Students studying BA TESOL learn more about routes into industry from alumni

Final year BA TESOL students received advice about career paths from four guest speakers

Ste Sharpe (centre) speaking to students.
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Ste Sharpe (centre) speaking to students.

Joint honours students studying BA TESOL in the School of Arts and Humanities received a visit from industry professionals and alumni, who shared advice about their careers since graduating from Nottingham Trent University.

Travel was a main theme of the event, with all alumni discussing the opportunities to live and work in other countries that are a result of studying TESOL and holding the CELTA qualification (Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Ste Sharpe, BA (Hons) Modern Languages and TESOL alumni, kicked off the day by discussing his career in teaching, which has allowed him to work in Montreal, Venezuela, Tunisia and Bangladesh, as well as the UK. The group then connected with 2018 graduate Rosanna Bull via Skype, who is currently living in Germany as a freelance teacher after qualifying with the Cambridge CELTA certificate.

The group also had a visit from Nathan Pearson from the teaching agency UKLC who discussed his company and the opportunities available. The final guest speaker was Anna Dryzstek who has been working as an ESOL tutor at Nottingham College since graduating in BA (Hons) Linguistics with TESOL (with a CELTA certificate) in 2013.

Key opportunities for teachers specialising in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were identified over the course of the event, to give students some ideas about what they could pursue following graduation. Working as a teaching assistant through the British Council English Language Assistant scheme was identified as a springboard for a career in teaching, with several alumni describing their time abroad as life changing. While teaching abroad, there are also opportunities to expand into further sectors, for example training as an IELTs examiner or a PEAP teacher (Pre sessional English for Academic Purposes). This illustrates the career longevity and opportunities available from training in TESOL.

For those that would like to work in the UK, the group discussed several options such as teaching in Further Education colleges by completing a teaching qualification for ages 16 and over, and the benefits of completing a postgraduate degree. The alumni touched on the changing needs of teachers in primary and secondary education, identifying the increasing need for English as a foreign language provision due to the multitude of languages spoken in UK schools.

We asked Ste how his experience at NTU had set him on the path towards a successful career in TESOL. He told us: “the enthusiasm and experience of the tutors on the course set me on the path towards my career. Their passion gave me that lightbulb moment, when I realised this is what I really want to do.”

The students, who are approaching graduation, found the day inspiring and motivating. BA (Hons) Spanish and TESOL student Megan Fan commented: “I think the talks, especially Ste's talk, were enlightening and it was encouraging to hear different pathways graduates took after university from the perspective of recent and older graduates.”

BA TESOL Subject Coordinator Pat Iger discussed the value of the experience. She told us: “From my perspective, I really enjoyed seeing both long-standing and new graduates again and hearing just how far they had progressed in the teaching profession with the backing of a BA TESOL and CELTA. I think today's talks have gone a long way to evidencing the consistently high, worldwide  employability that the TESOL team have been contributing to for many years.”

Students studying BA TESOL learn more about routes into industry from alumni

Published on 14 May 2019
  • Subject area: Languages and linguistics
  • Category: Current students; School of Arts and Humanities

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