I decided to undertake the Diploma through a distance-learning course as I needed the flexibility to be able to work at my own pace. I also wanted a teaching practice element that was no longer than a two week period and SGI offered this. I was impressed with the information and advice given at the outset and enrolled on the course in October 2008.
I really enjoyed doing the workbooks although a lot of reading is needed to be able to complete them successfully. They were challenging but interesting and the feedback given was always constructive and helpful. I never felt isolated as Naz, my main tutor, always responded to queries very quickly. Also, I was teamed with someone else on the course and we discussed ideas and thoughts with each other via email, which was good.
I did the written exam in November 2009 and then did the teaching practice immediately after that. The advice and support given to me during the course meant that I felt fully prepared for the exam and the teaching element. Extra support is given to prepare you for the phonology interview which was very useful. Although I expected the teaching practice to be intense, the reality surpassed that and you need to be prepared to survive on little sleep and lots of caffeine for two weeks! However, the support from all the tutors on the course is great and the sense of achievement when it’s all over and you pass, is worth all the hard work.
Now that I have passed my Diploma, I am going to be teaching on the L5 Subject Specialist ESOL course next academic year and taking on further mentoring roles.