I’m very chuffed coz my article appeared in “Teaching Times” this week (the magazine published by TESOL France). It’s all about how to get a grant to do teacher training. I got my grant this year to do my DELTA and I’ve added the article below in case you fancy doing it yourself. The article is a tad cheesy but useful and I’ll be adding my Grundtvig application responses here later.
In January 2012, Jennie Wright was awarded a Grundtvig grant by the European Commission as part of its Lifelong Learning Programme. Following our TESOL France workshop with Pilgrims in September on Grant Writing for Teacher Development, Jennie tells us a little about her experience.
1. First, tell us a little about the Grundtvig Programme
The Grundtvig Programme provides funding opportunities for those living in the EU to visit other EU countries to train, attend conferences and exchange good practice between EU members. It’s an excellent opportunity to get financial support to develop both personally and professionally and there are many funding opportunities for English teachers within the programme.
2. What’s the most important thing to know?
As the objective of the programme is to create EU partnerships and exchange EU practice, funding is only available to those travelling to another EU country to train. I live in Germany and travelled to France to do my DELTA Module Two with ESOL Strasbourg to qualify for the programme and funding.
3. Is there an approved list of courses I can choose from?
Yes! Go to https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/llp/istcoursedatabase/ for a list of courses. Some interesting ones are ‘English and Culture’ by Trinity College and ‘Teaching English Through Technology – Introduction to Virtual Learning Environments’ in Dublin.
If you want to participate in some training that isn’t in the database (maybe it’s new or the provider hasn’t registered with Grundtvig) contact the national agency of the country you live in and send them a query with details of your course. Each agency decides whether or not a course fulfils their criteria and is eligible for a grant. DELTA is not on the database, so I sent the handbook and the course breakdown to my national agency in Germany. Fortunately, they agreed the course fulfilled their criteria and I was allowed to apply for a grant. To find your national agency, use the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-programme/national_en.htm
4. I live and teach English in the EU but don’t speak French/German/Spanish, etc. Can I complete the application in English?
Thankfully yes. I completed my application in English even though it was in German. Each national agency should accept English as it’s one of the three common languages of the EU. Of course, each national agency may be a little different so check with your agency before you start.
5. Tell us about completing the application form.
It takes a lot of time but don’t give up. I recommend completing the form gradually over a few days as you can’t do it in one sitting. The application also requires a specific Adobe Reader so don’t panic if you can’t open or access the application form. Also, I managed to find some excellent step-by-step guides to completing the application form. The best guide is the 2012 In-Service training Guide for Applicants Annex 1 (at http://www.grundtvig.org.uk/ under ‘How to apply’).
6. Which questions are the hardest?
Those that ask why you want to do the training, how it matches your professional needs, and also the impact of the training on your personal competencies. Think about what motivates and inspires you. It may be cheesy, but be passionate when answering the harder questions – think about your favourite student or class and your goals as an English teacher.
7. Is it worth it?
Absolutely! I was able to take the money worries out of my course. I stayed in a hotel with Internet in my room and a desk so I could study properly. Normally, I choose the cheapest hostel and just put up with it, but it’s hard to really study under those conditions. And honestly, without the funding, I wouldn’t have been able to afford the course. The grant gives you course fees, travel and accommodation costs, and other expenses (food/transport costs and course materials).
8. Where do I start?
Go online and look at the national agency which represents the programme where you live, (see question 3). This gives you submission dates, the application form and also how you can get more information (including who to contact to ask questions).
9. Any final tips for those thinking about going for a grant?
There are strict submission dates throughout the year so make sure you check these before you do anything else!
Post everything by registered post, (the application form, contracts, etc.) and make sure you back up and photocopy everything.
As a final point, I highly recommend printing out the English version of the form and the guides to completing the application. The grant applications differ very little from country to country and this saved me a lot of painful translating time.
Original article published by TESOL France: