Becoming an English Teacher, Part 2

After completing the 60 hour in-class portion of our Oxford Seminars TESOL certificate in August, in September it was time to knuckle down and do the 40 hour online portion.

For the record, I don’t think it took 40 hours to complete, but I’m a fast reader and test-taker so it may take 40 hours for some folks.  For this part of the certification, you could go at your own pace, as long as you completed it within 100 days of taking the in-class portion.

There were a few sections that on topics like learning theory, class room management, and best practices for ESL classrooms, but the majority of the online portion of the class was on grammar.  A lot of grammar.

A lot of grammar books

As you’ve probably gathered, I consider myself a writer.  I actively enjoy editing other people’s work, and typos drive me crazy.  I thought I knew grammar.  Let me tell you, I had no idea about how much grammar I did NOT know before this class.  There are so many more tenses in English than I had thought! Zac and I plodded through it during the first few weeks of September, and soon it was time to take the Big Test.  This 100-question test would determine whether we had passed the class and could begin to look for jobs as English teachers.

The test was open book, so it would have been pretty hard to fail.  It took us a few hours to complete, but we had plenty of resources available, including each other!  Finally we hit “submit” and waited with bated breath to see if we’d passed.  Of course we did, with flying colors!  I personally am quite satisfied with my 84%.  As of writing this we just received our official certificates in the mail, stating that we are, in fact, real English teachers.

Once completing the course, we got to work on building our profile with Oxford Seminars’ graduate placement services.  When picking a company to get this certification from, this was one of the big selling points with Oxford Seminars.  Their online graduate placement services guides you through creating a resume and cover letter, and even tries to connect you with contacts that they have in various countries.  There are many other resources as well, for things like work visas and checklists on what to do before leaving the country.  Once an Oxford Seminars graduate, you have access to these services for life.

I wish that all resumes and cover letters were this easy!  Both were done with fill-in-the-blank templates, which were then formatted and sent over to an advisor who edited them.  And now we have professional resumes and cover letters that we can send to any prospective jobs, without most of the headache that normally goes into writing a resume and cover letter.  It really doesn’t get any better than that.

As of now we are looking into job listings and opportunities abroad.  While Korea was the goal for some time, we now have a new destination in sight: Turkey!  But more on that next time. . .

Happy Travels,


Aya Sofya, the crown jewel of Istanbul

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