Hi, my name’s Alistair, I’m an EFL teacher currently working in Saudi Arabia. I completed the Trinity DipTESOL course in August 2013. After a long break, I came back to teaching about 3 years ago, and as I’m now +40, I realised that if I was going to pursue EFL as a profession I really needed to urgently upgrade my qualifications. After all, the initial CELTA is only a one-month course, so can you really call yourself a professional if that’s all you have?
I decided to take the Trinity DipTESOL course because it seemed like the best option to improve my teaching skills. To be honest, in the Middle East it would be much more beneficial to have an MA. Yet personally, I knew I needed to improve as a teacher, and I didn’t think doing an MA was really what I needed. That seemed too strong on the theoretical side. The fact that the Trinity DipTESOL has a three-week face to face phase which was strongly focused on teaching practice was a big plus for me. Prior to attending this in-centre stage in Barcelona there had been several months of reading, essay writing, exchanging ideas and working on research projects to improve our background knowledge and understanding.
Six months after finishing the Trinity DipTESOL I started an MA course. I was allowed to join in the 2nd year of a 3 year part-time course. So far I have passed the first module (a research project on teacher motivation) with flying colours. I do feel that the Trinity DipTESOL course has prepared me quite well. Apart from getting back into academic reading and essay writing, we had to do 3 action-research projects which are really important to get to grips with if you do want to go on and do an MA. After not having studied for about 20 years I certainly felt quite rusty at first, but by the end of the course I was definitely up to speed.
There was quite a lot of interaction between the other participants on the diploma course online learning platform, Moodle. And it was really great to meet some of those people later and get to know them better. The input of the tutors was helpful, useful and sometimes enlightening. Certainly compared to my current MA course there is considerably more feedback and exchanging of ideas. I was really happy with the course, and very proud to receive the Diploma at the end of it. Maybe not all employers realize how useful it is, but it really is.
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