How to Teach English as a Second Language?
Our Alumni Speak
Christopher A. Wilson
January 9, 2017
To All TEFL Candidates:
As someone who has, ultimately, become a professional English teacher as a full time career, I know that there are unfortunately a lot of less than reputable schools and courses out there all too happy to take your money and leave you unprepared for the realities of teaching, if they ever get you a job at all. That’s why I’m more than happy to write this letter recommending Canterbury TEFL in Madrid, a program I myself went through in the fall of 2012 and which I have no reservations about vouching for, hopefully providing you with some useful information and guidance in the often chaotic world of TEFL and ESL.
I moved to Madrid after finishing my Bachelor’s in the US in order to pursue a Master’s degree, and while that Master’s in applied linguistics certainly gave me a tremendous theoretical foundation to language teaching pedagogy and language acquisition theory, it did far less to actually tell me how to teach. Even so, I came to Canterbury primarily hoping they could find me some work in Madrid and help me to extend my visa, and I can say that they are well worth your time and money. The staff at Canterbury, all of whom I found to be friendly, personable, professional and, most importantly, helpful, managed to help me extend my Spanish visa on two separate occasions, allowing me to stay in Madrid for a total of three years.
The actual TEFL course I had with John Bouse was very thorough and useful, combining perfectly with my Master’s coursework. It is something I genuinely believe has made me a far more effective teacher than I ever would have been just jumping into the fray straight from the university halls and certainly had me better equipped to handle teaching in Spain and in general. Canterbury was also able to fully deliver on their promise of work throughout my entire time with them. In the beginning, it may be only a few private classes here and there, but I stuck with them and before long found myself with a full slate of group and company classes that provided me with a more than comfortable living in Madrid.
Madrid itself is, in my opinion, the greatest city in the world, and I’ve seen a fair few of them. There are few cities that can match its underrated beauty, vivacity, liveliness (especially at night) and friendliness. There’s something in Madrid for everyone and I’m a firm believer in the idea that everyone should experience this wonderful city and the inimical country of Spain at least once in their lives. As someone who fully intends to ultimately settle down in Madrid permanently, once my wandering days are over, I give my strongest possible endorsement.
I would never have been able to experience Madrid for as long as I did without the Canterbury program, and for that, I will always be grateful. For that alone I was more than willing to write all the testimonial letters they could want, but that would do a disservice to the quality of their program and their staff (who continue to be of assistance even now, years after I left the program). If you have any doubts about Canterbury, rest easy. They’re the best and choosing them and Madrid is something you’ll not regret.
Christopher A. Wilson, Class of October
January 9, 2017
Hello Potential TEFL Candidate:
I graduated with a TEFL certificate from Canterbury in January 2010. Looking back at that time I see it as one of the most pivotal points in my career and my life.
The Canterbury program not only prepared me to teach English as a foreign language but also worked with me one on one to improve my teaching and the lessons I delivered. The teaching requirement at the end of the course also allowed me to further build on my teaching skills and with this experience came more and more classes which allowed for me to begin a stable career in a city I loved so much.
The time spent in the Canterbury TEFL program was not just focused on teaching, but also helped new teachers become familiar and oriented with the city of Madrid. This was great for teachers like myself who at the time, was very new to the capital city and its culture. Canterbury organized several social outings for our cohort which not only allowed me to discover some of the wonderful hidden gems of Malasaña, but also provided me with opportunities to build professional relationships with my fellow colleagues.
The library at Canterbury also provided a wide array of teaching resources and the staff was always friendly and willing to assist teachers with finding an apartment or developing new methods of classroom instruction. My experience with Canterbury and in Madrid was so wonderful that I ended up staying and teaching in Madrid for almost four years.
In 2014, I made the decision to leave Madrid to go back to get my master’s degree. Although I received a graduate assistantship for my program of study back home, I was still able to teach English over Skype to some of my former students in Madrid. This allowed me to earn extra money and helped finance my way through graduate school. During the summer of 2015, I spent time in Ecuador completing some of my last coursework. After my courses ended, I was able to teach in Quito thanks to the TEFL I received from Canterbury. This money allowed me to travel all around Ecuador and Colombia before going back to the States to graduate with my master’s degree.
I now currently work as a health communications specialist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. I believe that my worldly experience and my ability to speak Spanish which all started with my enrollment in the TEFL program at Canterbury Madrid, are to credit for where I have landed at the present moment. Having a TEFL also allowed me to live and travel in South America, and gain more international experience.
A Canterbury TEFL is not just beneficial for those who aspire to be teachers, but extremely favorable for those who are looking to gain international work experience. My experience with Canterbury was beyond amazing and I recommend the program to anyone who is looking to explore teaching or international work, travel, living abroad, or just looking to escape their comfort zone. You won’t be disappointed, and the future will reward you.
Erin Rock, Class of January
January 9, 2017
To All Potential TEFL Candidates,
I am writing this testimonial letter to share my experiences in teaching English at Canterbury Consulting Spain here in Madrid. I am from the Philippines and I have been living here for eight years. I never expected that I would become an English teacher here.
When I researched the TEFL course offered by Canterbury, I thought that it was the best way to experience another type of job market. So I decided to take the course and finally, I passed. While I was taking the course, I was very honored to meet the very hospitable staff, directors, co-teachers and especially our director and teacher, Mr. John Bouse. He trained us extremely well on how to teach English. He taught us different styles and strategies for teaching English.
Finally, the most important experience that I have had with them is that at Canterbury, they are very warm and kind. They treated all of us as their friends and as a part of the family. They never hesitated to help us regarding any of our problems. Whatever our needs and questions are, they are always there to accommodate us.
I really enjoy the experience of teaching English to Spanish students here in Madrid. As of now, I have very friendly, sweet and nice students. Their parents are very well educated and respectful to me as an English teacher, making this profession quite fun and rewarding.
So TEFL candidates, I recommend that you to come and experience teaching here in Madrid, Spain because there are many opportunities to teach English to Spanish people. I hope you can experience how great it is to teach English here and take this course as your first step. Let Canterbury prepare you for this wonderful opportunity. I can assure you that you will not regret this. God bless!
Joy Samson, Class of January
Dear Potential TEFL Students,
If you’re trying to decide between the numerous courses on offer, take a minute to read why Canterbury Consulting’s TEFL program could be the right one for you.
I was also once in your shoes, trying to research as much as I could about all the possible courses to be certain I would make the right decision when choosing the TEFL course for me. It was upon the recommendation of a friend’s husband who had done the course that I came across Canterbury.
He told me that what sets it apart from the others is the real-life teaching practice you get during the course. At Canterbury, you must complete a 20-hour real-life teaching internship to become TEFL certified, to put what you’ve learned into practise. However, you aren’t made to do anything until you feel ready. If you want to start the internship while you’re still taking the theory part of the course, you can. But if you don’t feel confident starting until you’ve completed the theory parts of the course, that’s fine too.
I soon discovered that the real-life teaching practice wasn’t the only thing that sets Canterbury’s TEFL course apart from the rest. From the very first class with John, I realized that the other students and I were in the hands of an extremely knowledgeable, passionate, caring teacher and that we’d learn a lot on the program.
The course is extremely well-organized. You can find a detailed description of each step of the course on Canterbury’s website before you even begin so you can see the journey you’ll be taking with John and the other teachers during the month that the course lasts. I say journey because I really feel that this describes my time at Canterbury. When I came out the other side of the course I felt I had learned so much and had had many valuable practical teaching experiences.
This course prepares you for all aspects of teaching, for teaching all ages and all types of classes, which makes you more attractive to future employers and gives you the confidence to go out there and start. Small class sizes ensure that the classes are interactive and that your individual needs are met. For me personally, I found the grammar part of the course the most valuable. Having been thrown into my previous teaching experience at the deep end, what I felt my future students needed from me was more sound grammar knowledge.
The atmosphere of the academy is very friendly and the staff goes out of their way to help you with whatever you need, including getting set up in Madrid if you’ve just arrived. Another thing that sets Canterbury apart is that if you want to continue teaching once you’ve completed the internship, you can. Not only does Canterbury provide you with training, it provides you with a job afterward as well.
If you’re looking for a TEFL course in Madrid, look no further because you’ve found the right place. This course pushes you to become the best teacher you can be and supports you at every step of the way.
Rachel Warren, Class of January
Dear Potential Teachers,
Teaching may seem like a mundane 9 -5 job, but with all the opportunities being given to teachers these days, it doesn’t have to be. Teaching in another country is exciting and refreshing. For me, it was always just a passing thought, but once I found the Canterbury Academy online and found out that it was located in the heart of truly one of the most beautiful and eventful cities in the world, Madrid, I could not resist. Like many of you, I had my doubts and fears and found myself drastically researching and reading anything I could get my hands on about the academy.
It wasn’t until I found the testimonial page that my fears were put to rest. The testimonials posted online are all true! That is also why I wanted to write one as well. Moving to another country, especially alone, can be extremely frightening and overwhelming. It can be difficult to gauge what you are doing right or wrong and what is safe and what isn’t.
During my first week in Madrid, the Academy offered an orientation in order to meet the staff and any students you may be taking the TEFL course with. The city alone makes you feel at home instantly and along with that, in just that one meeting, our Professor John Bouse immediately made me feel safe in the city by giving me a quick rundown of the do’s and don’t’s and offered to help in any way he could.
I am an Ontario Teachers College graduate from Canada as well as a Biology undergraduate student, and I can easily say that this one month course pushed me more than any of my previous courses have. It pushed me academically, but most importantly when it comes to going on an adventure it pushed me beyond my comfort zone and I am thankful for it. Teaching English always sounded like a walk in the park, but from day one I realized that this course and this whole experience overall is going to make me tap into new abilities that I have not used yet in my life or that I was not aware I ever had.
This experience was nothing but rewarding. As a biology teacher, teaching English did not seem like it was going to be too interesting for me but I ended up loving it. Teaching English is definitely challenging but the staff makes it extremely enjoyable. Once you are done with the course you are sent out to teach private lessons. I was given four different families and I can tell you that each family made my experience that much more enjoyable.
The people in Spain are so welcoming and pleasant and welcome you as one of their own. I was treated with so much love from each family and it broke my heart to leave when I did. To this day I wish I could still be there teaching the children I had. I definitely plan on making my way back because the Academy and the city have definitely left a long-lasting impression and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It has definitely helped me to become closer to realizing who I am as a teacher and especially as a person. This experience will be multi-dimensional for you, I promise!
Vanessa Wiazowski, Class of September