Alumni. English Language Teacher.
Charlotte is an English Language Teacher and a graduate of our BA (Hons) English Language and English Language Teaching. After graduating, she taught English in Taiwan at an American international school. During her time there she combined her passions for teaching, languages and travel. She is currently studying towards a PGCE and QTS in Secondary English.
What one thing inspired you to do what you do now?
I have always been a keen reader who enjoys getting lost in a book or discussing the nuances of words with avid English enthusiasts. But what really inspired me to become an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher is my passion for new adventures and cultural experiences. After a travelling adventure in Taiwan, I was mesmerised by the country’s beauty, the Taiwanese people’s benevolence and the language’s richness. These inspired me to become an ESL teacher, where I could combine travel and work. With my ESL teaching experience and love for language and novels, I feel a natural progression for myself is to become a secondary school teacher.
What’s the most valuable thing you took away from education?
One valuable thing I took away from education is the syntactical knowledge I gained on the course. Whilst, as a native speaker of English, I know what constitutes standard grammar, I always found it difficult to explain grammatical rules in a clear and coherent way. After studying modules such as Revealing English Structure, I can now confidently answer the complex questions ESL learners have. This knowledge has enriched my skills as a teacher.
Another truly beneficial aspect of studying at ARU specifically, is the contacts that I made with the language school ARU has links with. After completing the CELTA course, I was introduced to a fantastic language school in Cambridge where I worked during my studies and continued after graduating.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
The biggest piece of advice I would give myself is to just enjoy the learning process and embrace it. There were definitely times that I was overwhelmed, challenged and stressed on the course, but I found the experience rewarding. I would recommend taking advantage of the facilities on campus; I attended Study Skills Plus workshops, used the Psychology department labs and took advice from their technicians for my major project, which specialised in psycholinguistics. The facilities helped me be successful at ARU and by taking advantage of them I gained two awards: Best Results Across the School and Best Major Project on my course.
What was your favourite thing about studying in Cambridge?
Cambridge is my home; I grew up here. It’s a stunning, quaint city with so much going for it. Throughout my course, I enjoyed studying in the botanical gardens in the early summer before exams and I made use of the language exchange offered at Cambridge University Language Centre to practice Mandarin. Of course, punting along the colleges or out to Grantchester is a must for any Cantabrigian. But, my absolute favourite thing to do is to meander through the backs of the colleges, before settling down to relax in the meadows by the river in the sunshine.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently back in education studying towards a PGCE in Secondary English and working towards Qualified Teacher Status. I have been revisiting the learning theories of Vygotsky, Piaget, Brunner and Skinner which were introduced to me on the undergraduate course and am currently developing this knowledge by relating it to critical learning moments through observations in the classroom. Soon, I will be going to my first placement school and I’m grateful for my previous teaching experience which will endeavour to assist my training.