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  • Writer's pictureTom Garside

5 reasons why new teachers succeed

If you are thinking of training as an English language teacher, but don’t have any experience with education or language study, don't worry. There are several reasons why prior experience and detailed language knowledge can get in the way of initial training on courses such as the Trinity CertTESOL. Here are 5 of them:

1) New teachers have less to unlearn

As teachers gain experience in different teaching positions, they develop habits and assumptions that apply to the schools, classrooms and students that they teach on a regular basis. Many of these assumptions may apply to the learners that they work with, but are not transferable to different ages, nationalities or ways of learning  in students outside of their experience. 

Coming from a zero-experience background, you will not have any habits to break with the students that you teach, as you will be coming to your classes with fewer assumptions which can get in the way of your teaching. 

2) New teachers bring fresh perspectives

Some of the most interesting observations that arise on initial teacher training courses come from trainee teachers who have an outside perspective on what happens in the classroom. Coming to the profession for the first time, you will notice aspects of the job which experienced teachers are too close to see.

New teachers may also bring perspectives on people skills and ways of working with groups from other specialisms (see point 4, below), which can add to the ways in which they can facilitate learning in the language classroom. This is not only true in language education, ut teaching more widely, as evidenced by research into newly qualified teachers.

3) New teachers take on current methods more quickly

When you study theories of language, learning and teaching from scratch, a new teacher is like a blank slate, ready to learn and apply the methods they learn while they are fresh in their minds. Without previous training or experience, this means that there is less noise from previous study to distract from the specific ways in which we work with these theories in the language classroom. 

As in point 1 above, long-held assumptions about how to describe language or teach in certain ways can be distracting to the methods we use to train you on initial courses, so this can make initial training a more efficient process for new teachers.

4) Many teaching skills are transferable from other specialisms

If you are coming to language education from another industry, you may have unknowingly learnt skills which are applicable to the language classroom, and can be put into practice in this new setting. Experience with mentoring, shadowing or training staff in other fields can often generate new and interesting ways of helping language learners to work together, so you shouldn’t feel that you are starting from absolute zero if you have experience of working with others in different professional settings.

Like learning to drive a manual car after driving an automatic for years, many of the skills involved in other types of training are transferable to the English language teaching setting.

5) Experience

Finally, many trainees who come to the teaching profession after a career in a different industry express insecurity about being too old to learn a new language, or that it has been a long time since they were at school. This usually turns out to be an unfounded worry. There is no upper age limit to being a teacher (the oldest trainee I have worked with is now in his eighties, and he brought a fantastic energy to the classroom through his own teaching style).

On our training courses, we have trainees from all walks of life, at many different levels of experience, and our trainers (along with the very holistic approach that Trinity College London take to language and teaching assessment) ensure that e bring out the best in our new teachers, whether they are coming from entirely different industries, at any point in their life.

Of course, there are certain qualities that successful trainees should possess, including a motivation to learn, an interest in language and working with people from different cultural backgrounds, and above all, the desire to make a difference to the students they work with. If this sounds like you, then there is no reason to worry about your suitability for a teacher training course - you are already halfway there!

Language Point Teacher Education Ltd. delivers the internationally recognised RQF level 5 Trinity CertTESOL over 12 weeks, part-time in an entirely online mode of study, and level 6 Trinity College Certificate for Practising Teachers, a contextually-informed teacher development qualification with specific courses which focus on online language education or online methodology.

If you are interested to know more about these qualifications, or you want take your teaching to a new level with our teacher development courses, contact us or see our course dates and fees for details.

Upcoming course dates:

Level 5 Trinity CertTESOL (12 weeks online):  February 12th - May 3rd, 2024

Level 5 Trinity CertTESOL (12 weeks online):  March 11th - May 31st, 2024


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