Buoyed by her positive classroom teaching experiences as a British Council English Language Assistant in Germany, Aimée Hardy knew that she wanted to pursue a career involving teaching and languages. With five years of professional experience under her belt, Aimée decided to take her career to the next stage through the Languages Teacher Training Scholarship programme. Following a successful training year, Aimée is set to commence her teaching post in a growing school which aims to promote language learning.
Aimée is one of a number of high-flying graduates who secured a Languages Teacher Training Scholarship (LTTS), a Department for Education initiative to promote excellence in language learning in schools through the recruitment of high-calibre teaching candidates.
‘The Languages Teacher Training Scholarship programme through the British Council has been amazing’, says Aimée. ‘It’s provided me with access to really useful and interesting webinars, as well as educational events such as the Language Show and the European Enrichment Day, which I found incredibly valuable.’ Aimée even found herself visiting the House of Commons to attend parliamentary discussions on language learning: ‘A real highlight for me was attending the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages – such an incredibly interesting and unique opportunity!’
Promoting a Love of Languages
Aimée has successfully secured a teaching post in London, where she will be the school’s only languages teacher – a challenge she looks forward to: ‘I am extremely lucky to be working with a federation of schools that truly values languages; it will be an inner-city state school that teaches German, which is incredibly rare and something I am very excited about.’
‘In the school, students will also learn French, and the offer of languages will grow as the school does. Teachers who speak a European language have been given preference, in the hope that the school can become a true languages hub, utilising resources in London to promote the value of learning other languages and cultures, as well as making trips abroad available to all students.'
Reflections on Learning
Aimée has found her training year a richly-rewarding experience: ‘I’ve absolutely loved it’, she enthuses. ‘And I am so grateful to have been an LTTS Scholar this year; I believe that the whole process has truly improved my confidence and belief in my language skills, which has made me a better teacher.'
Aimée reflects on the useful pedagogical insights she gained, even during the LTTS assessment process itself. Aimée says: ‘I enjoyed it, and I was asked useful and thoughtful questions as I start a teaching career.’ Through the day, Aimée was introduced to the Pecha Kucha method - a presentation style originating in Japan in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each - which she felt was a useful way of keeping pace and ensuring everyone had a fair chance. Aimée says: ‘it's really important as language teachers that we are at the top of our game in terms of subject knowledge, and it was great that both the presentation and interview contained elements of speaking the language to really put us to the test.’
She continues: ‘I enjoy giving students the tools to become effective communicators and problem solvers, who can enjoy speaking in another language no matter their background. I love the journey of discovering new cultures and countries with the students, and opening their eyes to the world's richness and diversity.’
The Languages Teacher Training Scholarship programme welcomes candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds including recent graduates and career changers. Language graduates and graduates in non-language disciplines who are able to demonstrate high-level skills in French, German or Spanish are welcome to apply. For full scholarship eligibility criteria and programme details, please visit the Languages Teacher Training Scholarships page.