Dancing her way to the CELTA: Lyna’s story

    Lyna and Director of Studies Lewis Richards with Lyna’s CELTA certificate

Our lovely student Lyna from Ukraine celebrated the arrival of her CELTA certificate this week after passing our October CELTA course.   Here’s Lyna’s story:

“I trained as a dancer in Lviv in Western Ukraine, and then I studied choreography at university.   I spent 6 years working as a choreographer with children, and my first taste of teaching English was teaching ballet to young children in English.   I then ended up moving to Shanghai – I initially was going to work as a choreographer there too, but I was offered a job teaching English to kids there, which I really loved.

I spent 4 years doing that, and then, unfortunately covid hit, and I had to return home to Kyiv.   I started teaching some children’s classes online – to be honest, it wasn’t really about teaching them English, it was more about keeping them busy. Often they’d be in the basement of a building in not very comfortable conditions, so it was tough to see, but I wanted to help out.

In April of 2022 I arrived in England as part of the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.   My sponsor told me that there was an English language school in Portsmouth, and although my English wasn’t bad, I really wanted to improve it and speak better. When I arrived, I spoke to the Director of Studies, and the school offered me a full-time scholarship in a general English class. It was amazing to be in this atmosphere, with lovely people. I felt I was alive again.

As I had some experience of teaching English, the school offered me a scholarship to join their CELTA course this October.   It was hard work, a very intense experience, but what I can say is it literally changed my life. I know what the next steps in my life are, and I have a lot of opportunities. It’s also not just about the certificate, it’s about the knowledge…now I know how to teach a good class, and to make it fun and interesting….”

Lyna has now found a job as a Bilingual Language Assistant working with Ukrainian schoolchildren in 3 local schools.   Her long-term plan is to move to back to Kyiv and work as an English teacher in International House.

Congratulations Lyna from all of us at IH/LSI Portsmouth, and we wish you every success in the future!