An intriguing job advertisement was spotted on February 20, 2012 on the UK’s Bournemouth Echo
newspaper website. The title specifies that an ELF Teacher is required but doesn’t state the exact discipline in which the pedagogue needs to be able to train elves. After all, there are many different types of elves. Take the night elves that inhabit the World of Warcraft
- they will need to be taught the arts of war, of medicine and healing along with a level of spirituality in the form of druidism.
Then there are the more famous Santa’s elves
who need to learn skills such as carpentry (to make wooden trains sets and things) and needlework (to make cuddly toys and clothes). Petrochemical engineering techniques are required to understand plastics and how to make things like Etch A Sketch for the older child and sorting bricks and blocks for toddlers.
IT skills are also needed so that elves can use the latest satellite navigation techniques to guide Santa accurately to all the houses where toys need to be dropped off on Christmas Eve. They also need to learn animal husbandry so that Santa’s reindeer can be properly cared for.
Or, maybe the job has a more worldly focus than those found in the realms of fantasy and fable. Maybe the ELF Teacher is required to help train elves to guide people in a similar way to that reported by the Helsingen Sanomat
International Edition news website, back in November 2007, on how the Lapland Vocational College in the city of Rovaniemi was setting up an Elf Academy which offered:
… a one-year course in "elfing" (or should that be "elving"? "gnoming"?) as a response to the growing need of the programme services enterprises in the tourism industry.
Or maybe, it’s really a bad typo and what is required is someone who has trained as an EFL Teacher i.e. a person that can teach “English as a Foreign Language” to people who do not speak it as their primary language as is indicated in the small print of the advert. If that is the case, then one can only hope the successful candidate’s editing skills and attention to detail are better than those of the person placing the job advert!