Cheryl Wilkinson

Successfully completed May 2012

Prior to starting the Cert IBET course I worked as a management trainer and ESOL tutor. I was attracted to the course because I wanted to move away from teaching General English and to specialise as a language trainer in the Business English and skills sector.

I felt the course would give me the opportunity to draw on my management and commercial experience while contextualising it in the field of Business English, an area which continues to grow rapidly with high demand in the sector for staff with formally recognised qualifications. The Cert IBET is a Trinity qualification with international recognition, which is important to me because I know it carries a lot of credibility and places me at an advantage in the jobs market.

I decided to do the Cert IBET course with St George International because out of the various organisations that currently offer the course they are one of the longest established language schools and they have a history of providing good quality language courses for trainee teachers and students. So I was confident that they could provide me with a superior product.

Being able to complete the course by distance study was another advantage SGI offered. As I have ongoing teaching commitments, I wanted a mode of study that would fit around my work schedule and distance study was the most appropriate for my needs.

But this does not mean that I felt isolated while I was doing the course. My personal tutor was always available to provide support and encouragement when it was needed and I was very impressed by the course materials which presented the course topics clearly and concisely.

The workbooks were very easy to understand and accessible for anyone new to the subject of Business English. For those with prior business and management experience you will have the opportunity to draw on and expand your knowledge in the context of delivering training for executive learners and clients.

I felt the materials were an enormously useful resource in helping me to plan and conduct a Needs Analysis with a client organisation, which in turn enabled me to design a training programme suited to the aims and objectives of the organisation, and to the language and skills needs of learners.

This training programme was also the focus of my final assignment, so I was able to apply many of the language and communication strategies, methodologies and techniques covered during the course in the practical context of the training room.

I think education professionals are very keen to ensure that their professional development has a realistic vocational focus and will actually help them in their work, and this is precisely what the Cert IBET is designed to do. The content of the course has a real application in the workplace, which really does make the course a very good investment for teachers and trainers.

I appreciated the level of support I received from staff at SGI and their knowledge and professionalism was evident in their approach to delivering the course and the quality of feedback I received on my assignments during the course.

Since completing the course I have been able to develop a range of training programmes customised to the needs of UK Business English learners, including marketing and web-based promotion for small businesses, workshops in business planning and presentation skills for a group of community interpreters and translators, and one-to-one coaching and mentoring for individuals working on executive projects.

I am currently working as self-employed consultant and trainer with voluntary and third sector development agencies in the North of England.

I can be contacted at eflassociate@gmail.com