I didn’t make MUCH progress over the Summer. It is the busiest time of the year at my work. I was not, however, without some success.
I researched a few more online TEFL certification programs, completed a Basic Teacher Training for a Community English Class, and, perhaps most importantly, after 22 years of living in this great country, I became a United States citizen! Little by little I am approaching my goal.
Of all the online programs I read about, the one that stands out to me the most is TEFLOnline.com. They also provide lifetime job placement assistance, but they are a heckuva lot cheaper than the International TEFL Academy. I suspect the reason for this is that they do not provide any practicum opportunities. Still, I am impressed with their ACCET accreditation (Accrediting Council of Continuing Education and Training) and the fact they are associated with Cambridge University. I am planning on starting their 120-hour course in the next couple of days. They are worth a look.
Recently I attended a weekend training for volunteers involved in a Community English Class at a local church. The training was offered by the North American Mission Board, hosted by the Florida Baptist Convention, and covered basic training for teachers of English language learners. I had a great time learning different techniques for teaching vocabulary, types of activities to encourage conversation, games to inspire critical thinking, and essential steps in lesson planning. Overall, a very great introduction for me to the world of teaching English.
Once I complete my online course, not only will I feel more confident in my eligibility for the TAPIF, but I will also have access to job postings world-wide to jumpstart my new career. Now that I am a US citizen, I believe the visa and hiring processes will be a bit easier. (I hope!) One way or another, I am going after this dream!