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May 2015

Get to know our partners in the UK!

Interview with Stephen O'Sullivan of Katherine and King's College of London, telc examination centre in the UK

telc has examination centres in over 20 countries worldwide. But who are our partners? Today we are happy to present you Katherine and King's College of London (KKCL), who became the first test centre in the UK in 2013 and who offers telc English! exams on a monthly basis. Especially this year, requests for becoming a telc examination centre in the UK increased extremely and we are looking forward to welcoming other centers during the next months. Stephen O'Sullivan, Director of Studies of KKCL, visited us at the IATEFL conference in Manchester and answered some questions for us.

Which languages do you teach at KKCL? Are there any particular learner groups you focus on?
Stephen: In terms of languages, it’s all English. We teach adults and juniors year-round – at the moment we have students as varied as a sixty-five-year-old Saudi and an eight-year-old Thai (not in the same class though!). Adults come to us for General English, Exam preparation and a whole range of special purpose language courses in fields like Medicine, Business and IT. For the juniors, we offer Go Create! English, a specially designed fusion of English tuition and creative media such as Music Production and Animation. It’s really very popular – in fact, this summer we are opening a second junior centre in Camden Town.

You regularly offer telc examinations. What is your experience so far and which telc examinations do you offer?
In terms of language examinations, again, it’s all English. We offer telc from A1 up to dual level B2-C1 – whether a candidate wants a General English test or something more specific, such as Business or Technical English, we can provide the paper. It has been great for us so far – the majority of our students sit telc exams when they finish their courses, and having that official, accurate statement of their level is really motivating for them.

Why have you decided to become a telc examination centre?
We first met the telc team in 2013 at IATEFL. We were really impressed with the exams and the unique communicative, dual-level perspective telc had towards language proficiency. A few weeks later, some representatives from telc came over to our centre and we discussed offering the exams at KKCL. It seemed like a great idea and we haven’t regretted it since.

What potential for language certificates do you see in the UK?
It’s a huge market now. Students rightly demand an end result, a reward for the money they pay for a language course, and a certificate that will help them in their future life and career provides exactly that. Every day, students walk into our school looking for exams that can help them with job-seeking, university applications, immigration. Language certificates like telc are the key to a lot of futures.

We exclusively presented our new preparation material “English Practice Material” at the IATEFL conference in Manchester this year. Each unit deals with a specific emotion or feeling. Will you use the material in your classroom? If yes, how?
We’ve already started! Our teachers have used the new material with both adults and juniors. They’re great jumping-off points for conversation and the language used in each module is genuinely authentic and useful. I am disappointed, though, that my suggestion to rename the telc mascot “telctatoes” was rejected!

Thank you for the interview, Stephen!

Did you know that we offer free Online Learning Activities to supplement our paper-based English Practice Material – vhs? User-friendly and visually appealing, more than 1,000 interactive and engaging learning activities help you prepare for telc English examinations. The learning activities are accessible on PC and mobile devices. Find out more: or in one of our free webinars!

Brand new is as well mock examination 2 for telc English C1. Order your copy now in the telc online shop!