UWE Bristol prepares students taking part in Thailand English Teaching Project

Issue date: 26 June 2013

On Friday 21 June, UWE Bristol hosted a pre-departure briefing for students from across the UK taking part in the Thailand English Teaching Project (TET). The programme, piloted in 2012 and run by the British Council and the Ministry of Education in Thailand, offers students and recent graduates from participating universities the chance to work as an English language assistant with a Thai teacher, supporting classroom based learning as well as additional activities outside of school hours.

Following the successful pilot, which saw 65 students participate in the programme, the project has grown, with 250 students across 27 universities expected to embark on the eight-week placement this year. UWE Bristol, taking part in the programme for the first time, is providing 20 of those students, the highest representation of any participating university.

The briefing and project coordination, managed by Rebecca Berryman of UWE Bristol Careers, gave students the chance to meet representatives from the British Council, the Foreign Office and the Thai Embassy, listen to what they had to say about the project, as well as ask questions pertaining to the experience. Students who undertook a placement last year, also spoke of their time teaching in Thailand, giving those about to undertake a placement a good understanding of what to expect and the potential benefits of the project.

One of those who took part last year is Chelsea Swindail, who recently completed a BA in Primary Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, said of her experience, “It definitely opened my eyes. My experiences teaching in Thailand were the inspiration for my dissertation on the international perspective of education. I have certainly altered the way I teach because of it. It has not only helped me secure a job but also, undoubtedly, made me a better teacher.”

Tom Mortensen, a second year student studying for a BSC in Information Technology Management for Business at UWE Bristol, said, “I have never travelled to Asia before. The TET programme seems like a great opportunity to experience a completely different culture, not only as a foreigner but as a teacher. What better way to experience a culture in greater depth in an academic environment?

“I look to gain an experience and knowledge of a completely different culture to my own and hope to develop my own interpersonal skills through teaching. Granted, the experience is going to be a huge learning curve from day one, but I am looking forward to the challenge, and I am pretty sure all the other 200+ students are too.”

For more information on the TET project click here. To view photos from the event please visit the UWE News flickr gallery.

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