To begin with, we have the fun stuff. The stories that still make us laugh today when we tell them to our friends and colleagues, and the aspects of teaching English that we enjoyed the most.
Location was definitely one of the most popular perks of the job. All of our collective experience happened outside of the UK, which was lovely, but also ranged from private tuition in Bologna’s finest coffee shops, to teaching vocabulary in a mechanic’s workshop! Learning a language really can happen anywhere and at any time. The more varied the better, as this brings up situations that wouldn’t necessarily occur to teachers in a classroom setting. It was also ideal for the teachers to see first-hand how the students could and would use their English skills.
A second perk of the job was seeing the improvements in students’ abilities. One of our STB colleagues worked with business people and academics to improve their workplace English, to help them with writing emails, using professional greetings and speaking in a meeting environment. Another colleague gave private tuition to students who already had a basic grasp of the language, but had picked up some bad habits along the way. Much to the teachers’ delight, the students came on leaps and bounds in only a few lessons, as they were able to imitate the way in which STB colleagues would naturally construct a sentence, without being affected by outside influences.
Another aspect of teaching English that brought a smile to our faces was the creativity involved. Some of our team used wacky ideas to engage their students and encourage them to use English in a way that felt different to their own native language. One STB project manager focussed on teaching phrases for selling and persuasion, so the class set out pretending to be from different planets and had been sent into space to convince other ‘aliens’ to move to their planet. Other colleagues wanted to give their students a look into pop culture and language, so one class of Spanish teens learnt the words to ABBA’s hit ‘Dancing Queen’ and choreographed a full routine! Nothing says fun like a 70s’ throwback. A group of French boys were also given a gap-fill exercise, that included listening to the best of Arctic Monkeys, the Beatles and good ol’ Wizzard (Christmas edition).
Come back for our second instalment, and find out how we navigated our way through some of the trickier elements of teaching!
Please contact us at email@example.com or on +44 (0)1252 730014 for more information on the services we offer.
Written by Jessica Truelsen