Meet Faustina Janet Maithya. She is a Kenyan National with English as her first language and she is also trilingual. Since Kenya is not classically considered a native English-speaking country, Faustina found it a little bit challenging getting hired. Her determination inspires us at Premier TEFL as she didn’t give up and she proved she could score high in the British Council English Proficiency Test. Just before Coronavirus made itself known around the world, Faustina was offered her ultimate dream job of becoming an English teacher in a professional Language Institute in Vietnam.  As a Kenyan passport holder, unfortunately, she is not able to receive a visa. But when the airports open back up she can go to the nearest Vietnamese embassy to her country and get sorted there. Faustina mentions great tips and tricks for teachers and also mentions interesting things about Kenya that the average person wouldn’t know.

Tell us about Faustina! What’s your background?

My name is Faustina Janet Maithya. English is my first language and I am a Kenyan National. I have a Bachelor in Education, 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course from Premier TEFL, Teaching Phonics UK, Child Care Certificate UK as well as  Teaching English Online with Premier TEFL.  I also have attended a course on Safeguarding & Child Protection whilst in Myanmar.

Faustina completed a 120 hour TEFL course
Faustina after completing the 120 Hour TEFL course

As a teacher, I would like to pursue my career and make a difference in the lives of children from other cultures. Teaching children in a fun and engaging way is something I really enjoy. 

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and watching films especially from other cultures, and making friends from around the world. Cooking, exercising, and listening to music from other cultures is something I also love to do. When I traveled to Myanmar and visited an International School, I supported the teachers in the day-to-day learning of the pupils. My Assembly about Kenyan culture and languages had a great impact as lots of students and staff were using the new words I had taught them. 

120-hour Advanced TEFL Course

This course is one of our fast track courses and the most affordable. After completing this course you will achieve your TEFL certificate and you can teach online or abroad with this course. It is the minimum standard you need to get a TEFL job. Going by our graduate’s statistics, it takes the average person 3-6 weeks to complete, but not to worry if you feel like you won’t complete it in this length of time. At Premier TFEL, we give you 6 months of course access. Ideal if you are working full time and doing the course in your free time.

What’s included in the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course?

You will get 120 hours of accredited online training which will give you the basics of what you need to know as an English teacher. You will also get an Internationally recognized certificate at the end of your course. Included will be a reference letter for your future employers. You will also get your very own personal tutor who will help you all along the way with any questions you have in mind. After completing the course, our team will give you friendly job hunting advice that you help you to find your dream job. Just like Faustina!

What you can learn:

  • Educate yourself with the four key areas of language acquisition: reading, speaking, writing, pronunciation
  • You can organize effective lessons that meet student and class learning objectives
  • Understand teaching English to non-native speakers
  • Learn English grammar terms and know how to teach it to students of all different levels
  • You can effectively learn how to manage classroom and student behavior
  • Produce effective learning materials, text-based and digital to target language use
  • Utilize social media platforms to engage students, from TikTok to Twitter, Facebook to Buzzfeed
  • Your confidence will grow hugely and you will be able to enter your first class well prepared
  • Discover the best jobs, online and abroad

About this course

When you sign in to your account through your laptop or mobile app, you will notice that you have 10 modules to complete altogether. Within those 10 modules, you have to complete many subdivided sections which include videos, course content information, and an end of lesson assessment. Once you put your head down and get studying you will fly it through this wonderful course and you can get your TEFL certificate in as little as three weeks.

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You’ve signed a contract to teach English in Vietnam. Congrats! As a Kenyan passport holder did you find it challenging to get hired? Since Kenya is not classically considered a native English speaking country.

English (my first language) amongst 54 nations in Africa, Kenyans are rated as fluent in English after South Africans. This fact is proved in this great article written by the East African news website.

It was very challenging with the hiring process for me. All the TEFL jobs I have come across would like to have teachers only from certain countries. However, this didn’t deter me from applying. To prove myself, I even scored 550/C1 – IELTS 7.5 in the British Council English Proficiency Test. I feel very fortunate to have secured a position teaching English in Vietnam.

During your job application and interview process, what do you think made you stand out from the other candidates?

I know how it feels like when you are learning a new language especially English. But trust me, I have also learned other languages so I can understand and sympathize with my students. I have realized that being a trilingual with an excellent command of English has helped me to understand and support the learners of English. Therefore, I would like to pursue my career as a teacher and believe that I can support my students to learn English.

Faustina blog interview with Premier TEFL
Faustina is delighted she completed the Teaching English Online course with Premier TEFL

You’re currently waiting to start your TEFL job abroad. Tell us about your unique journey so far—including your TEFL course experience.

After going through the recruitment process, I feel very fortunate to be offered teaching in a very professional language institute in Vietnam in May. The company has been very supportive of sending the documents. As a Kenyan passport holder, unfortunately, I am not able to receive a visa, so I am supposed to go to the nearest Vietnamese embassy to my country. I was happy to go through all this hoping to get my dream job as a teacher. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and airport closures, this is all on hold.

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What are some challenges that you have faced getting your TEFL certificate during COVID and how have you overcome them? What have you learned for future similar situations?

I have found the Premier TEFL course very informative and engaging. The material itself was high quality but easy to understand.  During the lockdown, I had time to complete the demanding course modules, and as I was able to fully concentrate to study the course material.

Until it is possible to travel to Vietnam, what has been keeping you busy?

I wait to hopefully join my job in Vietnam but I decided to complete the Teaching English Online certificate with Premier TEFL and have recently registered with online lessons providers.

Teaching English Online

This teaching English online course is a pro-TEFL course with Premier TEFL.  It offers a very flexible study schedule for the customer and more importantly, the course is very affordable. Going by our previous customer’s data, it takes the average person 1-2 weeks to complete. But don’t worry if you feel you won’t get the course covered in that length of time, we provide 6 months course access.

What is Included in Teaching English Online

The course includes 30 hours of teaching English online training. Which will give you the confidence to start teaching online and the latest and greatest resources that will make you the best online English teacher. Also included is an Internationally recognized certificate, it can take you anywhere in the world for you to start your adventure as an online English teacher. You will be given your own personal tutor when studying this course. Your tutor is there to help and guide you through the course material, think of your tutor like your very own guardian angel. After you have completed the course, our team will offer you friendly job hunting advice that you aid you in the right direction. You can study from the comfort of your own sofa, download our app, and start studying through your phone. So useful, for when you might be stuck in a queue or even lying in bed before you drift off.

Requirements

There are certain requirements for this course which is you must be fluent in the English language. Or at least a B1 in an international standard of intermediate or advanced fluency and you must have a desire to teach. If you would like to see how good your English is, you should take the test.

Test your English skills

What you will learn:

Throughout this course, you will cover a massive amount of content that will help you significantly in your future career in teaching English online.

  • Learn the main four key areas of language acquisition: reading, speaking, writing, pronunciation.
  • Prepare and provide effective online lessons that comply with student and class learning objectives.
  • Understanding the variations of teaching English to non-native speakers.
  • Understand English grammar and feel confident enough to teach it to students of all levels.
  • Control your virtual classroom and all of your student’s behavior effectively.
  • Design effective learning materials, text-based, and digital to teach language usage.
  • Thrive with confidence as a new teacher and be able to enter your first online English class with courage.
  • Explore the best jobs, online and abroad, or choose a freelance path.

About this Course

The course has six modules in total that you have to complete. Within each module, you have reflective tasks and an end of lesson assessment. After completing this course you will have the knowledge and confidence to virtually teach all age groups. You will feel so confident in yourself and you will be the best freelance teacher!

What words of encouragement do you have for individuals considering getting a TEFL certificate?

As a graduate in Education, I looked at many other course providers. But I found  Premier TEFL to be more relevant to what skills are required in day to day teaching especially in the EFL classroom.

Faustina completed the 120 hour TEFL course with Premier TEFL
Overall Faustina completed the 120-hour course and Teaching English Online course with Premier TEFL

Can you share with us a few tips and tricks about how to be a successful teacher?

Patience, staying positive, finding solutions rather than complaining, and most importantly having true love for teaching.  Adjust to difficulties and challenges especially when away from the comforts of your home country. By staying positive and find solutions to deal with the issues rather than complaining. 

Pursuing my teaching career comes first. I will be concentrating and spending more time on my job and aim to enjoy life after work within reasons. Even if this requires working late hours and occasionally on off days. I want to learn from my seniors and hope to one day become the manager of an institute. I will also encourage more English speaking Africans to join international teaching by completing the Premier TEFL course

What are two interesting things about Kenya that the average person wouldn’t know?

  1. Kenyans are rated as fluent in English after South Africans. It is home to Cheetah (fastest animal in the world) and marathon runners.
  2. Apart from Barack Obama, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel (Slumdog millionaire), Lupita Nyongo (Black panther) and environmentalist Professor Maathai (Nobel Peace Prize in 2004) have Kenyan origin.

Thank you, Faustina. For taking the time to share your incredible story as a very educated trilingual English teacher with the Premier TEFL community. We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming endeavors.

💡Did you find this article about Faustina, a trilingual Kenyan national who found her dream job useful? If you have any questions please comment in the box below 👇 If you want to read more about TEFL teachers setting up their own business, check out our interview with Bo Bo Aung a Non-Native English Teacher.

BoBo Aung is a very experienced English teacher who set up his very own English teaching center. He teaches all different age groups and Is based in Myanmar. Due to COVID-19, he had to shut his business and switch more of his classes online. Read his article to find out what advice he would give to TEFL teachers and what it is like to live in Myanmar.