Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Study
  3. Meet our students and alumni
  4. Hazel Taylor

Hazel Taylor

Hazel TaylorFinding continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities that fit around full-time teaching can be challenging, primary school teacher Hazel Taylor says. 

The Aberdeen-based teacher found out about the TEachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) programme through her local authority and was encouraged to enrol on one of the language courses being delivered in partnership by The Open University (OU) and Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT).

Delivered through a flexible distance learning programme, Hazel chose to study French at post-beginners level after previously studying the language up to GCSE level and having taken part in an Erasmus course, which involved spending a week in Lyon developing French language skills. 

“I wanted to continue this personal development, but also upskill professionally, by learning more about effective teaching of languages,” she says.

“This course was ideal as it brought the language and pedagogy strands together.”

Flexible study

The pedagogy tasks were based on the planning and implementation of a lesson, so that was easily incorporated into my planning for the class.

She discovered that the OU course fitted well around her full-time teaching role, highlighting: “The flexibility within the language study, and having the materials available in advance, meant that I could choose to study when I had time available, rather than sticking rigidly to a schedule. 

“The pedagogy tasks were based on the planning and implementation of a lesson, so that was easily incorporated into my planning for the class.”

Hazel was able to mainly study independently and says “the language and pedagogy elements of the course were easily accessible as they were clearly structured and split into manageable sections”.

Support and sharing

At the same time, she adds: “The tutors were very supportive throughout the course, both in tutorials and by email. They provided clarity in terms of course expectations and requirements, and were willing to give one-to-one support if necessary.

I particularly enjoyed working with other students on the course, as we were able to share ideas and experiences from the classroom.

“I particularly enjoyed working with other students on the course, as we were able to share ideas and experiences from the classroom.”

Since undertaking the OU course, Hazel has introduced a variety of new ideas in her classroom.

“A particularly enjoyable activity involved describing snowmen based on the colour of their hat and scarf, and the number of buttons they had.

“We completed this activity just before Christmas, and the children were completely engaged from start to finish. They were describing the snowmen in French almost without realising they were speaking a different language!” she highlights.

Benefit to pupils

She has also found: “The pupils in my class have benefited from my new language knowledge and confidence because they have been able to see me, as an adult, take part in the learning process.

“They have shared in the successes and struggles that I have experienced, and watched me use strategies to overcome any difficulties.

I have been more adventurous in my planning of languages activities, so the children have had a more varied and engaging experience.

“This could be as simple as recognising that if you do not know a word in another language, you can look it up.

“The pupils have also benefited from my participation in the course, as I have been more adventurous in my planning of languages activities, so the children have had a more varied and engaging experience.”

To any other teachers thinking of learning a language with the OU, Hazel says: “The OU course was enjoyable, relevant and manageable… I was keen to develop my French vocabulary as well as my teaching skills, and this opportunity was provided by the OU.”

TELT offers French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese at beginners or post-beginners level.

It is inspired by and contributes to delivery of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 language policy.

The programme is officially approved by the General Teaching Council for Scotland with a Professional Recognition award.