Helping to overcome language hurdles
Since 2008 TEFL Scotland in Dingwall has been providing online and classroom based courses that give people the skills and qualifications to teach English as a foreign language abroad.
Now the company set up by Jennifer and Joe Hallwood, is launching an additional programme that aims to improve written communication in UK workplaces.
Enhance My English is specifically designed for customer-facing employees as it gives them the confidence and ability to write professional letters and emails.
“We concentrate on grammar punctuation, spelling and correctly formatting letters and emails,” Joe said. “We also look at appropriate style and paragraph and sentence structure.
“It is a tutor-guided course so students are not just left to their own devices. They have to improve to pass and their progress is measured through a number of assignments and different activities. This gives anyone buying the course that quality assurance.”
Enhance My English also has a section that focuses on covering letters for CVs and job applications, which means it is suitable for those looking for work as well as in employment.
“We have worked with a number of contact centres while building this course to find out what their requirements were,” Joe explained.
“Getting through the first hurdle by writing a decent covering letter and being able to pass any kind of literacy test is extremely important for job seekers.”
But Enhance My English is not just a useful resource for individuals in work or looking for work; the course is also used by employers to provide essential staff development.
“We are aiming our product at the recruitment sector and business customers as well as people who want to gain a qualification and have increased confidence in their writing ability” Jennifer said.
“We are a SQA approved centre so our courses can be funded through Skills Development Scotland grants [formerly ILA 200]. SDS will also cover up to 50 per cent of the course cost for employers of small to medium-sized enterprises.”
TEFL Scotland will also take the Enhance My English course to India to cater for the many British-owned contact centres based there.
As former TEFL teachers. Joe and Jennifer have first-hand experience of working abroad and they know exactly what the international market requires, which means they can tailor their courses accordingly.
In fact the couple are in talks with Beijing Normal University with support from Scottish Development International and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, about a new TEFL course created especially for China.