Thursday, 30 October 2014

Political Wizardry

Not surprisingly to many, British PM David Cameron doesn't speak any foreign languages. He does, however, have a deputy PM in the form of David Clegg who is actually fluent in five European languages. Clegg, it appears, is the only leader of political party in the UK who speaks a foreign language.

David's mother is Dutch, while his wife is actually Spanish and he can happily switch between English, Dutch and Spanish fluently. In addition, he is also proficient in both German and French, which among European political leaders (or Deputy Leaders) puts him at the top of the class with an A* grade.

Monday, 27 October 2014

It's a funny old world

I have been giving Skype based lessons for nearly a year now, when previously I hadn't even considered it to be a valid form of teaching. I couldn't quite understand how it would have been possible to teach effectively in a remote way. It really did seem to go against everything I had been taught as a teacher.

Over the many years that I have been teaching, I have been extremely successful with my students and many have passed exams and moved into jobs where their language skills were essential. I still teach face-to-face for individuals and small groups and most recently I was approached by my local Comune, who asked if I would consider teaching in the local school one day a week. I said yes. Why wouldn't I want to give something back to the community that wholeheartedly welcomed us here many years ago?

Friday, 24 October 2014

It is written...

As well as writing for my own blog here, I also do lots of writing for other sites dedicated to teaching. Whether I am writing about teaching itself, or offering useful bites of help to English language students, I always try to add my own little perspective to my writing.

Currently, you can read articles that have recently been published on other sites by visiting SkypEnglish4U, iTalki and Teaching English.

In the future I hope to make contributions to many other sites and I will keep you all posted on where you can find post by me.

The Teacher Abroad

Monday, 20 October 2014

Teaching – the hardest and most rewarding work available

Although I trained to become a teacher at university when I was younger, I didn't go into the profession straight away. I wasn't sure that teaching was right for me.

Many years later, I still believe that I made the correct decision not to become a full-time teacher straight out of university. Instead my path took me into the world of business where I experienced diverse roles and responsibilities in a range of working environments. Although I didn't know it at the time, this actually gave me the management skills and business know-how on which to base my future career as a teacher. Without this solid grounding, I doubt that I would be anywhere near as successful as I am.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Everyone's favourite English teacher

John Peter Sloan just keeps popping up everywhere in the news these days, especially since Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's recent visits to both England the USA where he spoke English, in a fashion that has been dubbed Renzese by the Italian press. What they actually meant by this was that Renzi attempted to speak English, he wasn't afraid to give it a go, even though his grasp of the language isn't great and the message he was trying deliver wasn't clear.

As always, the opinion of JPS is in great demand by the Italian media who just love to disparage their politicians. On this occasion though, and I have to agree wholeheartedly on this, JPS gave him 6 out of 10 for having the courage to try in the first place. I for one take my hat off to Renzi for having a go, despite the bad pronunciation and grammar.