Increasing your skills to teach

Ami, languages trainee

Ami Henderson, languages trainee

Newcastle University saw that Ami had the potential to become a great teacher; however, she needed to complete an subject knowledge enhancement course (SKE) programme before starting her teacher training course. Ami already had a degree in French, but was asked to undertake an SKE in German in order to give her flexibility to teach an additional language at school, and to increase her employment prospects.

“The SKE course has really helped me with my teacher training, in that I can now offer a second language, and my confidence has improved,” says Ami.

Language SKE programmes can vary in length and are aimed at graduates with a relevant degree or proven evidence of mastering another language. This could be from A level or other formal studies, or it could be that you have gained experience in the language you want to teach – for instance from picking up the language whilst working or travelling abroad.

SKE enables linguists to teach a language to curriculum level with competence and confidence. An SKE training bursary may also be available for the duration of the SKE programme. “The SKE was hard work, so having it funded was great as I could focus on the (SKE) course without taking work elsewhere,” explains Ami.

“To anyone worried about doing an SKE, I would say go for this course! As a beginner it was challenging as I had to start from scratch. There were also students on the course who had previous knowledge of German. But it also improved their confidence, knowledge and teaching skills. SKE is useful no matter what your level of experience.”