(c) 2007 Chris Card Fuller
It should come as no surprise that Paris is a magnet for TEFL programs. Language schools are a thriving business. But there’s also a non-profit organization that has been offering TEFL programs for years.
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If you’ve ever thought about taking TEFL courses in Paris, now’s the time to get started. WICE Institute for Continuing Education is a non-profit volunteer organization located at 20 Boulevard Montparnasse. They offer a total immersion TEFL training course in June for which you need to apply early and be interviewed. Be forewarned total immersion TEFL is only for the determined and committed. This is a taxing experience, but if you’re really eager to get started on teaching, there are many benefits to this program. First of all, you’re in Paris. Secondly, you begin using your teaching skills immediately. WICE offers a program to mostly French speaking students who know that they will be taught by teachers-in-training. The teacher- in-training is you. I signed up for this total immersion program a few years ago – and was very impressed by the calibre of the instructors.
Taking a TEFL course in an international setting is humbling for many reasons (at least in my experience):
Your fellow teachers-in-training are likely to be from all different backgrounds and English-speaking countries (primarily UK and US). My students seemed to have less trouble understanding my Scottish co-teacher’s English than I did. Also, French students grasp of English grammar tends to be excellent. They’ve already learned most of their English grammar in high school and college and they come to these classes primarily for practice in conversation. Be prepared for an exhausting month with little time on the weekends – you’ll be working feverishly on lesson plans. But at the end of the month, you should be ready to hit the pavement and begin looking for job with a little bit of experience under your belt. Obviously, not all of us ‘graduates’ decided to become teachers. However, even though I chose not to take that path, my admiration for competent teachers has quadrupled. Good teachers should be cherished. They definitely earn those summer vacations – and then some.