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Retreat from the Rat Race

After over 25 years in London, the last seven as a civil servant, it was really time to shake off the cobwebs. Having seen the advertisement for ECC’s Train and Teach programme on the web I decided to get on the plane to Bangkok with just one suitcase and my trusty laptop.

You never know what you’re capable of unless you try. ECC will offer you a package, which enables you to do your CELTA training in Siam Square and then launch you in your new career as an EFL teacher.

The course itself is extremely intensive. It aims to challenge students’ preconceptions of what constitutes a well-planned and well-presented lesson. Very thorough and meticulous tuition helps the student re-focus his or her priorities. The student receives willing and patient support throughout the course and the whirlwind month flies by.


There are students of all ages and backgrounds on the course, so don’t be put off if you are a mature student. Having a good sense of humour is an invaluable asset and the camaraderie between students on the course is a unifying force for the good.

And afterwards? You’ll want a few days off, ideally by the sea. When your contract starts and your career as a teacher begins, there are other teachers working for ECC who have also trained in Siam Square before going on to teach there, or in other branches throughout Thailand.

When you start teaching, you put into practice those points that you found most valuable on the CELTA course. I suspect that as no two teachers teach in exactly the same way, we all put the training into practice a little differently. However, the main aim of giving student-centred lessons remains a top priority.

When you start work, there will be a tendency to be apprehensive about the results you wish to achieve. But ECC keeps you busy and in practice youíll find that you donít really have time to worry about your progress. Instead, youíll fine-tune your lessons as you gain experience. Youíll learn to adjust and upgrade your teaching skills as you go along and you can call on the advice of colleagues.

If you get on well with other people and want to visit a country that will charm, irritate, amaze, bedazzle and leave you entranced, then come to Thailand and take up the “Train and Teach” option. It’s worth doing.

Tony Walkey

For more information try the following links

  • Read more information about CELTA
  • Find out what it's like to live in Thailand
  • Learn about job opportunities at ECC or teaching in Thailand


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