Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course! I’ m twenty-seven years old and I come from Leicestershire, England. I studied English and American Literature at the University of Birmingham and I love reading and writing. I’m an English teacher and (aspiring) travel writer. In fact, I’ve written articles for a number of online travel publications. I recently moved back to the UK after living in Mexico for three years where I spent my time teaching English, learning Spanish and eating too many gorditas.
I also lived in New Zealand for two years. Travel is a huge passion of mine as I love to experience new places and cultures. I’m an animal lover and I have a cat, Yoshi, who travelled back with me from Mexico. In my spare time, I like to go walking, exploring nature and listening to music. I also like baking, but the end product doesn’t always turn out as planned!
Tell me about your experience of living and teaching English abroad.
In Mexico, I lived in a city in the centre of the country called Aguascalientes. I only planned to live there for one or two years but I ended up staying for three! Meanwhile, I taught English in a number of language academies to people of all ages and abilities and I learnt a lot about how to be a teacher. Alongside teaching, I learnt Spanish from scratch.
Having my own language-learning experience has enabled me to empathise with my students’ journeys. I also worked in a primary school where I taught a class of twenty-four first graders. That was the hardest job I’d ever done but it was so rewarding. Leaving them behind was very sad! Before that, I was living in New Zealand for two years. I worked in hospitality and travelled around the two islands in a camper van. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country and I had such an amazing time there. One day I will go back!
What’s the hardest thing about learning a language?
From my experience of learning Spanish, understanding phrases or idioms that don’t exist in my native language was challenging. This applies to all language learners. For instance, when you first start out, there can be a tendency to translate things word-for-word but it doesn’t always work like that. In addition, having the confidence to speak was the most difficult part. When you are immersed in a language daily, it gradually becomes easier to understand, then the next step is to actually express yourself using it!
What do you like most about teaching English?
I love that I am able to meet and communicate with people. Especially those I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know otherwise. Naturally, I love learning about my students and their cultures. Also, teaching one-to-one means I am able to personalise the lessons to their goals and interests.
What advice would you give to English language learners?
Immerse yourself in as much of the language and culture as possible. Books, podcasts and films are all great resources. Stick with it. It will be worth your time. It is so rewarding when you can look back and see how far you have come. When you realise that you’re using a certain phrase or structure that you struggled with, without even thinking about it, that’s a great feeling!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Intrepid English students?
Thanks for reading this blog post. I’m looking forward to working with you!
This blog was written and recorded by Intrepid English teacher, Kate.
You can visit my Intrepid English Teacher profile page to find out more about me and add me as a friend!
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