Could you teach English to make a difference?

Ruth Peterson | January 25, 2021

Have you ever considered teaching, but aren’t sure whether you want to commit to a long period of study? Bradford College’s 20-week Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course may be a great option for you.

The Trinity College London accredited Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is an initial training qualification to equip you with the basic skills and knowledge needed to take up a first post as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) or ESOL teacher.

Wendy Croft, Lecturer in Teacher Education at Bradford College, said: “It’s a course to teach English to people who speak other languages. It’s one of only two courses that are internationally recognised so it can be used to gain employment teaching English overseas.

Could teaching be the right choice for you?

“A lot of people want to teach ESOL in this country but don’t want to commit to a two-year teaching qualification. This is a good way of taking an introductory qualification and finding out if this is for you.”

TESOL is a 20-week course. Attendance will be at college one day a week with occasional attendance on other days.

Wendy added: “Students will be teaching for at least six hours during their course and are observed on their teaching practice. It’s quite practical, but we do learn a lot of theory too.”

Abadah: I wanted a change of career

Bradford College graduate Abadah Ashraf has successfully completed the TESOL certificate. She said: “My background is in admin but I wanted a change of career.”

 “One reason I chose to study TESOL after I graduated was because of time constraints, as I was working full time. Rather than spend a year or two years, studying for a teaching qualification, TESOL was a good way of finding out whether I would have the skills to be a teacher.

“Even though I studied for the TESOL qualification in college on a Monday, there was a lot of work that needed to be done as independent study. This does require some commitment, which I was able to do.”

Learning a new language

Part of TESOL involves learning a new language, for example Polish. Wendy explained: “This puts trainees the position of being someone who doesn’t speak much English at the beginning, so they can better support their students.”

Abadah said: “I’m from a bilingual background, and I learnt English at a very young age.

“To be in class and not understand what the other person was saying, was interesting but difficult. It was my first step towards empathising with the student.

“Why do we say English phrases like this?”

“It was also interesting to learn more about English grammar and phonology. I hadn’t thought about English so technically. If somebody had asked ‘Why do you say this phrase like this?’, I wouldn’t have been able to explain.   If a question like that comes up, you’ve got to be able to say why things are the way they are and this is why the theory is a crucial part.

Growth and development in teaching

“The teaching practice for me was quite daunting at first. The idea of standing in front of other people was not easy for me as I’m naturally shy. But it comes with practice and you receive a lot of support and encouragement from the teachers teaching you.  I had quite a journey in my teaching. When I look back at my first lesson, compared to now, there was definitely growth and development.

“People from all walks of life come to Bradford and the UK, but may not be able to access services easily because of a language barrier. Being able to support and facilitate that makes a difference. This course will give you the qualification and experience you need in order to be able to assist others.

Having successfully completed TESOL, Abadah is now studying for a qualification in teaching English GCSE to people aged between 16 and 19.

A mix of traditional and modern methods

Wendy added: “TESOL is going to be somewhat different this year as it will take place online. It’s a chance for people to gain teaching skills in both traditional and online teaching. It’s never too late to learn a new skill and we have adult students aged 18 to 60 plus.”

Attendance is one day a week. However, in addition, students need to be available for teaching practice and to observe other teachers.

Find out more today

If you are 19 or over, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Load to help with fees.

You can find out more about the course and how to apply on the Bradford College website.

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