Graduate Stories - Claire
Course: Trinity Cert PT
I took the Cert PT with Language Point this summer. I was working as a freelancer for Universities of Applied Science in Germany teaching Business English, ESP and EAP. This included being involved in materials and exam writing.
A self-identified need to improve my materials writing and feel more confident in this area along with a general quest to keep abreast of new teaching concepts and principles. Plus the dates and course were flexible and suited my availability.
This course more than met my expectations. The focus was on evaluating, adapting and designing materials with a special emphasis placed on design for a particular group of learners. We then got to use the materials we had designed in a lesson and reflect on their use. It included 4 assessed assignments and Tom Garside, who led the course, organised regular seminars to discuss assignment drafts prior to submission which was extremely helpful. He also organised regular tutorials, which I liked due to their flexibility - we would discuss issues and aspects of teaching and learning that had arisen organically during the previous week. The course was organised via a user-friendly platform and the main content consisted of a series of videos and readings followed by forum contributions – one thing I especially liked was that Tom responded to forum posts promptly answering queries and encouraging us to think outside the box about issues. Course content included reviewing some of the basics such as the use of CCQs and writing lesson aims but also looked at concepts such as connectivism and social constructivism.
Since completing the course, I feel much more confident about materials writing and have changed my approach – still (I hope) designing engaging, motivating activities but ensuring the linguistic purpose is sharp and focused. Since the course, I have spoken at the IATEFL BESIG conference about the concept for my final assignment (my first ever conference talk), I also spoke at the Inter ELTA conference in Germany about the use of online tools in online teaching, I’ve developed a social media presence and I’ve just set up a blog. For me, this course triggered my creativity and inspired me (and gave me the confidence) to start speaking and writing about my ideas. I really do recommend it!