www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica
Posted 11/26/2016 in Alumni Q&A

Non-native English Speaker Q&A With Natalia

Non-native English Speaker Q&A With Natalia


What is your citizenship?

Colombian-Costa Rican

What city and state are you from?

I live in Moravia, San Jose, Costa Rica.

What is your first language?


How old are you?

32 years old

What is your education level and background?


Have you traveled or lived abroad in the past?


If you have, where have you been?

I’ve been in a lot of places (Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, USA, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia…) and I had lived in Guangzhou, China for almost 5 years.

When and how did you learn English?

When I finished high school, in a private institute. 5 days a week, 4 hours a day for 5 months. Then I studied English-Spanish Translation at university.

What sparked your interest in being an ESL teacher?

English is a must while learning languages. It is used all around the world, it is essential for traveling, international business, and a wider future. I love to teach, to explain things, and to know languages from the inside.

What were some of your concerns before taking the TESOL course?

My main concern was dealing with native speakers, the fast pace that it had, and fear for not understanding some words or jokes they will do.

What did your friends and family think about you taking the TESOL course?

They were as excited as I was, because it was a real challenge. A way to test your level, your capacity to get things right from the native speakers. They encouraged me and trust in my ability to get over any difficulty that may appear.


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

I was on the scholarship website on facebook, it showed up an opportunity to be part of this amazing program. So I participated and I won. Now when I look back, I can see that I was so lucky to be on that academy, with two amazing teachers, and in a beautiful town

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

I took the TEFL 180 hours course in Barva, Heredia in April 2015.

How did you like the course?

It taught me thousands of things. Some pronounciation issues that Latin-Americans have with some English words, grammar facts, cultural facts, and some verbal words or sentences that native speakers use but there are not written on text books. 

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current job?

I have a better English level and the ability to explain things to the students I have. I am more confident about my English, and people trust more in my ability because of the certification.



If you are currently teaching ESL, which country and city did you decide to teach English in and why?

Right now I have a small group of kids as students but teaching is not my main job right now.

Are there other non-native English speakers working with you?



What advice would you give a non-native English speaker who is considering the TESOL course? 

The first advice will be: relax, enjoy the time with native speakers, learn from them, pay attention to the teachers, and trust yourself. Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed because you won’t understand the meaning of some jokes or when they speak very fast in some conversations, but I guess that’s normal; it is a journey that you are taking to get deeper into a language. Soon that won’t be a problem anymore because learning is a process.  If you want to improve your level of English, if you like challenges, if you want to give a big step, and if you love to know where the grammar rules, words, and essential things from this language come from; then you should take the TEFL course. It would help you with your teaching in a big way, and would make you more confident about your second language. It would definitely be worth the time!

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