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Case Study: Elli Katachana

Personal details
Degree:MLitt ELT Profile picture
School(s): School of English Language Teaching
Year of Graduation:Nov-2012
National of: Greece
Employment details
Organisation: Athens Metropolitan College
Job title: IELTS Instructor/ Academic Tutor
Occupational Sector: Teaching
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I have been an EFL teacher for several years teaching mainly in language institutes. I taught different levels from YLs to ESOL exams. Working with college students was a great opportunity for me to work with adults in an academic environment and expand my field of expertise.
What does your job involve ?
I was employed as an IELTS instructor preparing students to sit the exam as the college runs collaborative programmes with British universities and IELTS is a prerequisite for advancing to the third year of study in which both courses and student assignments are in Engish. I also started teaching academic writing helping students understand and improve the way they write academic papers.
What are the best bits of your job ?
I enjoy working with college students and be part of their academic growth. The greatest reward for me is my students' trust in my knowledge and experience, both as a teacher and individual, which allows me to help them boost not only their level of English but also their self confidence and be successful in their overall studies.
Why were you successful?
When I applied to the MLitt in ELT (collaborative programme) I was looking for a programme which focused on the theoretical background and different schools of thought for teaching English based on relevant scientific fields, rather than a course focusing on classroom practices and mechanics. Having strong theoretical knowledge, I believe, helps the teacher understand in greater depth student differences and challenges and find effective solutions. I was able to apply this knowledge to my classes and provide personalised teaching helping students understand themselves as learners better. This is reflected in the high success percentages my students achieved.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
The university courses on academic writing during my studies both at BFSU and St Andrews as well as my personal research helped me understand academic writing in more depth and become an academic tutor myself. I worked with college students from various fields, such as physiotherapy, psychology and dietetics in collaboration with their professors to help them understand and improve their academic writing.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
English language teaching is a demanding field which requires dedication and a lot of outside-the-classroom preparation. I would advise students to keep updated with current theories, approaches or trends yet to be critical and ecclectic in their choice and class practices focusing, at the same time, on student needs. This will help them develop their personal style and be more effective in their teaching.