Christine Owens was one of a number of teachers at the Language Academy’s 2014 summer school who led classes as well as joining students on their trips outside of the classroom. Currently in Thailand, Christine shares her highlights of last year’s summer school.
What were your highlights of the 2014 summer school?
My highlights were meeting so many new people, both students and staff. It was a learning curve working with South Korean students as it enlightened me about their culture and study norms. Another highlight was being able to join the students on their field trips; real English in real situations.
What did you enjoy most about working for the Language Academy?
I enjoyed working with the other teachers and hearing their teaching experiences. I also enjoyed getting the chance to work with all the students as we rotated and shuffled groups to ensure that the students were taken out of their comfort zone and not always working with friends. This is a great reflection and preparation for the real world because in the work environment sometimes it's necessary to work with people from all walks of life.
How beneficial do you feel the summer school is in helping students to improve their English?
I think the summer school had many positive aspects. I think the supporting material on a whole was very useful and provided a good base on which us teachers could prepare beneficial classes. Many commented that they enjoyed the small presentations that they had to do because at home they do not get the chance to practice their oral skills in class. This gave them the encouragement and confidence that they needed.
Which countries and cities have you worked at before the summer school?
I taught English with the British Council in the province of Buenos Aires in 2010. It was part of my third year abroad. I also taught English in Lima, Peru, in an English language institution for two and a half years.
What are you currently up to?
At present, I'm in Thailand, not working, just holidaying. 2014 was not a kind year to me so I decided to travel, visit a new country, and live a new culture. It's food for the soul. Then in the future? Back to reality, back to the UK where the snow and wind awaits me! Hopefully it will be melted by then, I'll try my best to bring the rays back with me!