- On 17 March 2020
- Tags TEFL Florence
One aspect that makes a TEFL course really unique each month is where in the world each of our trainees comes from. Many trainees make their way here to Florence from the United States, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and even as far as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa! But not only do we prepare native English speaking students to earn their TEFL certificate, we have the pleasure to teach and learn from trainees from many other countries from all different continents-- Ukraine, Bolivia, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Italy, only to name a few!
Some people might look at the function of the TEFL certificate exclusively as a tool for mother-tongue English speakers to fulfill the requirements they need to teach English as a Foreign Language. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg! There are many opportunities for highly qualified and well-trained English teachers without the “native speaker” requirement. Additionally, achieving this certificate is not only useful for future teachers. Trainees who are rooted in many other professions seek out this course as a way to develop their professional skills. Maybe it’s because they work with non-native English speakers in their job, maybe they’re interested in the teacher training, or maybe they’re looking to challenge themselves and grow in any of the other skill areas you can develop from learning to manage students and deliver instruction in a classroom.
These differences in culture, profession, and life experience that bring trainees to a TEFL course highlight the heart of a program like Via Lingua. Besides preparing trainees professionally for their future career experiences, this is also an opportunity to foster an important human connection by uniting people and enhancing understanding across cultures and borders through this common goal of language. All professional skills aside, it is invaluable to have the chance to study in the same classroom as a peer from another corner of the world than one that you’re familiar with. This opportunity to learn about each other, to learn from each other, and to engage with new ideas and experiences that are possibly different, or similar, from your own is an experience that really opens our eyes and minds to the world. We are living in a world where it is difficult at times to always discern what information we consume is true. As lifelong learners and global citizens, we and our communities will benefit from the efforts we make to bridge these gaps in understanding. Pursuing a TEFL certificate can be a doorway to intercultural interactions, relationships, and improved understanding through this common language.
Being the connected global community that we are, we are collectively facing an uncertain moment in time where the coronavirus COVID-19 is consuming our thoughts, conversations, and routines. We want to send well wishes of good health to our trainees-- past and future-- all around the world and hope that we can lean on our unity as a global community during this unprecedented period.