I now have 6 years of post-initial qualification teaching experience, but my love affair with the world of education began a lot longer ago than that: My first foray into “teaching” EFL was helping out in my mum’s primary school L2 classroom when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve done a language assistance-ship in France (as part of my degree in English and French literature) which involved teaching primary school children EFL, volunteered at a summer language camp in Romania, completed my CELTA at the University of Sheffield ELTC, taught all ages and abilities in an EF English First school in Indonesia, experienced the frenzied pace of a summer school by teaching on Newbury Hall International School’s OISE programme, taught in Jakarta, also developing a school magazine and upgrading an existing study centre facility and worked at a mixture of language schools in Sheffield and Leeds, in the UK, teaching learners with a wide range of backgrounds, including asylum seekers, economic migrants and holiday makers. I recently finished working at International House in Palermo, Sicily, where I taught a mixture of young learners, teenagers and adults general English and exam prep classes between October and end of May for two years running. In the summer of 2014, between my two Palermo stints, I worked for Sheffield University, on their 10-week pre-sessional programme, preparing students for study at the university and coaching them to meet their entry requirements in the university equivalent of the IELTS exam. Following a second summer pre-sessional at the University of Sheffield, I have been working part-time on the ELTC’s evening course programme. This has given me the opportunity (time!) to edit my ELTon award-winning materials to make them suitable for publication (on www.onestopenglish.com) and deliver numerous workshops (at the ELTC, at Leeds Beckett University on the M.A. in ELT and online!). I have just signed a contract that means from April until September I will be working full-time at the University of Sheffield. Thereafter? Watch this space!
I am very keen on CPD:
Between mid-September 2012 and mid-September 2013, I did my DELTA, all three modules, at Leeds Metropolitan University, gaining a triple distinction, and an M.A. in English Language Teaching, within which the the Delta was integrated, and for which I also got a distinction. I have since completed the IH Young Learner and the IH Tutor Training certificate training courses, in Palermo, and have also done some Cambridge speaking examiner training for KET, PET and FCE exams, as well as the Cambridge YL Suite of Starters, Movers and Flyers. At IHPA, I was also lucky enough to attend workshops regularly, and to have the opportunity to deliver them to my colleagues too. In addition Sheffield University, last summer and this summer, I attended a week-long induction prior to starting work on the 10-week pre-sessional programme there, in which the majority of the sessions were dedicated to training us in teaching English for Academic purposes and in using relevant tools such as their VLE (virtual learning environment) which is a branded version of Blackboard, Google Drive and Turnitin. Since then, working at the ELTC has given me access to attending a variety of workshops as well as delivering a few of my own, participating in a training day (as both a speaker and attendee!) and in a couple of scholarship circles. My current areas of interest developmentally are teacher training (I am currently trying to build on what I learnt from the IH Tutor Training cert) and EAP.
In terms of writing, I recently had the pleasure of seeing my first peer-reviewed journal article appear in a special edition of the Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. Additionally, of course, thanks to International House, for a while I had my very own column in the IH Journal, the first of which appeared in the Autumn 2013 edition. I have also written an article for the first IATEFL Materials Writing SIG newsletter as well as book reviews for the ETAS (English Teachers Association in Switzerland) journal and for English Teaching Professional magazine. Finally, I am waiting on publication of a book chapter that I wrote for the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG edited book due out this year.
Materials development, research and presentations
In addition to teaching and writing, I am interested in creating learning materials, doing research projects and presenting at conferences. I presented for the first time at the Warwick International PG Conference in Applied Linguistics, in June 2013, closely followed by my second time at MATSDA’s annual 2 day conference in Liverpool, in July 2013. Last year I presented at IATEFL Harrogate (an exciting learning experience and a first for me! So exciting in fact that I followed it up with another presentation at IATEFL Manchester this year) and have also done a webinar on Learner Autonomy as part of the British Council Teaching English website series (another first!) as well as one on Metacognition for the IH World organisation. Another exciting development last year was when I won a British Council ELTon (The Macmillan New Talent in Writing Award) for a set of materials that I made for my dissertation project at Leeds Met. I am currently working with an editor from Macmillan to prepare these materials for publication on their Onestopenglish website. I have also written some A1 level reading worksheets for Richmond ELT, another very interesting experience.
I’m blogging because I’ve loved reading other teachers’ blogs about their ideas and experiences and want to send my own little boat off into that big sea of shared knowledge. My blog contains information about my materials development, research project and presentations as well as reflective writing, a range of classroom activities and a wealth of links related to the Cambridge Delta and the Leeds Met M.A. ELT.
I have also recently joined forces with Sandy Millin, over at Independent English , a blog aimed at learners of English, full of ideas for independent language learning. Hopefully this collaboration will lead to a proliferation of new ideas! 🙂
Finally, you can find me on Twitter too: @LizziePinard
If you have any training, writing, materials development, research, workshop or presentation – related projects you’d like me to be involved with, please do not hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
*All views are just my own…