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Trainee Stories – Ellen

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Where are you from and why did you choose the Czech Republic?

I’m from Scotland and I chose the Czech Republic because I wanted to try living abroad. I knew TEFL was something I was interested in. When I looked up the course, it seemed like a really good opportunity for me. I studied sociology for four years and I have always been interested in education, so I wanted to get some teaching experience before I went on to master’s. This is my first time abroad. I worked in the US when I was 20, but I have never lived anywhere with a language barrier.

Has it been challenging to live in Prague? 

Not really, most people speak English. I’ve realised how important languages are. Me not being able to speak a language shouldn’t be my first hurdle. I always feel a bit embarrassed when I go to the shops, but I’m trying to learn Czech. I’ve studied French, Spanish and German, but Czech is completely different. I’m trying to get the basics and I already know a few words and phrases!

What do you like the most about the course? 

I had my first class today with a Czech student and I am really enjoying the hands-on experience. That’s the best way to learn, by actually doing it yourself. It was really helpful. I also appreciate the language awareness module, because in the UK you don’t get taught this aspect of English. We didn’t really have grammar lessons, I did a lot of reading, but I am learning how the language works in more detail.

Would you say that the course is worth the money? 

It was quite expensive for me to come here, but it is affordable. I am so happy that after Covid we were able to come here and have the one-on-one experience, I’ve really missed that. Also, this experiential learning is really good for me, I like the fact that I get teaching practice. All the teachers are accessible all the time and the layout of the course is very helpful for me. After a few lessons, I realised that this is my type of environment, this is where I enjoy being.

Do you find the course challenging? 

I’ve come from an academic environment, so it wasn’t that difficult for me. The days are quite long, so I mostly relax after the lessons, but on the weekends I can explore the city and settle in. I’m happy with the intensiveness of the course.

What do you think of Prague? 

I’ve heard that the Czech Republic is really nice and I’ve never heard a bad word about Prague. I could have gone anywhere, but when I learned Prague was an option, it just spoke to me. I don’t like being a tourist, I like being immersed in the culture. I’m a bit of a public transport geek and I love the Prague public transport. I get to see so much when I ride it to the city. It’s so easy to get everywhere. I’ve been on the trams and someone told me you can go on a boat, that’s great! Even if I don’t live here after the course, I will definitely try to come back!

What are your plans for after the course? 

I’ve had most of my experience in childcare. I worked with children, so if there was an opportunity to teach children, I would grab it, but I would also like to try teaching adults or teenagers. I really just want to teach, so I am opened to everything. I like a challenge and I’ve learned how to communicate with people who don’t speak English.

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