I was attracted to this program mostly because it was not only a TESOL certification course, but also a guaranteed, well-paid job after the course, including the costs of accommodation! All for... Briana Aragon
Adventures in Teaching with the ATI Special Thai Project
Submitted by Briana Aragon - Fort Collins, CO | November 12, 2014
I was attracted to this program mostly because it was not only a TESOL certification course, but also a guaranteed, well-paid job after the course, including the costs of accommodation! All for about $1000, plus travel expenses. I really appreciated that this program required an undergraduate degree, because I knew that I would be learning and creating friendships with people who, like me, had already graduated college.
The TESOL course was located in a nice hotel right off the beach in gorgeous Nai Harn, southern Phuket island. The quality of the course was pretty good, they taught some theory, methods for teaching students of all ages, Thai culture, and the last week was completely hands-on in a real classroom and your peers critique your style. It was informative, but not so intensive that you are weighed down the entire month - they definitely give you time to get to know your fellow foreign teachers outside training and explore all the beauty Phuket has to offer.
I would have liked to have more of a choice for the location of the job placement after the course, however I understand that placement depends on current needs of schools at the time of completion. As it was, two of my new friends and I were placed in a local school in AngThong, a village a few hours north of Bangkok. I would have preferred a bigger city or something closer to the ocean, but overall my village experience was positive and immersive.
The house we lived in together was adorable and had a Western style toilet. Teaching in a local school was both exciting and eye-opening. The turnover rate of English teachers is high in Thailand, and the students will put your patience to the test. Too many students in one class is common, as are mixed levels of English. Some will be more serious about learning the language than others.
Although I enjoyed my time in AngThong, I was ready to live in a bigger village once the semester was over. In order to receive your TESOL certificate, you must complete your teaching appointment. Afterward, you can either choose to stay on at the school if they offer, or find work elsewhere, which is quite easily available almost everywhere in the country. I stayed in Thailand for 13 months and some of my TESOL friends are still there teaching! Overall, it was one of the most rewarding adventures of my life.