Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Yes, sure! I’m Kim, an English teacher originally from a small town in the county of Warwickshire, England. You may have heard of Warwickshire, the birthplace of playwright, poet and actor, William Shakespeare. In my late teens, I moved to France and have spent most of my adult life here. I’ve also lived and worked all over the world. I have spent some time in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Austria. You could say that visiting new places and experiencing different cultures is my passion. I just love meeting new people and learning to communicate in modern languages.
In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and active. I live in a small village in the French Alps, which has a wide range of outdoor activities. In summer I like to go rock climbing and hiking. There are many great hiking trails here, some even have the rewarding view of Mont Blanc from the top. In the winter months, I enjoy snowboarding, ski touring and drinking hot chocolates by the fire.
Why did you move to France?
I have always loved French culture, the language, food, and its unique regions, which have their history and character. At school, I learnt French and we visited France on a school trip. After that, I decided to continue my studies at university and then moved to France. Once in France, my language skills accelerated. I immersed myself in the culture, sometimes finding myself in uncomfortable situations where I’d be among only French speakers. From these experiences, my oral skills dramatically improved, and I now see the importance of stepping outside my comfort zone.
Tell me about your experience of living and teaching English abroad.
I spent a year in New Zealand teaching English at a language school, which I absolutely loved. Here I got to explore the beautiful landscapes of the North and South island and try out new outdoor sports. I taught students from all over the world; South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Japan and China. Many people visit New Zealand to explore the country and study English, and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it.
I am still living and teaching overseas, but I now call France ‘home’. I teach young learners English at a language school in Switzerland and find the school wonderfully diverse. Students of all nationalities are connecting and learning together, which I find fantastic. I enjoy teaching classes where we explore and celebrate each other’s culture and customs.
What’s the hardest thing about learning a language?
It would be different for everybody. However, I would say that pronunciation is a difficult skill to master. As a foreign language learner and even after living in France for eight years, I still find certain French words hard to pronounce. Most people I speak to recognise I’m not a native speaker; apparently, I speak with a slight English accent!
I would say that practice is key, and not to worry if you cannot pronounce words perfectly; the most important part is to be understood.
What do you like most about teaching English?
I love to see student’s progress their language skills and achieve their learning goals; whether it be a tricky grammar point or pronunciation. It is rewarding to see the improvement and to know that I have helped. I enjoy lessons where the students and I have fun interacting. I like to learn about my student’s culture and personalise classes based on the student’s interests.
What advice would you give to English language learners?
As a foreign language learner, I understand there can be challenges and frustrations, try not to feel disheartened if you don’t understand something in the beginning. Have patience, as learning a language takes time. Remind yourself of your achievements so far and continue to practice. If you are unsure, always ask your teacher for advice, as there may be another way for them to help explain the language.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Intrepid English students?
Thanks for reading my blog. I am excited to assist you with your learning journey, and I hope to see you in the classroom soon!
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below or email us at Intrepid English.
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