Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hitting the books

My life is about to veer off in a new direction: I am undertaking a major professional development course.

I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language for over 15 years now, but I don't actually have formal training in it.

Sure, I have a diploma in English literature from here, and a post-Bachelor teaching certificate from here, and, for 8 years, I taught French to high school students here.

Plus I have plenty of experience, which does count for something -- thank heaven!

But last fall, after having spent a few years haunting the ESL/EFL Twitterverse and blogosphere, I started to realize that something was missing, or at least I was missing something: formal training and a theoretical background in exactly what I do. Not just teaching, not just English, but teaching English as a foreign language.

So, starting next week, I will be hitting the books, preparing Module One of the Cambridge DELTA qualification.

This first part of the 3-module course is all online learning. A wiki will be involved, but so will old-fashioned reading and writing, with an official exam to take in Paris in December 2012.

As part of this experience, I hope to revive this blog, but it may take an educational bent...or I might end up publishing my teaching reflections on another online space.

So, I'm going back to school at 52, in a way that I never could have imagined even 10 years ago.

Wish me luck...


  1. Good Luck! I think it's great that you are taking on this challenge!
    btw...I'm not sure how much I want to be on's a nice place to find friends, but for writing...blogging may still be better for that. I've dipped my toes in twitter, but I'm not very good at that either.

  2. It is in Strasbourg? I really enjoyed my time there. Is it several months at a time, or spread out over a year, or what? Good luck!

  3. Congratulations on the new avenue down which you are headed, Betty! I am sure that you will feel quite accomplished when you have the certificate to go along with all of your OJT. There are actually many people teaching in institutions in CA who are being obliged by their employers to get the TESL/TEFL cert after having been teaching for years, so it will be nice for you to have it behind you soon. Have fun with the course!

  4. Bonne chance, plus, yay old fashioned reading + writing!

  5. That's great, Betty! Good luck to you and I look forward to following your adventures.

  6. Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement! I feel like this is going to be life-changing in one way or another. At least I can be sure it is going to change my life for the next two years!

  7. Hi Betty,

    Best of luck - I've only just seen what you're going to be doing. I just finished my course here in Ireland(in preparation for our move to France in three weeks..Yay!) and took the Cambridge exam this evening - whew! I am 55, so you're not alone. I really enjoyed it, though it was intensive, and I've been teaching for a long time, too. You'll find the methodologies interesting, I'm sure, even if you don't always see the point. Please let us know how you get on.