Name: Karin Xie
Trinity qualifications: CertTESOL, TYLEC and DipTESOL
Karin Xie is a CertTESOL, TYLEC and DipTESOL qualified teacher educator from Shenzhen, China who is now working as a CertTESOL trainer herself. We spoke to Karin about the work she does training on CertTESOL courses, as well as training teachers of Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) around China.
Karin really enjoyed learning English at school, and she credits her teacher, Miss Tan, with sparking her interest (in) language and subsequent language teaching career.
“At school, English was a subject that I enjoyed more than the other ones, and that's because I had a really good teacher. I was very lucky that she wasn't someone who just looked at the grades.”
“The classroom wasn't as communicative as what we're trying to achieve now in English classes, or anything close to that. But the teacher gave me lots of freedom. She knew that I was in genuinely interested in English, knew that I was paying attention in class, and she knew that I was making an effort.
“I guess the biggest takeaway that I got from her teaching was that you can't force a student to learn. You have to find something that the students are interested in and what motivates the students.”
Karin told us about the early days of her English language teaching career and the impact she felt the CertTESOL had on her teaching.
“Before I did my CertTESOL I had some teaching experiences with young learners and adults. I had a national qualification in teaching and had done smaller training sessions and programs. “I think in my first teaching job, I wasn't doing anything communicative at all. I was using flash cards, games, but I wasn't really sure what I was doing and why I did the things I did in my lesson planning process”
“When I started my CertTESOL, it was seeing effective teaching and learning that really gave me a really different perspective. I learned so much about context setting and grammar teaching. I had a peer who brought a guitar in to do a lesson with a song that has present perfect in it. I never thought that I could teach a tense with a song before that!”
Before long, Karin was ready to take the next step in the Trinity TESOL pathway and start working towards her DipTESOL.
“A couple of years after the CertTESOL, I started wondering what was next for me to learn, and I decided that doing the Diploma was a good next step.”
We asked Karin what impact she felt doing the DipTESOL had on her teaching skills.
“Phonology is definitely something that was a very big component, and it really changed my idea about teaching pronunciation.”
“When I was doing my Teaching Practice block in Guangzhou, I had this one trainer Matt, who was actually located in Shenzhen. He would take the early train to go and observe my lesson and then do a phonology workshop with me. I really liked that. "
“He was really insightful on how phonology could be integrated into a lesson, and also he had some really good observations about Cantonese speakers - what he saw the students were saying, what the L1 interference was there, and how this could be approached.”
Karin never tires of finding new ways to continue developing, taking on new roles in the TESOL world when opportunities arise.
“Today I'm training to be an internal assessor for the Diploma lessons, and to be course director on the CertTESOL course, and I also work with all the teachers who prepare students for GESE. I think my career at this moment is just all Trinity!”