YES! As a Student Teacher you have the opportunity to help children learn English while making meaningful contributions to an entire education system. Student Teachers gain an internationally recognized teaching qualification, the Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge CELT-P, and over 220 hours of practical teaching experience – But we often hear about the intangible rewards being the most motivating, such as making a difference in the lives of children. Read about the ways becoming a Student Teacher and acting as a cultural ambassador brings value to the local community and works towards the bigger picture.
How You Make a Difference
The Top Four Ways You Can Effect Change
1. The Students
As part of your teaching practice, you assist the College in its mission to reach every child in Austria with a free, fun and interactive English project by the year 2020. The College’s associated Bilingual Classroom Initiative (ABCi) works with the Austrian education system to bring native speaking teachers from the English speaking world into Austrian classrooms to share their language and culture in an exciting and engaging environment – And the children love it! Our active learning curriculum, which includes singing songs, playing games and drama, engages the children in language learning and puts the focus on them. They are out of their seats moving around and growing their confidence and self-esteem. Their classroom teachers will often comment how students who are typically shy and reserved blossom in this new environment. Student Teachers form bonds with each unique student. Each class leaves a lasting impression and teaches you something new about being a teacher.
2. The Teachers
When Student Teachers are in the classrooms teaching our active learning curriculum, this is a great opportunity for Austrian teachers to observe non-traditional teaching methods, such as game based learning, in action. Being a teacher is all about growing and developing your techniques and we are privileged to work with a school system where teachers are open to learning new methods and ways of delivering their lessons. Our Course Tutors (Teacher Trainers) offer in-school CLIL seminars to teachers who are interested in using more English while teaching their respective subjects. The support doesn’t end there, we also offer English assistance for teachers via email as well as access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), an online classroom where their students can interact with us and continue developing their English skills with a native speaker.
3. The Community
At the end of the week the children put on a performance of all the new things they have learned throughout the week – all in English of course! Families, friends and representatives from the local community are invited to attend. Local small business often support the projects by sponsoring students to participate (assisting in the payment of the €100 membership fee due to our structure as an Austrian non-profit.) The organisation also has larger sponsors who recognize the powerful positive impact our work has and support us through donations and partnerships.
4. The Future
The English Teacher Training College plans to continue our goal of reaching every school child in Austria by the year 2020. Last year alone we worked with 80,000 schoolchildren and are well on our way to meet our goal. In the meantime we will also be heading into neighbouring countries and giving more children than ever before the opportunity to learn language and culture from a native speaker.
Education is the Great Equalizer and everyone should have the opportunity to learn skills that will better their future prospects. Not only is language learning a valuable academic pursuit, but it is the means to discover a new culture, bridge gaps, and communicate with people you were not able to communicate with before. This deeper cross-cultural understanding is vital for our continuously globalizing world.