May 14, 2019
How did you get into teaching?
It all started when I decided
to move to Budapest, Hungary, in 2009 without much thought about what I really
wanted to do, so I thought I would try my hand at teaching English until I
found a “proper” job. Through teaching a variety of courses in my first couple
of years, from middle managers to infants, I realised that I really enjoyed the
interpersonal nature of the job and that teaching… Read the rest
April 9, 2019
Question from Rosie: One of my favourite things about Berlin is the
fact you never feel very far away from nature. What did you enjoy most
about living in Berlin or Brandenburg?
I really like how easy it is to get around in Berlin. As someone who doesn’t have a car, I find the bicycle and public transit infrastructure here amazing. I also feel much safer as a woman out and about on my own in the city at… Read the rest
March 9, 2019
Rosie’s contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question from John: Have you ever been to India? If yes, why? If not, would you like to go there, why and what would you do there?
never been to India but I would love to go. I think one of the first things I
would do is travel and see as much of the country as I can, perhaps choosing a
spot to settle for a while and teach English. I… Read the rest
February 7, 2019
Question from Paul: Were you always an EFL teacher, and if not why not?
nominating me and your question, Paul. No, I was not always an EFL teacher. I
had a number of careers and a period at Sussex University as a ‘mature student’.
I worked on projects in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan until 1987. I then started
teaching in Brighton and got a teaching certificate from the University of
Cambridge. I was also diagnosed with thrombosis… Read the rest
January 7, 2019
1. Question from Carol: What kinds of things have your students taught you?
Listen to what the student wants to learn before you start teaching what you want to teach.
2. For someone who has only taught in Germany, what are some of the challenges one might face when starting work in an Arabic culture?
For men, any kind of physical contact with women in some Arab countries is best avoided. For women, the problem can be social isolation. Going… Read the rest
December 10, 2018
1. Question from Nick: Which issues are most frequently cited by Business English students as being most problematic for them?
It used to be grammar that students would agonise about, although their inaccuracies rarely impeded communication. Now, increasingly, I’m hearing about difficulties understanding accented English from business partners, sometimes non-native speakers – Indian, Spanish and Chinese for instance – but also American and British. The remedy, as with other areas, is practice. Students can assume nothing can be achieved by… Read the rest
November 6, 2018
1. Question from Phoebe: How do you bring your theatre background into the classroom?
Maybe a bunch of micro-teaching skills: giving instructions, using your voice (presentations, lectures), improvising, an interest in lesson structures as storylines. Maybe, showing off? Seriously, if you’ve never come across Keith Johnstone (Impro from Methuen), there’s a lot to learn from some of his theatre training exercises, particularly in relation to the strange ability humans have to produce sentences they haven’t planned consciously – you know,… Read the rest
October 5, 2018
1. Question from Rob: how has doing the Neurolanguage Coach training has changed the way you teach English?
A great deal. I used to tell a lot more, talk more; now I listen more, facilitate the learning process, sensing how my student/s are feeling, what ‘mode’ their brain is in, how they like to learn. I’m sure many experienced teachers do this intuitively anyhow, but the coaching course put labels on things, gave me pointers and guidelines, and some more… Read the rest
September 3, 2018
1. Question from Sarah: What advice would you give to a new freelance teacher breaking away from language schools and finding their own clients? Also what advice would you give to people wanting to change their career and become a freelance English teacher?
If you’re looking to find your own clients, I’d recommend setting up a good quality website with a professional photo and using Google Ads to get it noticed. Use the website to tell your potential clients who… Read the rest
August 6, 2018
1. Galina would like you to share your great idea for giving feedback/homework/revision by recording a short message.
What’s worked wonders with my private students and very small group lately has been me making an audio recording on their smart phone (or for small groups an audio message in a WhatsApp group) at the very end of class. I make it no longer than 5min and monologue through what we covered in class, repeat new vocabulary with an example in… Read the rest