Meet The Intrepid English Teachers – Joanne!

Meet Joanne, the newest member of the Intrepid English team!

Listen to Joanne’s interview on the Intrepid English Podcast, watch on YouTube, or add her as a friend in the Community and say hi!

Can you tell us about yourself?

I’d love to. My name is Joanne and I am an English teacher  from Scotland. I am from Kirkcaldy which is just north of Edinburgh. I’ve also  lived in China, South Korea, Japan and Poland. My fiance is American so at some point I will be adding America to the places I live.

What is your experience with learning other languages?

When I was living in China, I tried on and off for about six years to study Chinese. At some points I had a teacher and at other times I was just self studying. When I first moved to China I couldn’t really say anything and I would have lunch and dinner in the kindergarten I worked in. Most of the staff didn’t speak any English but were very friendly and they taught me different words. Since I mainly self-studied and learned by living there, my speaking and listening skills are much better than my reading and writing skills. 

I also studied Japanese as a full time student when I lived in Tokyo. This was a very intense experience, hours of lessons everyday, with lots of homework and tests. Whilst I loved learning and learned a lot in a short time, I am not a fan of such a rote memorization teaching or learning style and found that I wasn’t as confident at speaking in comparison to speaking Chinese despite having paid a large amount of money for lessons. 

Can you tell us about your teaching experience?

I have a wide variety of experiences; my youngest student must have been around three years old, whilst my oldest student has probably been in their sixties. I first started teaching  English in 2012, when I first moved to China. I got my first English teaching job right after finishing university. I had about two weeks after graduating to pack up and move to China. I remember sitting on my floor trying to figure out how I could put all my stuff into one suitcase.

My first year I worked in a kindergarten, my  second year was in a primary school. After that I worked in an English training centre teaching kindergarten students all the way up to adults. I then went back to the same primary school as before where I worked with the same students from kindergarten all the way up to primary two. This was a great experience as I got to teach them English through other subjects; like science and drama. As it was a boarding school I got to really build a rapport with my students and their parents which I loved. 

In between teaching in China, I have also taught in South Korea, Poland and Scotland. In Scotland I have worked with Fife council, volunteering teaching English to people in the area. I currently volunteer with Refunet which is an organisation that pairs refugees with English tutors.

What do you like about teaching English?

I love so many things about teaching English. But ultimately I love working with people and that everyday is different. Also working with people of all ages, from all around the world from different walks of life means that I am also learning which is amazing. I enjoy helping and supporting my students 

What do you like doing outside of work?

I love film, theatre, dancing, cooking, yoga and travelling. When working at the boarding school in China I was often responsible for creating the teacher performances which often involved acting and dancing. I loved this as I was often just given a stage or stage time and got to create whatever vision I could imagine. On one occasion I choreographed a dance to ‘this is halloween’ and taught it to both teachers and a couple of hundred students, which was great fun.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Intrepid English students?

I look forward to meeting you!

This content was written by Intrepid English Teacher Joanne.

Joanne Shields

You can find out more about Joanne on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

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