The DipTESOL: A transformational teaching experience

Philly in Cádiz

Philly took her DipTESOL through Active Language in 2014. Find out how it has transformed her teaching below.

Could you tell me about your teaching journey leading up to the course?

I took the DipTESOL earlier in my career than most, having only 2 years’ teaching experience at the time the course began. I spent my first year teaching at a private academy in Daegu, South Korea. That first year was like a crash course in classroom management. Teaching children ranging from 4 to 18 with class sizes of 15 with very limited resources and facilities was a huge challenge as a new teacher but required me to think creatively and helped me to find my style as a teacher. However, the school provided very limited support and no professional development so I decided to move on. After an exhausting but fantastic time teaching at summer schools in England and Italy and a couple of months deciding where in the world I fancied next, I took a job at Active Language in Cádiz.

Immediately, I felt at home. The support I received as a very developing teaching was incredible. In my first year in Cádiz, I found my confidence in the classroom and discovered my love for teaching. At the end of my first year I was asked if I  would like to begin the DipTESOL. I knew I wouldn’t find a more supportive environment anywhere else so even though I wasn’t completely confident I was ready, I went ahead and applied.

Why did you decide to do the Trinity DipTESOL?
I decided to take the DipTESOL for many reasons. I wanted to be able to progress in my career and always wanted to be a teacher trainer in the future. I knew the course would help me to develop my skills as a teacher (although I hadn’t anticipated how much it would completely transform my teaching). I also liked that with the DipTESOL I could focus on teaching both adults and children. Perhaps most importantly, I knew I wanted to return to the UK eventually and having the higher qualification would help me to find work there.

How did you benefit from doing the course?
I honestly have no idea how to put into words how much I benefited from the course. It completely transformed me as a teacher and gave me the skills I needed to move beyond the classroom. Learning to critically assess every step of a lesson through the teaching practice and through self- and peer observations allowed me to understand exactly how to make lessons as useful and successful for the students as possible. I understand individual learner needs so much better and have become much more flexible and adaptive in the classroom. My grammatical awareness has sky-rocketed! I can pretty much answer any question thrown my way now!

Importantly, the course gave me the skills needed to move beyond the classroom. I’ve since been responsible for observing teachers, syllabus design, preparing for British Council inspections and reviewing course materials. There is no way I could have done any of that without completing the course.

What have you done since the course?
After completing the DipTESOL, I moved back to the UK. I’ve worked in ESOL (teaching classes of up to 40 absolute beginners!), worked as a teacher trainer, summer school director of studies, assistant academic manager at a large language school in York and pre-sessional teacher at Sheffield University. I’ve also spent a year travelling the world and teaching CAE, CPE and IELTS online – there’s absolutely no way I’d have attempted to teach CPE without the grammar knowledge I gained doing the DipTESOL!

The next online component of the Diploma course starts in January 2019, with the option of intensive teaching practice in Cádiz in August. See more details here.

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