UK Push to Train Language Teachers

Sheffield Teaching School Alliance at Silverdale School

Despite Brexit–or maybe because of it–there is a desperate shortage of world language teachers in the UK, so the government is launching a program to train native speakers of French, German, and Spanish to become teachers.

The plan is to create opportunities for people with linguistic skills, whether they are living in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. “There may be people who speak French, German, or Spanish – in the UK or abroad – who would like to consider a career change and go into teaching,” said Gaynor Jones, director of the National Modern Languages SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). “For some, it could be an opportunity to experience a different culture as well as using their talents for the benefit of students keen to learn a new language.

“Our message is that we need your skills, we’ll welcome you and we’ll support you every step of the way.”

One year programs–where each trainee will work and study at two schools–will start from late summer this year.

The Government’s National College for Teaching has chosen Sheffield as the focal point of the initiative because of its longstanding and pioneering track record in teacher training, professional development, and support through schools. “There is a shortage of language teachers in state and independent schools across the country, and this scheme aims to harness our expertise to address that,” said Gaynor Jones. “We have got the team to help.

“At the same time, we want to enthuse children about languages, opening up a world of opportunities for them.”

The program is unique in that it is a partnership between the state and independent sectors. Trainees will have placements in both types of schools, thereby increasing their career options once they qualify.

The program focuses specifically on how to teach modern languages. Initially the emphasis is on teaching European languages, but a longer-term aim may see Chinese and Urdu being added to the teacher training curriculum.

“The vision is for Sheffield to become a center of excellence for language teaching, with other hubs around the country,” said Gaynor.

“We have the experience, the understanding, the support and the flexibility to see trainee teachers emerging with an internationally recognized qualification and having made good use of their skills to help young people”

Applicants must be graduates and go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Teacher training will be balanced with academic study, leading to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Practical help, such helping overseas students to find accommodation, will be offered by the National Modern Languages SCITT, and student loans will be available –there is even the possibility of grants of up to £25,000 ($30,000) for successful applicants based in the European Union.

YouTube: Introduction video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-5QQ3pLMYE

Trainees – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdowdge3Z84

 

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