Connect with the place you have chosen to learn English
Brighton is a lovely place, with a special atmosphere. Our first recommendations is to explore the city fully itself. It’s incredible how much communication you can have on the streets, in the cafes, parks, galleries and museums of the city. You can learn English and plenty more outside of a classroom. The city is abundant with opportunities to talk to and meet people. The people of Brighton are famously welcoming to tourists and newcomers. Some overseas teachers who have specific hobbies, for example, Lindy hop, have found local meet up groups they have joined and pursued their hobbies while here. So, make the most of your time here. If you usually play football, find a team, if you normally do yoga, do it in English while here. Meetup.com is good for this.
Reflect upon your English Teacher Training Course
The next tip is to spend a few moments daily reflecting with a pen (or device, or keyboard) in your hand. English teacher training courses will feel, at times, quite overwhelming and like a tidal wave. There’s a lot to take in and ideally, you will be using the activities and strategies taught upon your return. So, it makes sense to consolidate this. Writing using sentence stems can be helpful, for example, today I found …. to be useful/interesting because….. This might usefully inform my practice by… Another good reason to do this is that many of our course participants need to cascade their learnings to other oversea teachers, and this log serves as a useful source of inspiration for that upon return.
Experiment and learn while studying
It’s okay to be imperfect, in fact, it’s very normal! We advise many Erasmus plus teachers who are on English teacher training courses to enjoy the chance to explore the worlds of language, teaching and learning. And while it’s important to have high standards for yourself and others, it’s more important to experiment and learn! This will inevitably involve things not always going perfectly. Particularly in the topsy-turvy human world of the classroom. We encourage you to try, to work hard, and to not worry too much about being absolutely right or correct all the time. Often with language study, the correct answer is personal or contextual.
Bridge the Gap between your training environment and home context
Expect that you will sometimes need to ‘bridge the distance’. This mental bridge is the gap between what happens in the teacher training room and your context. Educators work hard to understand your context and your learners, but you might still need to do some mental work to shift from what’s happening in front of you to your home context. However, we believe that if you look hard you’ll be able to usefully bridge the distance between them and find the value and learning.
Be selective whilst you learn English
Similarly, not everything will be for you. It’s okay to be selective with your attention and takeaways. We are not expecting you to take away all the educators ideas, activities and classes wholesale, or to do them exactly as you witnessed, but be willing to try and experiment.
English Teacher Training Project
English teacher training courses for overseas teachers sometimes include a project designed while you study. This project will help bridge the gap when you return to your school. Make the most of this project by combining your existing knowledge and practices with things you have learnt on the course. Doing this you synthesise things, and you perhaps learn them better and create more relevant useful work.
Collect while you learn to help your home context
Become a collector while you are here learning English. Bus tickets, receipts, photographs, language snippets, use the time here to develop physical and virtual collections and resources, you never know when those ten bus tickets come in useful (perhaps your next class on the past simple?)
Hopefully, these tips on how to make the most of your summer whilst studying on English teacher training courses in the UK will help you progress and aid your studies.
You can learn more about the English teacher training courses on offer at The English Language Centre here.
Looking for reasons why you should learn English? Read our post 4 Reasons Why Learning English is so Important for more information.