Shane Training Centre

Program Reviews

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Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As of this Sunday, I've now completed the Trinity TESOL Diploma with Shane. The two years spent working on this alongside a full-time job have been really challenging but ultimately rewarding.

I had been teaching for four years when I started. I felt like I wanted a new challenge and a way of moving forward. Now that I've finished, I've transformed my teaching (the phonology section of the course was especially enlightening) and hope to progress into management in the future.

If you're thinking of taking this course, then it's definitely a worthwhile investment. It will be a battle, though, and you'll need to fight hard. The assignments are demanding and I had to overcome several setbacks in order to defeat them. Luckily, Sophia and Gavin prepare you for everything and help you push yourself to become a better teacher and achieve the course objectives.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was the external exam, where we knew we had one shot to give a good lesson or fail the teaching practice section. I overcome it through practice, staying calm and knowing I had prepared a good lesson.
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Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The course was very intense but really interesting, even having a decent experience in teaching, I could learn a lot and I feel more confident and overall that made me a better teacher. The group of students we did our practice with is just amazing, kind and willing to learn. Big thanks to the tutors for their support. It felt overwhelming with all the papers at first, but with their help it become doable and easy to understand. Totally recommend for all who wants to develop their career as a teacher. The best teaching training in Tokyo.

What was your funniest moment?
Learning unknown language, was fun and challeging
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Anthony
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had completed the TCL Certificate TESOL with Shane English Schools Japan and found the experience rewarding yet challenging. I knew that the Diploma course would be twice as difficult, but helpful for my career change. I decided to give it a go, thinking that I would finish it within a year. Sadly, the course took much longer than anticipated, particularly with Section 2 - the Portfolio, and after a number of failed attempts, I was on the verge of giving up, and was lacking motivation to complete it. I was also working in a team-teaching environment and rarely taught independently and didn't have the opportunities to observe peers who were native speakers, so it was not easy to find the hours needed.

However, having said that, the other three parts of the course were innovative and practical. I gained much experience and opportunities to refine my EFL teaching, particularly to adult learners. I was able to reflect on habits (too much teacher talk, not making best use of monitoring time) that I wanted to change. The phonology component also gave me a lot of insight into pronunciation teaching, particularly in identifying and refining strategies in teaching problem sounds to Japanese learners. In addition, I got timely feedback from my tutors and much encouragement from them every time I made draft submissions.

I would recommend this course for those who are serious with developing their career in TESOL education and have already had a few years of experience in the field, particularly in immersive education. I rushed straight into the course with the bare minimum required and found it slightly discouraging when the expectations were so high. I also ended up changing careers before finishing the course, so I became highly unmotivated to finish it for the sake of not wasting the 80% I had already completed.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would recommend starting Section 2 as soon as one begins the course, as the time it took to complete it by far exceeded the weighting this component had. I would also recommend devoting the entire year to just working on this course, as I was trying to juggle my full-time job, Japanese language learning and volunteer work with this course unsuccessfully.
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David
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As a teacher I felt stifled and wasted, no opportunities for promotion or self growth, I needed an outlet for my energy and enthusiasm. So I started the TESOL Diploma in 2018 to grow and develop as a teacher. Initially I found it hard to get into a study routine, and making the time to read and research was also a challenge with work and family commitments, however I found my rhythm and have managed to clear three of the four parts of the course. The written grammar exam and the research projects are self paced and it is easy to skip studying or take a week off, a better plan is a little study everyday and more as you reach your submission dates. The teaching practice and phonology are on a schedule and the teacher trainers keep you on track, but the last 4 weeks are pretty intense so be prepared to pull out all the stops! I just completed the assessed teaching practice and phonology and with it comes a heightened sense of awareness in the classroom. I can see what is happening, understand why it is happening, and make educated decisions on where I need the lesson to go and how to get there. This is eminently satisfying and the blood, sweat and tears invested have paid back dividends ten fold. The course exposes you to some of the many publications on English teaching and as you read and reflect you realize this is a way for you to continue to grow and develop as a teacher after you complete the course. If you are considering self improvement and are prepared to invest the time and energy I would highly recommend this diploma course. Though it is an English teaching specific course, I believe many of the principles or lessons you learn will be of benefit to you outside this area of specialization.

What would you improve about this program?
Offering a digital library or subscription service that can be searched using key words.
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Mark
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was a challenge for me, genuinely a challenge. I’ve been a teacher overseas in one country or another for almost 15 years now and this course pushed and pulled me into ways of thinking about TEFL I’d not considered or explored before and for that it was enlightening and interesting. I feel I’ve seen beyond the borders of my limitations and learned because of it. The course was well run and very well supported by tutors who gave me all the help I needed and who were willing to push me beyond my comfort zone to get the best result and understanding I could.
The facilities were good, easy to reach and provided the space for the practical side of the course easily and the learners who came to the practical lessons were motivated and fun, old hands at the game and knew how to be sympathetic when needed yet always giving you a genuine teaching challenge for the course.
Was it stressful? Yes, there were many hard times, long nights and times I thought I’d give up but if you are determined to see the course out, willing to take a lot of challenges to things you know and believe to be the ‘best way’ and learn from that it’s a very rewarding experience. For me at 38 years old this was honestly the most challenging and difficult academic course I’ve undertaken and yet upon completion I feel a genuine sense of honest pride in passing knowing that this course was not a stroll. With the brilliant support I got through the course and the willingness to help me when things got tough I always felt the tutors had my best interest at heart. If you’re not fully certain about taking this course or are not fully aware of the commitment it will demand I’d not take it until you’re ready, it will take up a lot of time. I’d recommend being committed to doing it and being prepared to put a lot of your regular life on hold, especially during teaching practice. We called it TP Hell, which was an accurate description. However the sense of accomplishment I got upon doing it and knowing I’d genuinely learned a lot about teaching and my own attitudes towards it made it worthwhile. On the whole it was a very rewarding enterprise which has given me a broader perspective on the industry I’m not locked into, it has given me greater confidence and allows me to apply what I’ve learned to my work to the betterment of myself and benefit of my students.
A hard course but worth it if you can overcome the challenges.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Getting a ‘distinction’ pass in phonology. I’d had no experience phology prior the course so to get this grade was surprising but very pleasing.
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Mark
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A few years ago, I was chatting to another teacher and mentioned I was thinking of doing the diploma. She said sh’ed been thinking about it for 10 years and still hadn’t done it! This was the impetus I needed to get me started (i.e. time flies … and you never get around to doing stuff!). I was pleased to have a great and supportive tutor, without whom I simply couldn’t have done it. (N.B. So you don’t waste time or fail modules, ALWAYS send your work to your tutor for checking/suggestions!)

I decided to start with Teaching Practice, as this seemed the most daunting. It was, admittedly, no picnic, and I’d never worked so hard in my life. However, it made me completely reassess my classroom practices (i.e. WHY was I talking so much and not letting the LEARNERS speak, and struggle a bit on their own - as they would in reality!?). Like the exam, T.P. is set within a limited time frame, so you get through it, … somehow! Sophia had prepared us so much in preceding T.P. lessons that the final external T.P. exam seemed a breeze in comparison!

The most challenging part was the portfolio, as it’s left largely up to you what you do. Choose something that interests you, but that you can read up on. Two of my projects had very little literature about them, so I struggled to justify my theories etc. I felt like I was expected to write like an academic on subjects I was researching, yet knew little about, and was somewhat dismayed at the rather negative feedback and down-marking shown to me by the TESOL U.K. person marking my final projects. My interest in the topics really did make them very interesting to research, nevertheless, and so easier to complete.

It took me nearly 4 years to finish my Diploma, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it as slowly as I did, as you can lose momentum (and the will to live, lol!). However, not rushing through it did allow me to really see how it could/can improve my teaching, and that development doesn’t stop with getting a TESOL Diploma certificate, which, I’m pleased to say I finally did.

Good Luck!!!

What would you improve about this program?
It was tough being constantly criticized as I get easily put off. I feel the U.K. organization expected me to be an expert about something I was/am still learning. There remarks on my final portfolio left me feeling a little dismayed. Fortunately, my Shane tutor here in Japan encouraged me to enjoy my success.
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Amy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had been teaching in Japan for 9 years before I took this course. 4 years at a private eikaiwa and 5 years freelance. I had started feeling that my lessons were getting stale and wasn't sure how to improve both the lessons and myself as a teacher. I decided to take this course to learn how to become a better teacher and develop new skills.
The course taught me even more than I had expected to learn. I feel far more confident in my ability as a teacher now. Already I have had the chance to incorporate what I've learned into my work and my students are responding well.
The course tutors are very helpful, knowledgeable, and fun.
I realized that so much of what I had thought about teaching English was so wrong or could be improved. By experiencing learning a new language from scratch as part of this course, I could see first-hand how effective these new methods were.
If you have the money and the time, I absolutely recommend the course for any teacher.

What would you improve about this program?
I would be more stringent with deadlines if I were the tutor. In my experience, the tutors set deadlines for each assignment but nearly every participant missed every deadline, which the tutors allowed. This resulted in most of the participants turning in several assignments during the last week and even the morning of the deadline, which overwhelmed the tutor. As a result, I felt the tutor was not able to adequately support me, even though I had been the only one to turn in everything before the deadlines. During the last week, I wanted support about the final assignment, but I felt unable to get proper support.
In addition, I felt that if the participants are going to be certified as ESL teachers, they need to be able to meet deadlines. In my opinion, a teacher who repeatedly misses deadlines should not be certified as they have repeatedly shown inability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. By allowing such teachers to become certified, I also feel the Trinity CertTESOL certification's reputation will be diluted.
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Liesl
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After finding my feet as an EFL instructor working overseas, I wondered 'what's next?'. I wanted to advance in my career as well as gain more in-depth knowledge and practical experience in teaching. The TESOL Diploma provided me with these things and so much more. At first, this course was rather challenging, but I soon realized how it was contributing to my understanding of teaching and learning. My knowledge of phonology and how to integrate it into lessons have especially been improved. I am now able to teach this aspect with confidence and also see immediate results from my learners.
I would recommend this to anyone wishing to further develop their teaching skills and knowledge. It might seem daunting at first, but don't give up and rely on your peers and tutors' support throughout.

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Steven
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Although heavily demanding it has transformed my teaching. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The course was thorough and there was a huge amount of support from tutors. We learned as much from each other and be applying the theory to our lessons. The course was intensive but forced us to analyse the language which now means I can teach it to a student depending on his / her needs. It was very interesting to connect with my own language and I feel motivated to continue my study and further my teaching career.

What would you improve about this program?
None
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Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found the course very professional and I feel grateful to my tutor, Ms.Sophia McMillan for the great support and feedback provided.
I had the opportunity to revise grammar materials, lesson planning, class management etc. This is also a course to improve and enhance teaching methods.
I would recommend this course for teachers with no experience and also for those who have experience in teaching both children and adults.
You will learn everything a teacher needs to know in order to create effective lessons.
After teaching English to children for more than 10 years, I thought I want more and this course was a great opportunity to expand my teaching skills in order to teach adults also.
Now I feel more confident and really happy to have completed it. It was a great learning experience, so I definitely would recommend this course to others. There is nothing to worry about, just follow the steps, ask for advice from the tutors and you`ll get all the support needed.
Thank you Shane Training Center-Tokyo!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great to divide the program in two , one for teachers with no experience and the other one for those with teaching experience.