Dino Christofi’s TEFL story started when he was living in a shared flat in Sydney and spent his evenings helping his Korean flatmates with their English. After completing his CELTA qualification in Poland, he has gone on to teach English around the world in countries including Chile, Jordan and Greece. Read his TEFL journey below.
My TEFL story started when I was living in Sydney and sharing a flat with a couple of Koreans. They were going to English classes in the day, and when they came home in the evening I helped them with the English too. They said I was as good as their teachers, and it felt good to explain things and help them.
I realised that TEFL could give me a career where I could help people, use English, and travel.
I researched what courses to take and it was clear that the CELTA was the most internationally recognised. I took the course at International House in Poland. After finishing, my first job was at IH Bucharest teaching Business English. It was relatively easy to get the job – I had job offers from other schools as well, but decided Bucharest was the place I wanted to be.
Although teaching for real for the first time is a bit daunting, the CELTA prepared me really well – I highly recommend it. I had no teaching experience before, but the course gave me all the techniques I needed.
After Bucharest, I taught general English at an IH school in Chile. This was very varied – from teaching professors in their university to other adults coming into the school. The staffroom was varied as well – there were teachers from America, the UK, South Africa and New Zealand.
After Chile, I have taught in Mexico, Jordan and Greece.
What I love about my career in TEFL is the privilege to be able to choose pretty much any country in the world to work in. And not only visiting like a tourist, but being embedded in the local culture, meeting interesting people, and understanding what it’s like to live there.
Being in class with students is lovely. It’s energising and wonderful. I’ve had the opportunity to teach professionals in the Royal Jordanian Air Force, then refugees in Greece. I can help all these different groups of people. It’s such a stimulating career.