Thursday, July 19, 2018

Teach English in Japan

Hello, TKWFam! Hope all is well.

It’s winter, in the South at least, but with spring fast approaching, what better time to begin the process that will land you that dream job. 

Have you ever considered teaching English as a foreign language in Japan, and then abandoned the idea because the application process was just too long-winded? Well, times have changed. This is where we come in, so read on.

Being an EFL teacher is a lifestyle choice rather than just a job. Traveling the world, teaching, and earning, is not as 'pie in the sky' as you might think. It does however begin with planning and preparation. Forewarned is forearmed! Provided you meet the requirements for employment and follow the required, and sometimes painfully laborius, bureaucratic process you can and will find a job. It’s about attitude too!

If you want to legally work in Japan, or any country for that matter where EFL teachers are employed, you need to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, speak English as a mother-tongue, and have a recognised TEFL qualification. While there are many jobs in the international teaching industry, competition is exceptionally high, so it matters that you come suitably qualified.

TKW is still training teachers through our highly acclaimed 120-hour, in-class TEFL/TESOL course (next course starts 13 August - bookmark this date!), but more so, we are helping our TEFL graduates secure great jobs internationally.

Robert Gardner, a recent TKW TEFL graduate, now working in Japan, caught up with us to share his experience of Japan so far. After completing our January/February 2018 TEFL course, we connected Robert with a recruiter in Japan. Everything happened rather quickly from that point onwards…

Robert Gardner, EFL teacher, Japan
"Teaching English overseas is a great way to travel, gain work experience and earn decent money. After graduating with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town, it occurred to me that I had a strong desire to travel and experience a culture that is totally foreign to me. I had heard that you could teach English in Japan if you had a degree and a TEFL qualification and so, at the recommendation of a trusted friend, I signed up for the first TEFL course of 2018 at The Knowledge Workshop. It was a great experience and gave me the confidence I needed to start teaching.

Robert with Young Learners
I've been in Saitama, Japan, for nearly three months and I'm really enjoying it. A lot of the time it doesn't even feel like work! I've formed a good rapport with my students and I enjoy seeing them every day. I teach at a different school every day of the week which is very manageable with Japan's stellar transportation system. My students range between 4 and 75 years of age, so there's plenty of variety! I would highly recommend teaching English in Japan; you will have a unique opportunity to live and work in a beautiful country and you'll probably end up learning just as much as you teach!"

We hope Robert’s story inspires you to go out and have your own big TEFL adventure, whether in Japan or some other exciting destination. Contact us for more information on our upcoming TEFL courses and some exciting job opportunities coming available.

Hope to hear from you soon. Till next time.
Robert, out and about in Ginza, Japan

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Catching up...

Catching up…

Hello, TKW Family. It’s been a while, but that doesn’t mean things have been quiet – in fact, quite the opposite!

This is to catch you up on some of the major changes we’ve undergone in the last half year. For those of you who are not in the know, we are no longer based in Observatory, TKW’s home for three amazing years. It might also surprise some of you to know that we no longer occupy fixed premises, but this is all part of our grand evolution into a – dare I say it? – pop-up school! TKW is now free to go wherever our services are needed. 
Remember this?
For now, we have partnered with Language Link College in Rosebank, Cape Town, where we host our highly acclaimed 120-hour in-class TEFL/TESOL course. We’ve had a great run so far, having successfully hosted three TEFL courses there already.

While TEFL/TESOL training has to date been our primary concern, we’ve expanded our services to include job placement in the EFL industry. Opportunities are available to any native English speaker with a valid 120-hour in-class TEFL/TESOL qualification. Contact us directly for more information.

But what about our other services, like our language programmes for foreign and second language speakers? Well, we’re not about to leave any family member out in the cold, so here is what we can do for you:  

If you’re a foreign student in need of an English language school, but don’t know where to begin looking, TKW can help you. Our intimate knowledge of the language centre industry in Cape Town puts us in a unique position where we are able to guide you, give you advice on courses that would best fit your needs and budget, and ultimately help you find a school that is right for you. Our school-finding service will cost you nothing as we would receive a referral fee from the school you decide to study with. By allowing us to help you, you help us too! And this is what family is all about.

Also, unique to TKW is our Language Improvement programme for South Africans for whom English is not a mother-tongue. Over the 10+ years of TKW’s lifespan we’ve assisted many South Africans improve their language ability, grow their confidence, and ultimately access better opportunities. Our programme has catered to local businesses and individuals, filling a much-needed gap, and it would be a travesty if we weren’t able to continue doing so. While we can no longer accommodate face-to-face classes, we can, however, bring our training to you. With a network of exceptional and dedicated teachers, we are able to match you to a tutor who will deliver training on site. We can accommodate group as well as one-to-one tuition. Contact us for a personal, professional, no obligation quote.

So, that’s hopefully caught you up. TKW’s website (cringe) is sadly out of date, but currently undergoing a major overhaul. So bear with us, we’re almost there. Keep up to date by following us on FB and stay abreast of changes as they happen, and also job opportunities – remember we’re now placing teachers.

Till next time!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

English teacher. Nice to meetcha. Blog post #9. A zest for life: find it now (or forever hold your peace) by Shannon Norman

There’re about 65 gazillion facts in this world. Just kidding! I mean, hello! How the heck would I know? Luckily for you, I’m not going to be harping on about 65 gazillion facts. You may breathe now. Instead, I would very much like to share with you just four facts that I’ve learned since becoming a TEFL trained teacher (and why you should do a TEFL course).


Fact #1: Mindset is everything…literally

Being in the TEFL industry, and more specifically, teaching at The Knowledge Workshop for almost a year and a half has expanded my mind and has changed the way I see the world. The reason for this is that TEFL takes you out of your comfort zone, and forces you to think differently. It goes without saying, therefore, that mindset matters if you’re thinking of becoming an EFL teacher.  It is important to approach TEFL with an open mind and to embrace the challenges that go hand-in-hand with doing something new. Sometimes the hardest thing about doing a TEFL course is grappling with new ideas. Once the mental shift is made, you become free to explore all sorts of options you might not have considered before.

Shannon observing ideas unfold

Fact #2: Creativity has no limit

I can’t draw to save my life, unless you count stick figures, and anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Despite my artistic shortcomings, I still consider myself a highly creative individual because of the different facets of creativity I’ve been able to explore since I entered the industry. Whether you’re a teacher or engaged in some other profession, it’s important that you seek new ways of being more creative. Creativity is not just about being able to paint, draw or sculpt. Creativity knows no bounds. In fact, you are limited only by what you cannot imagine. So when I encounter new TEFL candidates who find their creativity somewhat lacking, I don’t worry about how they’re going to get through their training. I know that our course has the power to change things around for them, and very quickly, they exceed their own expectations as creative thinking takes hold.

 Fact #3: Interpersonal skills are a must-have, okay!

It’s alright to be introverted, says me, the extrovert. But it’s not alright if it prevents you from working and communicating within a group. Adults are often the worst when it comes to this. There are adults who distance themselves from others and there are adults who take over like a 90s boy band. The thing is, if you want to be an EFL teacher, and a successful one at that, you must understand the power of working in a group and interacting meaningfully with all sorts of people, regardless of your personal preferences. Herein lies the opportunity for growth – we learn from each other!

This is what happens when TEFLers and students get together

Fact #4: Giving up is for sissies (and you’re not a sissy)