Name: Beth Grundy
Trinity qualification: Teaching Young Learners Extension Certificate (TYLEC)
Beth is a CertTESOL, TYLEC and DipTESOL qualified English language teacher from the UK, who first got into English Language teaching when she decided she wanted to spend some time living in Taiwan and studying Mandarin.
After studying for her CertTESOL in London, she moved to Taipei, where she started working part time teaching English and spent the rest of her time studying.
“After living in Taiwan for a year, I found that it was a really good quality of life - I was just enjoying being here in Asia.”
Having decided to stay on in Taipei, Beth started thinking about continuing her professional development as an English teacher.
“Someone had mentioned that they'd done TYLEC, and I could see that it was giving them a different approach to teaching kids - having more fun with them and being more effective.”
in 2014, Beth found a face-to-face course run by the British Council and didn’t hesitate to sign up.
“There was a range of tutors that we could go to, so I felt very comfortable that this was a well-put-together course with qualified tutors who were going to give us a lot of support.”
“I was very pleased with doing the face-to-face course because we could do weekly sessions over six months. We could put into practice things we were learning right away; we could try out the new games and new techniques in the classes we were teaching”.
We asked Beth if she can remember any key takeaways from TYLEC.
“I learned how to make activities more child-friendly and engaging for kids and really use the space - by putting reading texts up on the wall, or hiding questions on strips of paper under the table.”
A few years after studying TYLEC, Beth was looking for a new way to develop her career in English language teaching.
“I was hoping for a full-time position at the British Council, so I knew it was going to be more favourable to have a recognized qualification to show my commitment to improving my level of teaching and background knowledge and academic approach.”
“I knew it would also open things up to what levels of students I'd be able to teach - not just the young learners, but maybe the high levels.”
“I also wanted to broaden my subject knowledge and understand more about what I was doing in terms of pedagogic knowledge, to have more of an understanding of the theory behind language acquisition in particular”.
Beth really appreciated working with the tutors and her fellow trainees on the TYLEC and DipTESOL.
“I was really grateful to our tutors - they knew us personally, so it was a lot easier for them to give us specific advice. The other side was the camaraderie with the other teachers - I learned such a lot from them!”
“We encouraged each other, we had observations to do, we were also sharing which journals we found were useful or which chapters from the recommended texts were particularly helpful.”
The tutors supported Beth, who is visually impaired, to find ways to adapt activities and tools to cater to her needs.
“I do feel I’ve had a lot of support from British Council with this - they knew this from the beginning, but then they've given me support to be able to find my way.”
“I've got about 1/3 normal eyesight, so when I'm checking learner's work, I just get them to draft their writing on mini whiteboards using markers.”
“When it's very large chunky writing, I can very quickly check spelling and sentence structure, just by looking over their shoulder in the same way that any other teacher would be able to.”
We asked Beth if she had any advice for something thinking about starting a DipTESOL.
“There's an awful lot of reading on the course, so getting going with that! Get yourself in the habit before you start taking a course.”
“Pre reading before an input session made things a lot less overwhelming for me, and I could actually ask sensible questions during the class, because I had already got a handle on what we were doing. Allow time for that in your schedule.”