Hi Intrepid English Learners,
In this episode of the Intrepid English blog and podcast, you will get to meet the newest member of the Intrepid English team, Caitlyn! Find out about her home in South Africa, her admiration for language learners and her advice about how to motivate yourself to create a consistent habit.
As always, feel free to ask us a question
by clicking on the Chat Box at the bottom of your screen
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure thing! I’m from Gqeberha, South Africa. I’m studying Political Science and World History at the Nelson Mandela University. Apart from my majors, I have studied English Language Studies for two years. Throughout my studies, I’ve learned the importance of understanding ideologies and developing my own ideologies. I have also obtained a level 5 TEFL certificate.
Since I stay close to the beach, my friends and I often go on a mission to watch a sunrise or sunset, which is usually followed by getting a warm coffee. Apart from being a self-proclaimed runner and baker, another one of my hobbies is exploring hidden gems in my city such as local coffee shops, markets and art galleries. I also enjoy partaking in community outreach programs.
What do you like most about teaching?
Being able to contribute to students goals. I have the utmost respect for students that are able to step out of their comfort zone and find the motivation to take on the challenge of learning a language. It is equally an honour and a privilege to be able to witness the progress students make towards achieving their goals. As a language learning student myself, I am aware that it requires much dedication and self-discipline to commit to a routine.
Why do you value teaching?
Living in a third world country, we are forced to see first-hand the effects of inequality. Many of us have seen what people are forced to do without an education and many of us have seen what people can do with the power of education. This has led to me being motivated to want to encourage students from all walks of life, to fulfil their full potential in their education. I am fortunate enough to attend university which has allowed me to experience many opportunities to gain more knowledge through various methods, such as through meetings with academics from all over the country as well as meeting and learning from different students who represent different faculties. I see it as my responsibility as both a human and a student, to participate and share my knowledge and experiences with those around me.
In South Africa, we refer to the word “Ubuntu”, which means ‘I am because you are’. This African philosophy acknowledges the importance of human relationships.
“Ubuntu encourages us to fulfil the best versions of ourselves, in order to bridge the gaps in society. A person is a person through other people.”
What is the hardest thing about learning a language?
I am currently trying to learn one of our African languages, Shona which is predominately spoken in Zimbabwe. I personally think it can be difficult when you are lacking confidence, especially when it comes to pronunciation. It may also be challenging to come across phrases that may initially seem quite foreign. Studying a language can be really challenging because of the certain rules each language requires. It can be especially difficult when you are not consistent with a routine, as it will be hard to gain progress. Practice makes progress!
What advice would you give to our English learners?
I think it’s a personal journey that requires you to set goals for yourself. Be patient with yourself through your journey and while attaining each of your goals. I think it’s important to allow yourself to feel frustrated and make mistakes. It would be helpful to take note of certain topics that are of interest to you and start learning them in English.
One of my previous students had an interest in Economics so we started having conversations regarding the different types of bonds. Through our conversations about a topic that was of interest to him, he was able to start feeling comfortable with learning a new language and I was able to guide him towards areas of improvement while enjoying our interesting conversations.
This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher, Caitlyn.
Find out more about Lorraine on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.