At the heart of the Language Link teaching operation is the EFL Teacher. However, unlike the majority of language schools which are prepared to grant employment to almost any native English speaker who walks through the door, Language Link takes the selection of its teachers most seriously. Prospective teachers are evaluated along a number of different criteria. Experience has shown that though a TEFL qualification alone is not enough to guarantee one success in the classroom, such qualifications along with the right personality type makes for a formidable combination. It is this 'formidable combination' which forms the core of Language Link's teaching staff. In order to understand the type of teacher that Language Link is looking to hire, a Teacher Profile has been presented below.
Who are we looking for? Language Link is looking for qualified teachers with or without experience, who are interested in acquiring or adding to their teaching experience whilst working in the Russian federation or Kazakhstan.
What are we looking for? In hiring EFL teachers, Language Link looks for qualifications, personality, commitment and approach.
A TEFL or TESOL qualification forms the framework around which all other criteria are evaluated, and though these other criteria are of no less importance to the holistic approach that we take to staff selection, they are, admittedly, more difficult to measure. Acceptable qualifications include:
1) Cambridge CELTA or Trinity College London Certificate, or an equivalent TEFL certificate*; or,
2) Cambridge Diploma or Trinity College Licentiate Diploma; or,
3) PGCE with TEFLA/ TESOL University degree or equivalent.
*Please note: an equivalent TEFL certificate programme should include 100 - 120 hours of face to face classroom instruction AND 6 - 8 hours of observed, practical classroom instruction. For more information, visit Non-equivalent TEFL Qualifications
Applicants with degrees in education (or who, though not having a degree in education, have one year's verifiable experience working as a teacher's assistant) as well as applicants with related university degrees (English, journalism, linguistics, etc.) and relevant EFL teaching experience are eligible to waive the TEFL or TESOL qualifications. For more information, visit Equivalent Non-TEFL Education.
Qualifications are important but they are only one of the elements that make for a successful teacher. Just as important are:
Much of the success that an EFL teacher will enjoy will result from his or her ability to be flexible, open-minded and outgoing. Equally important is having a keen interest in other peoples and cultures and an empathy for the needs of one's students.
You will never be an exceptional teacher until you understand and accept the concept that teaching is an investment in your future; thus it requires your time and energy. As such, a willingness to work hard and see the job as a significant step in a long-term career, either in or outside EFL is essential. So, too, is a willingness to give of oneself and one's skills to people who are depending upon them. No less important is a willingness to learn from one's students as well as to teach them.
In general students abroad are dedicated, hard-working and conscientious; they expect the same from their teachers. Remember that you are going abroad primarily to work, not to holiday. In other words, Language Link looks for 'teachers' not 'tourists'. You will find that whatever you invest in your students will be returned a hundred-fold.
Deciding to teach abroad should be a first rather than a last choice, the opportunity should be carefully considered and the decision made in a mature and informed manner. Language Link can provide you with information on the country and the teaching post of your choice prior to your departure, but this should only be a supplement to your own research.
Finally, be prepared to overcome problems, to adapt to a new way of life and to build friendships in a different environment.