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Trinity builds on its strengths

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Melanie Butler asks Andrew Freeman, Trinity College London director of Europe, about his professional background, the impact of Brexit and his plans for Trinity’s suite of exams

Your professional experience is in publishing, particularly educational publishing. Now you are director of Europe for exam board Trinity College London, responsible for ELT both for students and teacher trainees, as well as music and drama. As I understand it, your interest in these areas and your passion for travelling comes from your family. Your father taught EFL?

Yes, my father did teach EFL but quite late in life. He was actually a vicar while I was growing up, but he and my mother had lived abroad doing missionary work and have lots of tales to tell of this. He then taught English for a time in various places, including quite a long period in Turkey.

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A purposeful academic

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Melanie Butler asks Andy Otaqui, International Science Foundation co-ordinator at King’s College London, about the challenges ahead

You are an unusual beast in EFL – a science graduate who became a language teacher. What made you make this change and what was your biggest challenge when you did?

Actually, I didn’t ‘graduate’ in science but started a medical/physiology degree when I was eighteen. I decided to switch focus and got into English teaching, like a lot of people, with the idea of being able to travel with it. Over time, I did the obvious Celta, Delta and eventually an MA Tesol, which was about the time I switched from EFL to EAP teaching.

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Consistently Positive

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Melanie Butler asks Kaplan’s Maria Duhan the secret behind the consistent success of their UK schools at British Council inspections

You started out by running your own school. How did that prepare you for the job you are doing now?

When you run your own business, you are responsible for all aspects – from sales and marketing to HR and finance. You quickly learn what it takes to be successful because you have to be in order to stay in business. You need to move constantly with a changing environment, which is very exhilarating.

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Six things I wish I’d known ...

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Susan M. Sandover on a Tefl career as a trailing partner, losing everything when evacuated from Libya, sharia law disinheritance and ‘risk-insurance strategies’

Susan M. Sandover was married to Bashir, a Libyan career diplomat, for 33 years. Dissatisfied with being just a travelling spouse, Sandover began her journey in the world of EFL 36 years ago. As she recalls in her memoir, ‘Teaching EFL gave me independence but there were unforeseen risks. It has been my breadwinner, my sanity and one of endless rewards, but also one of risks, some of which I have been able to overcome but the final one has proved insurmountable’ – sharia family inheritance law.

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People On The Move

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English UK has appointed its first chief executive from within the ELT sector. Sarah Cooper is currently dean of management and professional studies, international English, at South Thames College in London.

‘I came into this sector,’ she said, ‘because English opens doors. I passionately believe that the UK is the premier place for people to learn English and help them open those doors to their future.’

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