Reflections of an English language teacher

English language teaching - Richenda Askew

Reflections of an English language teacher

Due to several relocations because of my husband’s job, my career as a Speech and Language Therapist was getting more and more difficult to sustain.
We had a couple of overseas postings where I couldn’t work as a Speech and Language Therapist, so I started to teach English to some local people.

How difficult could English teaching be?

English is my first language, I had been a Speech and Language Therapist for many years, so how difficult could English teaching be?
I soon realised that just because my mother tongue is English this did not qualify me to teach English.  Just because I had years of experience working with people with communication problems, this did not qualify me to be an English teacher.
This made me realise that if English language teaching was going to be part of my future work plan, I ought to learn how to do it properly.
I looked around for a course and it soon became apparent that I needed to find a course that was going to give me the theoretical knowledge AND the practical experience.
I could have  studied for a weekend somewhere and got a certificate (online wasn’t an option back then!), but I didn’t feel that this would give me the skills, knowledge and confidence to actually join the English language teaching (ELT) world.
As our next posting loomed, I decided to explore whether there was a course that I could do to prepare me for ELT.  Fortunately there was……

The Trinity CertTESOL course

There was one right on my doorstep in our new posting.  I eagerly enrolled on the four-week Trinity CertTESOL and experienced one of the best training courses I had ever attended.
It was exciting, challenging, sometimes scary, but most importantly, it taught me how to teach English!
The course is demanding and intense. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, but this is good and you are supported by professional trainers who are committed to developing the best teachers that they can.
The four-weeks whizzed by in a flurry of assignments (I’ve still got them many years on!), theory, teaching practice, material design (I recently found the materials that I used in my materials “exam”) and much fun and laughter.
From this course, I then went on to teach English in Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland, France and England.
I have taught the spouses of NATO personnel at an Army base; nurses at a hospital in Germany; outdoor activity instructors in the Mourne Mountains; hotel and business staff in various places; asylum seekers and refugees in numerous locations; military personnel; university students; people who just want to learn English and many, many more.

It has been exciting and challenging.

You get to meet so many different people from so many different places;  you are exposed to numerous cultures and learning backgrounds; you hear stories that make you realise what impact ELT has on the lives of our students;  you make friends from around the world and you have fun whilst doing it.

What path have I followed?

As I enjoyed the CertTESOL so much, and with ELT experience, I became a tutor on the CertTESOL course.
With support, advice and mentoring from my trainer, I then became a Course Director for the CertTESOL course.
After running it under the guidance of my mentor, I moved the course to the Lewis School of English, Southampton in 2013.
We run several courses a year (full and part-time) at Lewis School. We have a very high standard of which we are very proud. This is supported by the moderation reports from Trinity College London.
We are confident that the teachers we train can enter the world of ELT and deliver creative, imaginative and fun lessons ensuring that their students learn and develop their language skills.

I am passionate about the course.  I believe in the course.

The CertTESOL provides the trainees with a firm foundation for their future careers as English Language Teachers.
The team who deliver the CertTESOL are also passionate and experienced teachers who continually develop and build on their knowledge and skills.
As with any line of work, it is up to you to continue to develop yourself professionally.  I’ve gone on to study further and expand my knowledge and capabilities.
I train teachers and trainers from various disciplines and I am grateful for the firm foundation that I was given in my initial teacher training.  I run teacher training projects in places such as Jordan, Palestine, Pakistan and Georgia.
I work with external organisations delivering a variety of training projects to people who are either English language learners or trainers who are teaching in English internationally.

English is a global language and it is a sought after skill.

If you want to be part of education around the world, then train to be an English teacher and sign up for the CertTESOL at Lewis School of English.

– Head of Teacher Training at Lewis School


  • Avatar
    Larisa Simpson / Reply

    Please would you tell me if I can take a course” Teaching English as a Foreign Language”?
    Kind Regards,

    • Marcella Ciravegna
      Marcella Ciravegna / Reply

      Hi Larisa, thank you for your inquiry. Our Teacher Trainers will reply to you next week. Have a great weekend,
      Kind Regards
      Marcella Ciravegna
      Head of Marketing and Operations

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