I took the part-time course with Frank and Angie in the warm spring of 2017.
I had always liked teaching English but I didn’t have any formal training until the Trinity CertTESOL course. It was tougher than I thought but very rewarding. The practicality of the course has enabled me to run my classes efficiently, in terms of overall class management and students' learning capability.
I am a story-teller, and hold story classes for young children with a local NGO. Prior to the CertTESOL, my classes were mundane story-telling followed by craftwork. Simple, fun but not much takeaway. Now, I incorporate some useful language focus into each English story session: be it vocabulary, prepositions, simple conversations or intonation. I want to make learning fun, which is especially important to local kids who have little exposure to English and few opportunities to use it.
I am now teaching English part-time: phonic classes in kindergartens, oral & writing to primary schoolers in a learning centre, in addition to English story-telling at NGO centres, schools and libraries. The student-centric approach that the CertTESOL advocates has enlightened me as a teacher. I always recall from the course how Angie and Frank prompted us for answers: all the CCQs and ICQs. These Qs have become part of my teaching ritual! Classroom management techniques I learnt and practised during the course were invaluable; not to mention those refined lesson plans (which “wow” my social work colleagues).
Thinking out-of-the-box is another great lesson from the CertTESOL. Creative use of teaching materials enhances the learning experience and increases learners' confidence. This is my personal experience teaching a group of 16 kindergarteners phonics. I was very worried at the beginning of the academic year as I have never formally taught a group. Instead of pure teaching with letter cards, I used games (like bingo), cartoon characters, paper dolls, stories... to garner student attention and refresh their memories. Before Christmas break, I received commendation from parents and the school. I was especially glad to hear that a few of the children who didn’t like English were now willing to practise it at home. That was a big milestone for me.
Thank you CertTESOL. Thank you Angie, Frank and all the tutors on the program.
Name: Jacqueline Loschko
Course: June 2016
I took the part-time course with Frank and Angie in the summer of 2016.
I had a few regular teaching classes before the course, but what I found was that after receiving my Trinity CertTESOL, the response rate to my job applications to various agencies increased hugely, and I started to get more job interviews! Last summer, I applied for a teaching position at an adult learning centre. Prior to this, I had very little experience in teaching adults, but now armed with the Trinity CertTESOL qualification, I had the confidence to try teaching a different group of learners - adult students from mainland China - and I got it! I now have a part-time teaching position with this company, conducting evening sessions of 3 - 4 hours, several times a week.
Prior to taking the CertTESOL, my experience with teaching adults was mostly just conversational, or one-off lessons for situations like interview preparation. However, I was not fully confident in my ability to teach them as effectively as I wanted, and used to be quite self-conscious during the whole process. The Cert has given me the confidence I needed to become a much more effective educator, both in terms of lesson delivery as well as lesson planning, which I do a lot of now!
What I really loved from the course, and still apply, is the important skill of scaffolding a lesson, and ensuring my learners are supported step by step (I have found this especially true for writing skills lessons). I have learnt to incorporate much more student-centred tasks, so they can follow a rubric initially for support, but then ultimately can generate the language by themselves.
I would recommend the course because it has really improved my confidence, enabled me to teach much more effectively, and for the increase in job opportunities it has given me.
Name: Marek Dziong
Course: January 2009
I did the CertTESOL with Maria, Frank and Angie back in January 2009. It was a wonderful course with great trainers and a really nice group of trainees - we even had a reunion a couple years later in HK! Doing the course made me feel more humble about my teaching ability (I had already been teaching in China prior to the course ), and it moved my life forward.
After completing the course and getting a reference from the course director, I got hired as an ESL teacher at an American international school in Shanghai. And I started counting my post-certification teaching hours which I needed to qualify for an IELTS examiner position with the British Council, as they required certification and post-certification teaching experience. In 2011 I got hired by the British Council as an examiner, which had proven to be a wonderful work opportunity and which brought me into contact with many amazing ELT people.
Other than helping me get better jobs, the CertTESOL was a genuinely great training experience and ever since I felt guided and inspired to go on with further education in the field of ELT. Frank’s parting advice to me was to take the Trinity DipTESOL and that’s just what I did. I completed that more advanced course by 2013 while working in China. In 2015 I went further by returning to Canada to do a Masters of Arts in teaching and learning with specialization in TESL at McGill, a program that also leads to teaching certification for secondary schools in Quebec. Having taken the Trinity course was again helpful in qualifying for a Masters program with TESL specialization, while Frank had been really kind to provide reference letters when I was applying to education programs across Canada. I have now successfully completed the Masters program and I’m starting to look for a more permanent teaching post at secondary or tertiary institution in Quebec or elsewhere in Canada. I’m also open to the possibility to return to China to work at an international school or as an EAP tutor at tertiary level.
My final words on the certTESOL with Frank, Maria, and Angie are that you will definitely learn a lot and you will be working with truly experienced and supportive educators. I’m not a fast learner but what I experienced on this course stayed with me and inspired me to do better over the years. I still remember the amazing “learning a foreign language” experience with Maria where she taught us beginner Swedish without any recourse to English. I recall the valuable, real feedback on my teaching practice, and the input sessions. I loved the learner styles and multiple intelligence introduction. Through the course I learned the International phonetic alphabet. Finally what I also really loved about the course was that instead of being handed out a multitude of disjointed handouts and/or being required to purchase a multitude of expensive books, we were provided with a succinctly written in-house course pack document which included all the essentials needed. After all these years I still have and often refer to my CertETSOL bound course pack.
Name: Paul Holdsworth
Course: January 2008
I took the full-time CertTESOL course January 2008 with Frank, Maria and Angie as the instructors. I remember it being a very intensive course but also very rewarding. After attaining an overall grade of A- for the course, I was given the opportunity to help on the course by performing many Guided Observations lessons and Teacher Practice Observations.
On a career level, the CertTESOL helped me move from Service Manager at a language institute to the position of Programme Director. After that, I became interested in corporate training. I spent many years in the corporate training industry, and the skills I learnt from the CertTESOL proved very valuable. I found I had a fondness for training writing skills and writing in general which led me to open my own copywriting, editing and proofreading company “P&W Copywriting”, and that’s where I am now.
It goes to show that the skills learnt on the CertTESOL are useful through a number of industries, and I can highly recommend the course to anyone interested in teaching, training, academic administration or simply language theory.
Name: Carola Dinu
Course: August 2007
Carola enrolled on the Trinity CertTESOL course in 2007 when we were running the course at English for Asia. She was an excellent trainee, and it was evident that she was, and is, passionate about language and teaching. Since then, she has gone on to do an MA in Education (MEd) in English Studies at HKU, and her varied teaching experience includes teaching at primary schools, lecturing at tertiary education institutes and vocational colleges, as well as opening her own learning centre in Tiu Keng Leng.
We are also very proud to have Carola as part of the Train The Teacher team as one of our Unknown Language tutors, where she teaches Romanian to trainees on the Trinity CertTESOL course.
I attended the full-time Trinity CertTESOL course in August 2007. Even if by then I had had 6 years of English teaching experience and a degree in Linguistics, I needed certification for English language teaching.
I was thrilled to come to the course day after day. It was a pleasure to attend, a pleasure to learn new things, new methods or refresh upon the things I knew, a pleasure to see such professional, approachable, knowledgeable and charismatic teachers and a pleasure to interact with the other trainees and the students. I was very impressed by the excellent curriculum, which was structured perfectly and scheduled so well that we completed our assignments one by one, giving us an ongoing sense of progress and achievement. I also appreciated the teaching groups who were very energetic and easygoing and gave us the opportunity to practise in a real environment. The moderator was lovely and I enjoyed her presence a lot during the interview.
This course is meant to help you become a good teacher, and it has all the attributes to do that. Besides gaining a lot of information on the subject matter, I learned about important classroom management techniques, materials quality, confidence and many more. I did not want the course to end!
I was then asked to join the Train The Teacher team to teach the Unknown Language module on the Trinity CertTESOL, and here I am after 7 years... still thrilled about it. So, now I am sharing my teaching experience with the trainees. who I am confident will soon become great teachers.
Name: Paul Cowden
Course: July 2016 (full-time)
I attended the full-time Trinity CertTESOL course with Train The Teacher in July 2016. Prior to this I had already gained a 120 Hours TEFL certification via an online distance learning course but I was still eager to take the CertTESOL both for the better professional opportunities it would allow as well as for building my own confidence in teaching via the assessed teaching practice. And I am very, very glad that I did.
Make no mistake, the "intensive" part of the course description is no understatement: this course was one of the most challenging, intense months of my life. My classmates and I would often feel overwhelmed with the heavy workload of written assignments, lesson planning and compiling learner profiles. It was a busy, demanding four weeks. But it was also immensely rewarding. We learned so much about teaching, lesson planning, creating lesson materials, conducting needs analysis and also about the learners' side of things as we learned an unknown language ourselves.
By the end of the course I felt much, much more confident and better prepared to commence teaching than I did before the course, and I have been able to utilise its tools and approaches in my current job as a kindergarten teacher. Attaining the CertTESOL certification has also opened the door for great opportunities to tutor as well as interest from some primary schools for future job opportunities. I cannot recommend the CertTESOL course enough to anyone who wishes to make a career in teaching English. Be prepared to work very hard for it, but know that it is absolutely worthwhile. Thank you Frank, Angie, Maria and everyone else at TTT for all your help, guidance and patience :)
Name: Jorge Carvalho
Course: August 2016 (full-time)
I did the course in August, 2016 and it was a very memorable month for me. With the help from the trainers and the very friendly environment created by my fellow trainees, I was able to gain a better insight into teaching English to all kinds of learners. I am a teacher at Wall Street English now, and my manager is very satisfied with my teaching skills in class, thanks to what this course offered during the one month of training. We can't be perfect in every class, but you’ll remember a thing or two from the course when you are teaching, and it will most certainly make your students’ learning experience better. This CertTESOL course is a wonderful starting point to the life of English teaching.
Thank you all for the memorable month at Train The Teacher! I still lose confidence once in a while before teaching a class, but when I see the satisfied faces, it really keeps me going :) With your help I’m also able to manage time better.
Name: Tania Ng
Course: August 2011 (full-time)
At the start of 2013, I was employed as a part-time English Teacher in an education centre in Central (which I first learnt about through the Trinity CertTESOL Alumni and Friends page on Facebook), and I’m still working for them today. In the same year, I got the opportunity to do part-time teaching of Workplace English in a local tertiary institute called the Hong Kong Design Institute (VTC Group). Two years later, I joined another branch of the same group called SHAPE, and started teaching academic English to top-up degree students and writing workshop materials. Taking advantage of flexible part-time teaching, I also explored opportunities of teaching English to Hong Kong elderly in charities like Salvation Army and a local elderly centre.
Currently, I teach part-time at the centre in Central, the local elderly centre, provide one-on-one English tuition to local primary and secondary school students, and do some freelance translation work. While having a class with students, I always remind myself to keep my TTT low, ensure the students have tasks and are engaged, and periodically check their understanding (using concept check questions!). These are the things I will always remember from the course.
When I got on to the course, I wondered why there was a unit on learning an Unknown Language. Later, I began to understand that this was so trainees could experience what it was like to learn a completely unfamiliar language, and to put ourselves in our learners’ shoes. This serves as a constant reminder of what our own students go through, and encourages me to carefully consider the teaching methods I should use to maximise learning potential, and to keep my learners engaged.