My teaching career began in Liverpool, way back in 1979, where I worked as a secondary school teacher of History. I taught all ages and levels, but found myself particularly intrigued by the challenges of pupils who seemed to lack motivation. Unbeknown to me, some of the techniques I used in the classroom then closely resembled the principles which underpin European Language Portfolios of today … and they worked!
I trained and moved into EFL in 1985, and began by teaching conversation to 11-year-olds in a Turkish secondary school – there were 45 pupils in each class, and I saw each of my 16 classes for only 90 minutes a week. The desks were all nailed to the floor, but somehow, by the end of the year, my charges were all chatting away. I’d like to think it was something to do with me, but, to be fair, they were all very highly motivated learners. Since then, I’ve taught general English to learners of all levels and for different exams, and English for Specific Purposes (for example, for Air Traffic Control, Journalism, Audio-visual Communication and Advertising).
I went to my first ELT conference in 1988 and was bowled over by just how much I didn’t know about language, learning and teaching. For me, the dynamic nature of the ELT world still holds a fascination as there’s always something new to find out about. I still get a kick out of attending conferences today.
Over the years, whilst still enjoying the classroom, I’ve become interested in learning and learner training, the Common European Framework of Reference, course and syllabus design, and testing. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to share the benefits of my experience by giving teacher training courses, presenting at ELT conferences and through various publications. You can find out more about my professional background on my Linked in profile page