In our latest blog, Christian missionary Sharon Manning from the USA chats with William about how she’s teaching English for mission in Romania, serving with MissionQuest.
Hi Sharon, tell us a little about what you are doing in Romania.
I’m in Romania, assisting children with English homework and teaching English lessons. I also incorporate English into all of my Bible lessons at the different villages where I work with Romii children.
Teaching English is a great way to have fun with the kids and bond with them. I have a wonderful time with the children.
That sounds exciting. Can you think back to what made you decide to become an English teacher?
My heart’s desire was to come back to Romania after leaving here in 1997. For at least 10 or 15 years I thought about becoming certified and teaching English as a means to be able to minister on the mission field again. God strongly prompted me to get started in the spring of 2021 knowing that He was going to send me back to the mission field in 2022.
Tell us about your first teaching role. How did you get it? Can you remember the interview you had?
About 30 years ago God put it on my heart to go to a Romanian kindergarten and talk to the principal to offer free English classes to all three kindergarten classes. I told him the only condition was that I used the Bible as my curriculum and he agreed. All the opportunities I’ve had to teach English were ones God prompted me to initiate.
What courses did you take with Global English/Christian TEFL? What was the most helpful thing you learned from the courses?
I took the basic 120-hour course, then added a grammar course, teaching English to Young Learners, and Teaching English Online. Honestly, I found each of them very useful in different ways, teaching both young people adults, online and in person. Since I’m weak in English grammar, the Total Grammar course was really helpful.
Do you speak the local language and if so how essential would you say this was to being successful there?
I speak Romanian fluently. However, shortly after arriving here, I enrolled in multiple free Romanian classes for foreigners who are migrating here to improve my grammar. I do indeed feel like it’s really important for people to learn the language. It expedites the learning process when teaching, and it is also a huge and important step in building good relationships with people in any foreign country.
Have you any advice to others about starting as an English teacher? Particularly in terms of finding work, teaching English, or settling into life in the country?
I would say the most important thing about moving to a different country is to move there with a desire to learn their culture, their language, their special foods, and eventually their thinking processes. These are often radically different and hold the keys to understanding all else. Respect their culture, their way of doing things, and their uniqueness. Just because your way of doing things may be different doesn’t mean it’s better.
Thank you so much Sharon for sharing something of what you are involved in. It’s great to see how God is using you and your skills to build his kingdom.
Where could English language teaching take you?
Sharon trained with Christian TEFL on our 120-hour Classic TEFL course and then added a number of specialist programmes through our sister organisation Global English.
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