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In-company teachers with in-company background

Domingo, 2 de Setiembre de 2018

Tener formación y experiencia en empresas es un valor añadido para enseñar un idioma. Jon y Angharad nos lo cuentan.

Tenir formació i experiència en el món de l’empresa és òbviament un valor afegit a l’hora d’ensenyar un idioma, ja que proporciona un enfocament molt més pràctic. A Cambridge School tenim professors nadius amb passats professionals tan diversos com Jon Davies en bioquímica o Angharad en banca. Aquí ens n’expliquen una mica:

-What educational qualifications do you hold?

Jon: I have both undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry which I obtained from The University of East Anglia in England. In addition I have also obtained more recent qualifications for teaching English as a foreign language including the Cambridge CELTA. 

Angharad: I studied German and Spanish at University and have a Master's in Applied Translation.

-Tell us about your professional background.

Jon: Professionally, I have experience working in several different biotechnology laboratories. During those periods I have worked both as an academic and in industry. I have recently worked for Schlumberger in Cambridge, the Institute for Food Research in Norwich and the University of East Anglia. I was working mostly on bacteria and how they could be exploited to produce renewable energy. I have since decided that I would like to share my passion for languages with others so have shifted to teaching English here in Spain. I have previously been teaching in Seville.

Angharad: I worked for 11 years in the City (London) and spent the last 6 and a half years working as an Executive Assistant to a CEO in a bank in London. I was very lucky as my boss wanted someone who could speak different languages. This meant I could help with translation work and edit documents, such as letters and presentations. It also meant that I was aware of the cultural differences between the clients we had.

-How do you think your past experience helps you in your current teaching job?

Jon: I think my past experiences are incredibly useful in helping to teach English. During my PhD I gave many presentations about very technical subjects to a wide range of audiences in a variety of situations ranging from conference talks to private tutoring. Having that previous experience has been invaluable as a teacher as I have a much better understanding of how to simplify concepts and present them in a non-intimidating way. 

Angharad: I think the main thing is that as a language learner and user, I am totally aware of the trouble with grasping a new language! I can empathise with the students and also try to help with some learning methods which I found helped me. In addition, from an in-company perspective, I have experience with the terminology that they use and need, which eases the teaching process. Being someone who also had business French lessons at work, I totally understand when classes have to change or when my lesson plan has to go out of the window if the students need help with some vocabulary or presentation methods in English. It is always good to be flexible and kept on my toes!

-How does teaching English in-company differ from in the academy?

Jon: For me, I enjoy teaching in-company classes as it gives me a chance to talk to professionals who are keen and driven to learn. I find that helping people to talk about something they feel passionate about, whether it is their job or their personal interests, and enabling them to express those ideas in a different language is very rewarding and gratifying.

Angharad: The main difference is that the syllabus is designed individually for the students in-company, which means being flexible about possible ad-hoc topics and thinking on the spot. A lot of the time it is helping students to communicate well and effectively and merging my planned lesson with an urgent request for help. I enjoy this, as I also like to keep my business and finance language up-to-date. Plus, I do still enjoy the thrill and the fast-paced environment of big business. Although this way it is a little more relaxing then before!

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