Avenesh Mahtani is a QMUL Alumni, having graduated from the School of Business and Management in 2010. Avenesh has previously written about his experience of working and studying at the same time. In this post he tells us about his work as a teacher in Germany teaching English language and Business English to adults.
Qualifications: In addition to having a Bachelor’s Degree, it is necessary to obtain a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification. The most recognised qualification is the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), which is certified by the University of Cambridge. This course is offered by colleges globally and can be completed as a 4-week full-time course. The CELTA is a very intensive course that helps those with little/no teaching experience gain an introductory teaching qualification. The CELTA helps new teachers prepare by getting them to teach students on a regular basis throughout the 4-week programme, where trainee teachers are monitored by qualified trainers, who then provide feedback. The CELTA is assessed through 10 observed lessons and 4 assignments, which focus on grammar, vocabulary and methodology.
The Bachelors: I have been able to build on my CELTA with my Bachelors in Business Management. As many students desire learning Business English along with the English language, the degree I obtained from Queen Mary has proved to be valuable, as it has allowed me to teach various business topics, such as Marketing, Human Resources and Finance, which are often very popular topics among those learning English for their jobs.
Living & Teaching Abroad: For many, the CELTA is a passport to the world. Having studied German at school and university, I recommend learning at least the basics of a foreign language before moving abroad. Although I am not required to speak German as all the teaching is done in English, it is helpful to know your host country’s language to get through the daily challenges of life. Teaching English as a lingua franca i.e. a common language between non-native speakers has become a big business and there is a big demand for native English speakers globally. In Germany, the majority of my students learn English for their jobs, with education and travel being the other two main reasons. My students hail from various backgrounds, which has allowed me to meet so many diverse people, some of whom have become friends upon completion of their courses.
Skills Development: Teaching helps develop a variety of useful skills, including presenting, public speaking, people management, leadership and motivation. A key part of the job is being able to motivate your students when they feel they are not making progress. Being able to encourage them to meet their goals is an important part of the job and can help one improve problem-solving skills, while forcing you to think on your feet. Additionally, having been the senior teacher at the school for some time, I was able to train and develop new teachers, which helped me become a better teacher.
Having spent a large part of my 20s teaching, it is a great experience. It is one that I can recommend to those looking to develop their skills and like working with diverse people. Although it is not the best paid job, it does provide a great sense of job satisfaction seeing students achieve their goals, knowing you have played a part in that and those are memories and experiences that will remain for a lifetime. Add on the skills development and acquisition of a foreign language, it is a job that is definitely worth experiencing.