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Welcome to the LLU Blog

The Language Learning Unit (LLU) is the most visible face of internationalisation at Keele University.
Language is inseparable from communication. Sadly, not many of us now learn a language in order to decipher ancient texts. In academic life it is all too easy to overlook how we can apply and practice what we learn outside the university. Academic success is clearly important, but by communicating to others what we have learned, not only in the classroom but through sharing our own experiences in “the real world”, we can also be the voice of internationalisation and even experience a sense of enjoyment in the process.

So, whether you are brushing up on your English for academic study, studying for a qualification to teach English, learning a modern foreign language or just interested in language and communication, we hope that this Blog will provide interesting posts and food for thought.

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Italian ESL Teacher Experience

Ruth McCall and Kirsty Prankard completed their CertTESOL with Keele University.

 Keep reading to see what they did next....

After completing three incredible (but hardworking) years at Keele University, we applied to teach English in Italy. We wanted the adventure of living abroad and embracing a new culture, with so many beautiful places to see, so much food to eat and wine to drink, Italy seemed like the perfect starting point for our lives after Keele! We found a wonderful job with lovely teachers and accommodation with a school who genuinely wanted to help us find our feet by providing Italian lessons, driving lessons (to get used to driving the Italian way) and bicycles to help us get around the city.
Work can be busy, we teach a range of courses, lots of different kinds of students and we have some difficult working hours. However, at times we just have to stop and realise how lucky we are! Every single day we learn something new, we are gaining a world of experience – professionally and personally – which is already blossoming into future career opportunities.

At the weekends we travel, by train or by the company car that the school kindly let us borrow. We have seen so much in such a short space of time from the big recognisable cities such as Rome, Venice and Milan to the smaller but equally as beautiful towns. Just this weekend we saw one of Italy’s famous carnivals with huge floats and a fantastic atmosphere.
Initially, moving to Italy was quite difficult – a language barrier, knowing no one here and missing family. However, as we got more relaxed and engaged in work, meeting new people and making friends along the way, we have come to feel very welcome and settled here. One piece of advice before moving to a different country: learn the language as much as you can!
Our decision to come to live, work and play in Italy has been a brilliant one. It has enabled us to unwind after University, meet new people and travel while still gaining mountains of valuable experience and do sensible things like save a little money ready to be really adults when we finally return back to the UK.

We would highly recommend teaching abroad, you never know the opportunities it might bring, and it feeds into a variety of future careers, for example one of us has had clinical psychology interest back in the UK because teaching English can support some illiterate patients. But who knows where we’ll go next? With the TESOL certificate, we can go anywhere!

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