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A Christian English teacher: my scope is bigger than teaching online…

A Christian English teacher: my scope is bigger than teaching online…

by | Nov 4, 2020 | Blog

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We caught up with Christian Tonja Taylor, after completion of our 250 hour online TESOL course to find out about the course, her teaching life and her future plans.

Thanks for your time, Tonja. What made you think of teaching English?
I have had a heart for missions since I was a teen.  Also, when I was in my early 20s, I met a woman who’d just returned from teaching English in China – so there was a way to reach people who did not know Christ by helping them gain a new skill.

 

About the Training

When did you start your course and why did you choose Christian TEFL?
I chose Christian TEFL because 100% of the profits goes directly to support the promotion of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  The interactive curriculum worked very well for me so that I could learn on the internet.

How did you find studying (please be honest – it helps people to understand some of the challenges as well!) 🙂
The courseware is easy to use, and I found my teacher very warm, knowledgeable, and having high standards that didn’t just let me breeze through. Some of the modules were harder, and there were challenges I did not expect but I know that God always works things together for my good!

 

Teaching for Chinese Companies

Tell us a bit about the companies you are working for. How is teaching online and what are your students like?
I have been hired by two Chinese companies, and then at other demos I have either not experienced peace about it, so have withdrawn from the process or else I have not been hired. Again, in the end, my trust is in the LORD, for He alone knows all things and the path I should take.

I have been teaching a “1 to Many” class for a company that serves public schools in China, while I also support a Chinese teacher in a room of 49 level 1 kids. I am connected to their room via internet while I teach with a “green screen.” This means I’m like the weatherman, where my image is projected onto the school courseware that the kids see, and I point to things they and I see on the screen–but behind me is really a blank wall with a plain green covering on it. This is quite different from most ESL classes in China, which involve ZOOM or bespoke platforms.

The kids are like kids of any other culture–usually full of energy and excitement at learning. They love fun and props and TPR, (Total Physical Response – see video below for a demonstration) which are all encouraged by the Chinese companies. I love the kids in the main but it is not without its challenges – especially technical ones.  I have had to stick up for myself on occasion when the tech has let me down and state my case with evidence, such as screen shots.

 

Tips for Getting Started Online

What tips would you give to a person thinking about getting into English teaching online?
Besides signing up on the Global English platform, which I would highly recommend because of the excellence of standards and courseware, along with the quick and personal attention, encouragement, and grace shown, I would counsel the potential teacher that there will be challenges along with the rewards. This includes the potential to lack teaching assignments at the beginning.  It has taken a few months for me to start getting more. Also, peak Chinese teaching hours are 11-14 hours ahead of the USA, and you have to adjust to that.

However, my scope is bigger than just teaching online overseas. I also plan to use this TESOL from Global English to teach local and regional groups–and even groups overseas on mission trips–how to read the Bible and other Christian materials as they learn English. Years ago, I was inspired by a local missionary who traveled and taught ESL by using Biblical materials, and many people, in Albania and beyond have come to Christ by her and her team teaching them English. Praise the LORD!

I would say to anyone who wants to do this for a flexible challenging job, to take a deep breath and go for it!

Thank you, Tonja, for sharing your story and for the reminder to trust in God for all things. We look forward to hearing how your skills will be used beyond teaching and earning online.

 

Where next?

Discover the 250 hour online course Tonja took >>
Could you teach English to earn or for mission? Check out our jobs pages >>
TEFL for tentmaking: How one Christian TEFL graduate is using their TEFL training >>

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