Amir Landa

Amir is a freelancer trainer for Teaching House. He’s originally from Livingston, New Jersey and graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in Communication.

Having done his CELTA at Teaching House in 2008, Amir went abroad to teach in Vietnam and then traveled all around Southeast Asia before returning to the U.S. to teach in the States. Amir has the illustrious reputation of being the first Teaching House graduate to return to TH and get certified as a Cambridge CELTA Teacher Trainer. He’s been teaching and CELTA training ever since. 

When he’s not turning his trainees into the best English language teachers they can be, he’s using his free time to listen to music, play guitar and work his way up to “pool shark” status.
 
Q1: How did you get into teaching English?
I did my CELTA in summer 2008 at TH New York and interviewed with Ryan (Founder of Teaching House) who suggested that I go to Vietnam.

Two of my trainers were Tillat and Lizzy. Tillat later went to Vietnam to do some teacher training, so I stayed in touch with Teaching House through her.
In Vietnam, I taught adults and kids at ILA, a school Teaching House has connections with. After a year, I applied as an Academic Coordinator.
 
Q2: Where have you traveled?
Vietnam was the first place I lived abroad, but I’d traveled a lot around the world with my family and on my own before I went abroad to teach English.
Since Vietnam, I’ve traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and many other places. The nice thing about working in Vietnam was that you got a lot of holiday time to use for travel.
 
Q3: When did you realize English teaching had become a career for you?
I really enjoyed teaching from the start and when the economy collapsed in the States, I was thinking, “Okay I’m living like a king in a tropical country, and I’m saving money here while my friends back home are going into debt… why is that better?” It seemed like everything at the time was pointing to teaching as a career.
 
Q4: What qualifications did you get to advance your career in TEFL?
After I got my CELTA at Teaching House, I did my YL (Young Learner) Extension and then my DELTA at ILA.
After my DELTA, I got promoted to Assistant Academic Manager and was trained up as a YL Extension Trainer.
 
Q5: What led you to become a CELTA teacher trainer?
From the time that I was a trainee on my DELTA, there were two routes that were very clear to me – one was Teacher Training and one was Academic Management. I initially chose to pursue management due to the opportunities at ILA.
But at the same time, I was very interested in Teacher Training and I was eager to stay involved in the academic side of the industry. So, I took the opportunity to become a YL Extension Trainer.
 
Q6: What advice would you give a trainee about to start their CELTA?
Try things even if you don’t understand why you’re doing them. Sometimes there isn’t time on the course to get too deep into the theory, and people are sometimes reluctant to try things because they don’t understand the logic behind them.
People who are willing to try new things and have them go wrong are going to be more successful.
 
Q7: If you could give one piece of advice to people looking to travel the world teaching English, what would it be?
Do a lot of research about the school you’re going to, read what people have to say. Find a school with a solid support system. It’s important for the first year abroad especially. It will make a difference in how much you enjoy living abroad. Give yourself a couple of months to settle in. Don’t expect it to go smoothly right away.

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