- Director of Studies, Moscow
- BA English and Philosophy; TEFL certificate
- At Language Link since September 2012
- International Examiner since February 2013
For the longest time, I have been interested in language; in how it is used and how it can vary, depending on the context and the meaning of the user. This interest manifested itself during my years at university, where I completed my degree in not only Engish literature, but also post-structural philosophy, which has as a focus the effect our language has on our understanding of ourselves and our place in the greater system of human interaction. It was also during this time that I started my career as an English teacher, working with students of the language in various roles. I helped foreign language speakers master the basics of grammar in order for them to successfully enter university, second language speakers to enhance the ability they already possessed so they could more easily complete university tasks, and even first language speakers who were working within the creative writing field. All of these experiences gave me first-hand understanding of the colourful varieties that exist within the system of communication generally considered English.
After my time at university, I was able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice by living in the Japanese countryside for five years, where I taught English, mainly to the junior high school children of the community, but also to adults. Additionally, I was able to become involved in the local foreign community, running training courses in teaching practices and general living as a foreigner within a culture vastly different to one's own.
It was this time in Japan that taught me a fundamental characteristic of humanity, namely that we are all, simply, people and that the differences between us are mostly of cultural construction and not due to any intrinsic conflict. The vast majority of these differences are informed and supported by our language, and the best method of overcoming these perceived differences lay in gaining a focused understanding of how language affects us. Language not only allows us to express our understanding of the world around us, but restricts or, preferably, enhances it and this, I feel, is the key to my approach to teaching English. If our ability to grasp the universe is limited by our language, then every new aspect of language, be it our own or another, improves that understanding.
After my time in Japan, I returned to my adopted country of South Africa, where I worked at a language school for two years. During this time, I was able to enhance my own teaching ability by learning about many of the more complex structure within English, and even being introduced to high level programmes such as Cambridge examinations. Because this school had students from every corner of the world, I also gained invaluable experience in dealing with multiple cultures and how to impart understanding of English to students from many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
And now I find myself working at Language Link, Russia. I have been here since September 2012 and I consider this to be an amazing opportunity for all those interested in working in the English language teaching industry. The team here is fantastic, helpful and professional. In addition, Russia itself offers anyone a myriad of experiences that anyone would find incredible!
I would like to welcome all the new teachers coming to Russia in the next few months. I look forward to meeting you all and I hope we can get to know each other well. Great opportunities await, and I hope you are all as excited about coming as I am about meeting you!