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Case Study

It’s never too late to start learning

There’s always an opportunity for a second, third or fourth chance of studying a new qualification for pleasure and upskill just like mature student Janice.

Education Manager Janice Mac Arthur from Donaghadee took on the challenge to upskill her aptitude for languages by enrolling on the part-time 15 week CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course. Janice was inspired to fulfil her ambition to teach English as she was thinking towards the future and planning what she would like to do with her time when she retired as well have the opportunity to catch up with friends that live and work abroad –

“I suppose I was also thinking about retirement and the possibility of having an additional teaching skill if we ever moved abroad. Furthermore, I have many Spanish friends who teach English in Spain and I was interested in the work which they were doing.”

Janice enjoyed the course’s ability to step out of her comfort zone by taking on a new perspective but also the fact that she could study and work at the same time –

“My role became one of a facilitator of learning rather than a teacher and during my assessed teaching practice I learned new skills such as the need for drill and elicitation of vocabulary from students.

“The benefits of enrolling in a part-time course are that you can continue to work in employment but study at the same time and that you fit the part-time course around your existing working life.”

Her positive outlook is an excellent example of learning for life –

“We are never too old to learn something new or take on new challenges. I read a quote recently which sums up my attitude to this. It said, 'Behind you are the challenges you've met. Before you lies new possibilities. Today you choose the direction of your life.'”

Janice hopes to extend her skills base as an ESOL teacher by volunteering at Belfast Met in her spare time.

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