Hi! I am John Bennett, and I am currently the Programme Development Manager for Language Link Russia. My exact duties as such are a little unclear at this time as this is a new position but essentially I am responsible for creating and developing new programmes, courses and new areas of business.
I joined the company as a teacher in 1997 and have been with LL ever since. My first posting was to Korelyov near Moscow although at that time it was called Kaliningrad The administrator there, Nina, who still works for us was very nice and made me feel right at home. I had some great colleagues who I still remember fondly. We had some great times together. I still occasionally bump into one or two of them in Moscow today.
Following my tour of duty in Korelyov, I moved to Zelenograd which is about 45 km from Moscow. Zelenograd (which is actually a part of Moscow) is situated in a forest; hence its name “Green town”. The people there are really friendly. Shortly after my arrival, I was promoted to Assistant Director of Studies and then to Director of Studies. As Director of Studies I worked part-time in Moscow but continued to live and teach in Zelenograd as I could not bring myself to leave the town and all my friends there. I was then promoted to Head of the Training Department and worked in Moscow full-time. Even so, I chose to continue to live in Zelenograd despite the 1.5 – 2.5 hour commute each way. Then I was promoted to Principal – this was the beginning of the end of my Zelenograd days. I hung on there for almost 3 years but finally had to give in and move to Moscow. I still hanker after Zelenograd but realise that with my new Job I would be unable to function effectively if I still had that commute every day.
About Language Link, I think my record speaks for itself – I am still working for them. As EFL companies go, LL is a good employer. I do not say perfect, but that would be impossible to say of any employer much less one in the difficult field of EFL. My colleagues have in the vast majority been good people who I have enjoyed working and socializing with. The few exceptions were just not suited to either the job or the place. As to Russia – I love being here and still find it challenging despite the rapid “westernization” that has taken place in Moscow and the bigger cities since my arrival.
If you decide to accept employment with Language Link, then at one time or another we will come into contact, especially if you teach in-company and sign up for the business certificate course referred to as CeBELT (Certificate in Business English Language Teaching). Of course, as with all in-house courses run at Language Link, the course is open to all.
I look forward to meeting you.
John Bennett, Programme Development Manager