Meet & Greet: Charlie Spiller, Head of Intensive English Programme & EAL

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Meet & Greet: Charlie Spiller, Head of Intensive English Programme & EAL</span>

As we begin a new academic year, we are thrilled to announce a valuable addition to our Middleton family — the appointment of our new Head of Intensive English Programme & EAL (English as an Additional Language), Charlie Spiller. 

Charlie Spiller joins Middleton with an impressive background and a wealth of experience in language education. His passion for fostering a dynamic and inclusive learning environment aligns seamlessly with our commitment to providing exceptional education to our diverse student body. We dive deeper into Charlie's experience and insights through this open dialogue.


Tell us about yourself!

For more than 20 years, I have taught, trained teachers and managed educational programmes in the diverse and complex contexts of Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Egypt, the UK and Singapore. While not limited to, the majority of my experience has been working with KS1-12 EAL students. I hold both a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, PGCE Primary with QTS and Cambridge University Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, DELTA.  I am a local tutor for the latter course. My leadership experience is complemented by MSc Educational Leadership. As a teacher trainer, I am a keen reader of educational research.  Consequently, I strive to ensure that all the programmes that I develop are pedagogically rigorous, impactful and aligned with our school vision. 


Share a highlight from your career that you are particularly proud of!

Finishing my MSc was a relief as much as a highlight, not least as my daughter had just been born!  The process made me think differently about education, especially cross-culturally.  My dissertation looked at home-school links in different countries, and this has impacted how I have managed programmes ever since.  I have worked twice as a Programme Director running summer courses for international school students based on the University of Oxford and Cambridge campuses. It was a rush to walk in the footsteps of world-famous alumni.  The best thing was working with students who aspired to be the next generation of world leaders.  But I’d also say that that is the greatest thing about working in education anyway - supporting children in achieving their dreams, whatever they might be.  I also believe that highlights are there to be surpassed.  I can’t wait to see what we can achieve at Middleton!


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What are some of your teaching beliefs?

Teaching is really complex and there are so many factors that impact quality in the classroom. If I was to pick only three, they would be: success, challenge and respect.  

I want every single student to feel success while they are at school - it is the cornerstone of how students feel engagement and motivation.  In order to have them coming back day after day, they all need to have a positive view of their abilities and see how they are a valuable part of the community. This is even more vital for our EAL students.

We know from cognitive science that learning happens when students think hard about concepts that we show them.  Consequently, providing the right level of challenge is vital.  I really like those questions that stop the students in their tracks and then after sometime the hands slowly begin to go up.  It shows that they are thinking hard! 

Finally, part of the school experience is learning to operate in diverse communities.  Listening to and respecting the opinions of others is a vital life-skill.  It is so important that I think it should be explicitly taught and modelled by teachers to their students everyday.  This is about how they interact with their own students as well as the other members of the school community.


What are some of your personal interests or hobbies that bring you joy outside of work?

Whenever possible, I will always take the opportunity to travel.  I don’t think there is anything quite like it for keeping one’s mind curious about the world we live in. When I’m not travelling, the next best thing for keeping me curious is reading.  Now that I'm thinking of it, my Kindle might actually be my favourite possession.  It comes everywhere with me!  I think the best thing about it is being able to have a library in one’s pocket.  I have always got 2 or more books on the go.  The mornings are MRT commute, educational reading. The nights are fun fiction and the weekends, a bit of non-fiction brain food with nice coffee.


Learn more about our EAL programme or our Middleton Intensive English Programme.

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