A huge career change from Cornwall to China

An adult languages student has realised her dream after starting a job teaching at a private boarding school in China.

Lisa Walker from Truro is currently the only foreign teacher at the school in Lishui in China. Lisa completed her CertTESOL course with Truro and Penwith College Business in March 2017 with no previous teaching experience.

Lisa spent her first 18 months after the course working for an agency teaching at a range of institutions including in a primary school in Ningbo, East China, and then In September 2017, she went to the private boarding school in Lishui, a small city surrounded by the beautiful Wuyi Mountains, where she has now been offered a contract.

Having always wanted to work overseas, Lisa went straight into work at the foreign office aged 18, where she found her passion for travel. Lisa didn’t go to university, instead training as a lawyer to gain a degree-equivalent Level 6 Higher Professional Diploma in Law. Lisa was also a member of the Institute of Legal Executives, and worked as a property lawyer for 10 years before looking for a change of career.

With a passion for languages, Lisa went to Truro and Penwith College Business to complete her CertTESOL course (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. Lisa said: “The TESOL course has been so beneficial, without it I don’t think I could travel the world working like I’ve always wanted to. The course is a challenge but it’s so rewarding and the staff are incredibly supportive.”

Cyd Vyvyan, TESOL trainer at the College, said: “Lisa was a dedicated and enthusiastic student who made tremendous progress on the course. Her confidence grew considerably over the three months and she received job offers in Hungary and China soon after qualifying.”

Lisa recommends her TESOL course to anyone searching for a new career and wanting to travel, saying: “It changed my life, took me in a completely new direction and I have many reasons to be grateful.

“The students (in Lishui) are enthusiastic about English lessons and are very affectionate towards me, as the only foreign teacher at the school.”

The CertTESOL course takes place twice a week for 14 weeks and includes observed teaching practice to multi-lingual students and taught lessons studying grammar, lesson planning and different methods of teaching. All of which gave Lisa the skills to teach English around the world to adults and children, despite having no previous experience.

Contact the Business Team on 01872 242711 or email business@truro-penwith.ac.uk to find out more. Visit www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/courses for more information about CertTESOL as well as other courses that Truro and Penwith College can offer.