Text and Talk Review 2019
My overall experience with Text and Talk Academy was a positive one, but that does not mean there were not any negative aspects. To give some background information, I was living in the UK and found the Academy online through research. They had some good reviews before, so I contacted the owner at the time, James Parmelee. He was very helpful and gave me the breakdown of what the course entails, prices, and opportunities that would come with completing it. He also assured me that the Academy would make the transition of moving to Thailand for me as comfortable as possible, sorting out accommodation and other administrative work such as an education permit. We stayed in contact right up until I paid for the course (which he allowed part-payment) and arrived in Bangkok. This was a great start to the experience and one, which I definitely needed, as I had never lived abroad before. His assurances and help were outstanding, and my first positive experience with Text and Talk Academy.
What to expect from Text and Talk
When I arrived at Text and Talk Academy in person, I was apprehensive at first, knowing that I had paid money for the 6-week course to a company I had never had any experience with before. Yet the staff were great in making my introduction to not only their Academy but also the country, as smooth as they could. This eased my fears and doubts about living and studying abroad, and I was instantly happy with my decision.
Text and Talk 120 Hour Course
The course itself, a 120-hour, 6-week course, was nothing short of professional and well organized by Text and Talk, including our tutor. I was able to meet a diverse group of would-be teachers from different backgrounds and made friends very quickly. The course was intense from the start, but this was expected as it only lasted 6 weeks, and we were informed beforehand. The instructor was very helpful and always honest with his feedback. Classes started late in the morning and finished in the early afternoon, from Monday to Friday. Homework and quizzes were distributed, and we were given plenty of reading material. If you did not come from an academic English background, this would be a perfect course for you, as the material was detailed and thorough. As an introduction to teaching English as a second language, this I would recommend being the perfect course.
Over the course of the 6 weeks, we built up lesson plans from scratch, yet also had chances to develop and practice our teaching skills, which I never thought I could do. The instructor was good at giving constructive criticism, and encouraging when we needed more confidence. The Academy also provided all the assistance and equipment we needed, such as photocopying, laminating, and teaching aids. The building was small but very well equipped and modern, utilizing its space well to included classrooms for both learning and teaching. The staff was always helpful and friendly, making studying a positive experience. Another great positive aspect of Text and Talk was that we were given the opportunity in our final weeks to teach not only young children but also adults. I felt these opportunities gave us insights into our direction of teaching English, and whether we preferred one age group to another. This is where I found my preference for teaching older students, and from what I have heard of other places that offer TEFL courses, is not common practice.
On the other hand
Text and Talk was not, however, devoid of negative aspects, even though they were far outweighed by the positives. One of the students in class clearly could not speak English, let alone teach it to second language students, and yet he still passed the course and received a certificate. I found this to be quite frustrating, as did other students. The instructor spent long hours trying to help this particular student as much as possible, yet it was obvious that they should not pass. I believe, however, that paying a lot of money equates to an automatic certificate, regardless of the student’s abilities in teaching( I now realize that most if not all TEFL schools do this). This was the major downside of studying there.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I would highly recommend Text and Talk Academy to future English language teachers. They provided great services, materials, and instructors. It is because of them that I was able to find a job in Bangkok as quickly as I did, and the opportunities they provided to teach varying age groups allowed us to find out our preferred class ranges. Text and Talk Academy are a very well organized and accommodating company.
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