UCL News


Spotlight on Madeleine Du Vivier

18 October 2012

This week the spotlight is on Madeleine Du Vivier, Teacher Training and EAP Course Development Coordinator, UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Madeliene Du Vivier image

What is your role and what does it involve?

My role is wide ranging in scope as I am the coordinator of our teacher training provision at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE) and also EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Course Development Coordinator. 

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I cannot quite believe it but I have been at UCL since September 1992, which means I am now embarking on my 21st year with the university.  Prior to joining UCL I worked as a teacher, academic manager, language school principal, teacher trainer and materials writer in Finland and the UK, both in the private and state sectors. 

When I joined the then-named UCL Language Centre it was in its infancy - just one year old!  Over the last twenty years I have seen it grow in provision and numbers: from course units in French, German, Italian and Spanish at three levels and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language which is the course unit that I am responsible for) to now also featuring Arabic, Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese and EAP, the majority at seven levels. 

The EAP provision has also grown, and now includes foundation courses for students in English and Science or Humanities subjects, a pre-masters course, specialist part-time courses in EAP, academic writing, pronunciation and public speaking to name but a few.  On top of this, our Evening Course Programme now offers 18 languages taught at five levels - including Hebrew, Icelandic, Kazakh and Latin.

We have moved from a site in Gower Street to Bedford Way, and also run the Centre for Preparatory Studies at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.  As I write this, I cannot quite believe the expansion in activities that has taken place but it shows why our name change from 'UCL Language Centre' to 'UCL Centre for Languages & International Education' (CLIE) was necessary.  We no longer just specialise in teaching languages and teacher training courses, but in delivering foundation-level courses including history, physics and economics in London and Astana.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am very fortunate to work with a highly experienced team of teacher trainers and am very proud of the teacher training provision that we offer, both to UCL students and to external clients. 

There are three initiatives which particularly spring to mind: one is the recent project supported by David Albery in Kazakhstan which involved the training of 100 secondary school teachers to teach their subject through the medium of English; the second is the Cambridge ESOL Delta course which has been running since 2004; and the third is a Cambridge ESOL intensive CELTA course which is run by Rachel Clark and Cathy Morand. 

I suppose that the one that gives me the most personal satisfaction is the Cambridge ESOL Delta - we run one of the largest face-to-face courses in the UK and achieve outstanding results every year.  It is highly regarded within the ELT community and always heavily over-subscribed.  The chance to work with experienced teachers in their own work places (teaching observations take place on participants' own classes) is very stimulating and it is rewarding to see the development process that these candidates go through.  I have now reached the stage of my career where I am seeing past participants move into high level ELT posts and win industry awards, which makes me feel very proud but very old.

What is your life like outside UCL?

Busy!  I am involved in work for Cambridge ESOL and IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) and am also a governor of a primary school in Islington.  Personal interests include theatre (I go as often as I can afford), art exhibitions and seeing friends.  I live in Swiss Cottage and have watched the UCL Academy literally rise before my eyes from my back garden over the past two years.  I have a 12-year-old son who keeps me on my toes and a golden retriever who keeps me fit - if you see someone walking a rather reluctant dog at 6.30 on Primrose Hill, say hello!