In late 2014, I finally received my Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Originally, I took the diploma course in response to a potential long-term collaboration with an Australian institution intending to set up course facilities in Singapore.
Though there was much done to advance the project, it, unfortunately, didn't come to pass as intended.
As a result, I didn't get much use out of my diploma. Sure, certain modules were undoubtedly helpful in my general teaching and training, but I started to wonder if I would ever get to make use of it.
I got my answer yesterday.
Through speaking with an individual in charge of training centers in Cambodia and Thailand, I learned that they are seeking teachers with my qualifications.
Of course, I've always known that such a demand exists but many of these training centers specifically ask for 'westerners' as their teachers - a point that never made sense to me. Wouldn't an Asian have a better grasp of cultural norms in Asia and thus be better able to make English lessons more relevant and relate-able to his/her learners?
What particularly struck me during my conversation with this individual in charge of the training centers is that they are actively looking for Asians instead of the usual 'westerners'. Their thoughts on the matter are similar to mine - that Asians will be easier to relate to and will be better able to appreciate and respect the local culture.
Well, that's a truly refreshing change! It re-ignited my interest in teaching English in the SEA region, something that I've been wanting to do since I got my diploma.
It appears that doors of opportunity have now been opened!