interest in language and literature has led naturally to an interest in other cultures. I began my professional life as a high school teacher of English and French. In the mid-1980s, schools opened in Australia for adult international students learning English. Drawn by the opportunity to teach people of a wide range of backgrounds and cultures from around the globe, I gained a TESOL qualification and began a stage of my teaching life.
What challenges do you face in the school if you are working in a foreign country?
Most challenges result from language barriers and cultural differences. Your learning curve may be steep. Prepare yourself by researching the phases of “culture shock” and learning about the new culture.
Knowing even a few words and phrases in the local language can sometimes go a long way towards establishing good will.
What do you wish you knew before you walked into the classroom for the first time?
Not all whiteboard markers are erasable! 😉
What are the greatest rewards with this kind of work?
Helping others learn is always a great reward in itself.
The greatest reward of TESOL is learning to see the world from new perspectives by interacting with people from around the world.
Jan also has a Facebook group for teachers and IELTS candidates that can be found here.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions and answers!
If you have any other questions you’d like answered let us know and we will endeavour to get answers from an experienced ESL teacher.
Does teaching English as a second language sound like something you’d be interested in? Find out how easy it is to get your TESOL qualification now!
The opinions expressed in this article/interview are the interviewees own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Just ESL Jobs or Travel Everywhere – Earn Anywhere. The content is as supplied to us, and no changes have been made.