Non-native English Speaker, Pelin, is passionate about the English language since early childhood. She has over 10 years of experience as a fluent English teacher in the Netherlands. We checked in with Pelin to learn more about her expansive career and to learn what’s next now that she’s completed her TEFL certification!

Tell us about yourself! We’d love to know about your background, what drew you to teaching in the first place?

Hello. I am an ESL teacher from the Netherlands holding a B.A in Teaching English. I also have a TEFL certificate which I obtained from Premier TEFL. I’ve worked as an English teacher at elementary, secondary, and high schools. I have been conducting one to one English lessons in the Netherlands since 2013. The city I live in boasts an international community which I enjoy a lot. Since my childhood, I have been interested in the English language. I even knew a few English words before I attended elementary school 🙂 I strongly believe that being an English teacher suits my personality as I love working with kids, teenagers, and adults.

Can you tell us about your career previous to teaching? Have you been able to transfer those skills to teaching English?

Teaching English as a fluent English speaker has been my career since I graduated from university. After I graduated, I started to teach secondary and high school students aged 13-18 yrs old. I also taught students at elementary schools who were quite keen on acquiring the English language. Throughout the years, I have gained experience teaching lessons ranging from elementary to academic level.

teaching english can open new opportunities

Have you worked at the same school your entire stint as an English teacher in the Netherlands? 

I’ve been providing English lessons in the Netherlands for kids, students, and expats who want to reinforce their English. Most of my lessons are one to one. My students are culturally diverse originating from Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Holland, Japan, China, and many other countries. Interacting with various nationalities of people yields great opportunities.

You have 10+ years of teaching English already. Wow! Can you tell us the motivation behind completing the 290 Hour TEFL Professional Training Course at this point in your career?

Yes, I have 10 years of experience working at elementary, secondary, and high schools and 7 years teaching in-person at every level. Honestly, I searched thoroughly before I enrolled in a TEFL course and I am very happy to have chosen Premier Tefl! Their courses are suitable for any fluent English speaker who wants to strengthen their teaching abilities as well as their knowledge. The 290 Hour TEFL Professional Training Course is a fantastic choice. This course will definitely yield more job opportunities. I think it is vital that teachers should expand their expertise if they want to stand out in the competitive crowd 🙂

How do you feel the 290 Hour TEFL Professional Training Course will enhance your teaching skills and career?

I definitely believe the 290 Hour TEFL Professional Training Course will enhance my teaching skills and career. You can specialize in Business English, General English, IELTS, TOEIC, and Teaching Young Learners. Because of this, you can get hired by top-paying language companies. Additionally, you will stand out in the competitive job market by having completed a 290 hr course rather than a 120 hr which is the minimum requirement. As the level of this course is considerably higher than other courses, you will gain more confidence and you will have access to the most reputable schools.

Did you face any challenges as a fluent English speaker when getting hired as a TEFL teacher? How did you overcome them?

I did not have to face any challenges as a fluent English speaker as I was taught at English language schools since I was 12 years old. Ultimately, I earned my B.A degree in Teaching English. I was well prepared for my teaching career by taking TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and other English proficiency exams that led me to a successful career.

What does the future hold for Pelin? Will you continue to teach in the Netherlands or will you consider teaching abroad or online?

Even though I enjoy working in the Netherlands, it would be amazing to teach abroad or online. As a teacher, you would be exposed to different accents and cultures and be aware of what difficulties other nationalities face in learning English. Whether it is online, classroom-based, or teaching abroad, I greatly enjoy my time working with my students.

Travel and teach english

What advice do you have for a fluent English speaker considering a career teaching English? 

I would advise a fluent English speaker to have a B.A in Teaching English, Education, or any language-related field and obtain a TEFL certificate that offers courses in different specializations. As a fluent English speaker, he/she has to compete with native speakers by getting qualifications requiring a professional English teacher and tutor need. They should participate in teacher training and workshops and keep themselves up to date with new methodologies. Apart from English proficiency at an advanced or near-native level, he/she must know how to manage a class as well.

Thank you, Pelin for sharing your inspirational and interesting story with us. If you want to follow Pelin’s advice about managing your students well, check out this article on classroom management to add to your knowledge of online teaching!

💡 Have you finished your TEFL course and  wondering whats the next step in your career? If this blog doesn’t answer all your questions please leave your comments below 🙂