Hristina joined ELTjam as an intern, completely new to the world of ELT, and is just about to leave us to teach in Vietnam. Sad to see her go but excited for the adventures she’s got coming, we say goodbye blog-style.
We’ve seen your name on the blog for the last year, but what have you been up to at ELTjam HQ?
I’ve been learning a lot. I started off as an intern, where I was responsible for ELTjam’s online presence and diversifying our blog content. A few weeks later, I became more involved in the editorial side of ELTjam’s projects, so it’s been a bit of a journey!
We’re about to launch Flovoco, our learning app which helps Spanish learners improve their vocabulary. It’s been amazing to learn how an MVP like Flovoco transforms into something we can download onto our devices.
When you started, you didn’t know anything about ELT or EdTech. What’s the most important thing you’ve discovered?
I think the most important thing I’ve discovered is that EdTech isn’t going away and neither is ELT. They’re both here to stay, and EdTech is going to play a massive role in the future of learning. It’s one of the fastest growing industries, and it’s going to be super exciting to see where future takes us. And, also, what the role of the ELT professionals will look like.
You’re taking off to teach English in Vietnam. What made you decide to get into TEFL now after working in ELTjam?
I’ve always toyed with the idea off going off to teach English (for the most obvious of reasons), but I think ELTjam has given me that extra bit of insight and courage I needed to justify my going away. I couldn’t go away to teach just because it was an easy way to get a job and travel the world. Now, I can see an opportunity to grow in the industry, which I don’t think I saw before.
You’ve done an online TEFL with no classroom-based component. What did you think of it?
There are two reasons I went for the online TEFL (and not the CELTA or equivalent). It was a cheap (£50 off Groupon) and quick way to get my foot in the classroom door – at least according to my sources in Vietnam. And, secondly, a lot of teachers have advised that the CELTA becomes more valuable to people who already have teaching experience. So I am happy to wait a bit.
My opinion of the online TEFL is not a very good one. I completed the 150 hour ‘master’ course in less than 10 hours and got 97%. I reckon I’m going to need that CELTA pretty soon.
What use do you think you’ll make of EdTech in your future classroom?
It all depends on the resources and type of classroom I’m going to be dealing with, but I’m hoping I’ll be using most of the EdTech stuff I’ve come across during my time at ELTjam. I guess I’ll have a better view after I start teaching.
What will you miss about working at ELTjam?
I’m going to miss the team and the dynamic. We’re very supportive of each other and have a great work ethic and environment. It’s a shame I’m leaving at a time when people like George are coming on board. I’ve found that working for a company like ELTjam there’s always a lot to look forward to, which makes me a bit agitated about what I’m going to miss out on.
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