Interview with EBET judge Ben Beaumont, Head of TESOL qualifications at Trinity College London
20 07 2016
Q: Why are Trinity College sponsoring the EBET award?
A: The EBET award is a fabulous opportunity to recognize the great work that goes on in Business English training. I think that business English is an area that many teachers don’t consider as a career option and this award will help raise the profile of both the innovative educators working in some amazing contexts and the profile of the subject itself. This all fits in with Trinity’s desire to support innovative teaching and to develop communities of practice, so sponsoring this award is a logical fit.
Q: What are your expectations on entries for the EBET Award?
A: The entries for the award have been of a very high quality, and I expect that this will be the case again this year. With the growth in online technology and Web2 resources, it will be interesting to see how entrants use these things to meet their clients’ needs. In many cases we see teachers using technology just for the sake of using it, but I expect that nominees will have an excellent rationale for integrating specific online resources and, where appropriate, have this backed up with reading from relevant literature. There are numerous studies on the use of technology in learning, so it would be good to see evidence of nominees’ familiarity with some of them.
Q: What will teachers need to demonstrate in order to win the EBET prize?
A: Like any competition, it’s important to know what the selection criteria are. The selection criteria have been chosen to ensure positive washback in both the classroom and the business teaching community, so working towards them will be beneficial to everyone. As well as making sure we meet clients’ business English needs, the skill of being critically evaluative in order to develop your practice and that of your colleagues, and evidencing this, will be really important to see.
Q: Do you have any interesting experiences teaching business English?
A: [laughs] Yes, I remember my first business English class when I was a green teacher of 23, fresh off a CertTESOL. I was working in Japan and had just been given a new one-to-one client. I’d been teaching mixed adult classes general English and classes for school children and suddenly had to adapt to training a professional. I didn’t struggle so much with the concepts but more the expectations of the client – he was one of Japan’s leading marketing executives! I can’t have been too bad, though, as he did stay in my classes for the year I was there. I just wish there’d been some innovative materials, like those showcased for the EBET Award, when I was teaching him!