Everton is a teacher at ETC International College. He took the CertTESOL at Athena Teacher Training in November 2014. This year he has joined the Athena Teacher Training team, as the Unknown Foreign Language teacher, teaching firstly his native Brazilian Portuguese, and more recently Swahili
1. What did you do before you took your course at Athena?

I have been in TEFL for a while now. I started in 2000 at a small language school in my city (Santos, Brazil), but I could only speak the language and had no teaching experience, so it was a real challenge. My first serious training came in 2006 (when I started teaching at Berlitz). Now, only a few schools in Brazil require a certificate for you to teach and most of them provide training, but having a certificate makes a difference if you want to apply to schools with better career prospects and pay. Finally, before taking my course at Athena, I had just finished my Master’s in Linguistics at the University of São Paulo.

2. What was your experience on the course?

I fully enjoyed taking the course, from the foreign language sessions to teaching practice. It was definitely useful having constant and considerate feedback from the instructors and peers. As I hadn’t been through intensive training before, I could consider new aspects of teaching language, my role as a teacher and think about the student first (and not about a methodology, which had been the main focus of my previous training).

 


“Teaching a language is something that will teach you about your language and open your mind to other people’s culture and experience. It is an incredible experience.”


 

3. Where are you working now?

I am currently working at ETC, which is a busy school in Bournemouth, mainly in Summer. I’ve been teaching general English, but also preparing students for IELTS.

4. How did your Athena course help you to get there?

As I said, while many schools do not require a TEFL certificate in Brazil, that is not the case in the UK. So, not only did the course help me to find a job, but it also helped me to deal with multicultural groups of students and, most of all, build my confidence, being a proficient, but non-native speaker.

5. What do you like most about your job? 

I deeply enjoy the cultural experience that teaching another language is. The teacher learns a lot from the students (their language, culture, work experience). Each language is going to present its difficulties when learning, and this is an exciting challenge as well (much like breaking a code).

6. Describe a typical working day. 

Normally, I prepare my lessons the night before, so, when I arrive at school, I can check if I need extra material for the lessons. I will normally teach lessons in the morning, have a lunch break and then teach until 3 in the afternoon (we normally focus on speaking and listening in afternoon lessons).

7. What did you like about living in Brazil? What would you recommend?

I grew up in Brazil and it is a country I absolutely love. The food, the varied natural landscapes and the people are just incredible. I used to live in Sao Paulo, which is one of the biggest cities in the world and one that thrives with different cultures (Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese) and a lively night life. If you are teaching in Brazil, make the most of your experience and enjoy their hospitality. As a teacher, you will have students ranging from teenagers (who need English for school and their future careers) to business people (who normally take English lessons after work).

8. Any advice to other people hoping to work in Brazil or the UK?

Brazil is a big country and with many people interested in learning English. If you want to work there, make sure the school you apply to respects its students and takes TEFL seriously. Having a certificate will increase your opportunity of working in a good institution with a better pay. Now, for you to work in the UK, you will definitely need a certificate! And, of course, you will enjoy meeting students from completely different cultural backgrounds.

9. Any future plans/ambitions/dreams?

I really enjoy teaching. So, I do not want to leave the classroom. I would love to continue studying Linguistics as well (maybe a PhD).

10. Anything else you’d like to share with people visiting this site?

Teaching a language is something that will teach you about your language and open your mind to other people’s culture and experience. It is an incredible experience.

11. Apart from teaching English, what other things do you like doing?

I love learning languages (about them, how to speak them, as many as I can, whenever I can). Welsh and Swahili being the challenge lately. I also like taking photos, watching films and walking my grumpy 11-year-old dachshund.