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TEFL Alumni Interview with Mark Durston

TEFL Alumni Interview with Mark Durston | ITTT | TEFL Blog

For ITTT, our community of students and alumni is the most important to us. That’s why we’d love to share what our course grads have to say! This will not only have others make a better decision in whether TEFL/TESOL is for them, but it will also help the ITTT community grow bigger and stronger!

The below answers were given from real ITTT alumni who have agreed to share their thoughts for our blog section.

1. What’s your name?

Mark Durston

2. Which ITTT course(s) did you take?

120-hour TEFL/TESOL Course and 50-hour Teaching English to Young Learners Course

3. What was your favorite part about the course?

I enjoyed the Parts of Speech, Coursebooks and lesson materials, and the receptive and productive skills the most. The fact that TEFL put me in touch with so many online resources was an invaluable benefit, which I did not expect. I am still benefiting from them NOW as I am setting up my own business in South Africa.

4. You've finished your TEFL/TESOL course - now what? What are your plans and goals?

At my age (57) it seems like I have passed my sell-by date, as my age seems to be a problem for schools hiring me. But I am not defeated. I am now setting up my own online English teaching business - with unexpected success I might add. Having lived in Europe for a long time, I am using word of mouth marketing for Austrians who want to practice conversational English, grammar or business English. So, instead of working through a school, I am now marketing myself and make 100% profit. Never give up!!

5. What's your no. 1 tip for other TEFL/TESOL course takers? What should they know? What do you wish you knew before?

My advice to you is BE DILIGENT, BE CREATIVE and READ your TEFL course notes back to back and then read them again. I believe that people put effort into creating those modules. These were/are people from within the industry and they have knowledge that we as ESL teachers need to absorb and make our own. Do NOT just skim through the module to complete a multiple choice questionnaire and then fling them in the corner of your home classroom! Treasure them and build on the ideas they offer. Also make the connections and join the groups they suggest. The communities have proven to be a great source of information for me.

I have one regret and that is simply that I still have not done the 50 hour teaching English online course yet. That is still looming in the future for me, and as soon as I have the finances I will look at that one, for sure.

6. Where would you like to teach English? Why? (If you already are teaching abroad - where do you teach and what do you like about that location?)

I want to make my home my office! I am opting for the home teacher who teaches online. I used to live in Europe for 22 year in the beautiful Austrian capital Vienna. There I was working at an international English language school and simply loved teaching the Austrians English. I also worked as a flight attendant for 16 years and have visited 54 countries in my life. If I had to dream about a country to live and teach in; apart from my home country South Africa, it would be Italy - that breathtaking gem nestled like a boot on the Southern edge of Europe.

7. Anything else you'd like to mention or add?

I need to say this again. The TEFL courses are awesomely researched and produced, being both comprehensive and concise, and I am so glad I have had the experience to learn from you! As I said, I am still working through the lists and list of resources it offers and making new discoveries every day. I feel is has prepared me for the next chapter of my life, namely to take English to those who want it and need it. So here is a BIG BIG thank you to ITTT!

Are you ready to start your own teaching adventure?

All opinions stated above are those of the ITTT course graduate. We always provide honest and accurate accounts of how our students and course alumni feel about their experience with ITTT.

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