www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica
Posted 03/22/2016 in Alumni Q&A

ESL Teaching Q&A With Darius

ESL Teaching Q&A With Darius


What is your citizenship?


What city and state are you from?

-Nashville, Tennessee

How old are you?

-23 years old 

What is your education level and background?

-College graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology minor

Have you traveled abroad in the past?


If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?

- I have backpacked through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize andMexico. Now I am currently working and teaching in Beijing,China.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?

-I have always had a passion to travel but I never thought I could actually afford to do so  until I learned about people teaching English abroad in order to travel and make money. 

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?

-I had concerns about possible discrimination and adjusting to a new country. I also questioned if I would be a good enough teacher and if my students would like me. 


What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

-My family thinks that I am crazy, but they support me. I am actually the first person in my family to ever travel abroad, so naturally they are worried for my safety and all. My friends think its awesome and I have to agree with them. Its pretty great. 


Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy in Costa Rica?

-I began backpacking Central America before I decided to get TEFL certified. My best-friend and travel partner introduced the idea to me, but I wasnt convinced until I met other people in hostels that were teaching abroad and enjoying life. He told me about the International TEFL Academy in Costa Rica and I researched them and decided that this is something I wanted to do. It was a great decision.  

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

-November 2014 course in Heredia, Costa Rica

How did you like the course?

-The course was great! I absolutely loved it! I was at a point in my life where I had just graduated college and I needed a challenge in my life and it was indeed challenging and rewarding. One of the best decisions Ive made in my post-graduate life. 

Has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?

-Absolutely! When I am teaching any grammar point to my intermediate and higher level classes I always refer back to my notes from my TEFL program in CostaRica. Not only do my notes make my job a lot less stressful, but I was alsogiven a pay increase because I am TEFL certified. 



After taking the course in CostaRica, you chose to teach elsewhere. Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?

-Yes, I chose to teach in China (although South Korea was my first choice). I chose Beijing, China because it is a great location to to see all that China has to offer and visit the places Ive read about. Also, the pay rate compared to living costs was a big factor. I have never lived in a big city like Beijing before and I wanted that experience. 

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?

-Currently, I have been in China for about 5 months and I plan to only stay for about 6 months total. Due to certain issues I have faced with my boss regarding certain types of discrimination I have decided that the company I am currently working for is not for me. China is a great place and if given the opportunity I would work here again! I only wish I had done better research with the current company I chose to work for.  

Tell us about your English teaching job.

-I teach a range of students from 3 years old to 16 years old. I love teachingand all my students love me. I work for a private language center where I teachabout 24 to 30 ACH per week during regular times and up to 39 ACH during summerand winter seasons. I teach over 175 students of all different ages and levels.It is physically demanding on weekends when I work for 11 hours each day andhave a 1 hour lunch break and about 3 other 15 minute breaks in betweenchanging classes. In the beginning it was difficult but after awhile you adjust to it. You definitely need to have a passion for teaching if you want to work for a private language institution in China. 


What advice would you give someone considering teaching abroad? 

-Do it! Its going to be the best decision you ever make! It is rewarding, challenging, and fun to see so many new places and experience different cultures. If you havent decided what to do with your life yet, then this is perfect opportunity to travel, earn a salary, and contemplate your next moves in life. And if you already have a career but want a change  its great, too! It will give you a chance to take a break from everyday life and fully live.

Would you recommend taking the course in Costa Rica before teaching elsewhere? What are the benefits?

-Absolutely! Costa Rica is beautiful and one of the best countries Ive explored.You will make lasting friendships and have people to turn to for advice after you are certified and are teaching. Its a great place to adjust to being outside the U.S. if you have never been abroad before and it will give you a taste of what all is out here. You wont regret it. The staff is amazing and are always there to help and support you. The quality of the teaching and training is superb and it gives you a chance to practice and teach real students before you step into your own classroom. Taking this course has made my current teaching position a lot easier  just remember to take good notes! 

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