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Jennifer Sizer: Portsmouth University, UK

January 4, 2012

Jennifer Sizer (CELTA 2008) writes with information about her return from working in Dubai. She is now a learning support tutor with Portsmouth University – and studying for her own MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. Congratulations to Jenny on her progress and good luck with the studies.

She writes: Just wanted to send a quick email to let you know I left Dubai in August and started a new job in September. I’m currently working at the University of Portsmouth as an English Language Support Tutor. The job itself is new as the university created new ‘support tutor’ roles for each faculty in response to NSS and in anticipation of higher fees next year. I’m lucky to share the workload with another English Language Support Tutor, which has been great to share best practice and develop skills, knowledge and experience (the opportunity to do this in Dubai was limited as I was the only English tutor at the whole university) The job is great as students can be referred by lecturers/personal tutors/other support services to receive support or students can refer themselves. The majority of students are Chinese but in last few months we have had a variety of students from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and even native speakers. We usually see students on a 1:1 basis and help students identify strengths and weaknesses of their English and encourage students to create own goals and together develop a learning plan. This learning plan usually involves more 1:1 hour long sessions focused on areas of weakness but in the future will also include workshops and small group work (as we develop resources and identify recurring areas for development).

It is a challenging post as trying to develop resources and materials based on the individual needs of the learner can be time consuming and can be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of resources other than trial and error. But this also gives me the opportunity to research and evaluate lots of different resources I may have not had exposure to teaching pre-prepared courses.

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