Get to know our laughing yoga specialist English teacher Anne, who took time off her busy schedule to answer our probing questions…..
- How long have you been working at Lexis?
I have been at Lexis since October, 2017
- Which class do you teach?
I initially taught Elementary, now I am teaching Intermediate, both times in the Evening
- What’s your favourite learning tip?
Don’t try to translate from your native language to English – it never works!! Especially with prepositions, which are always unique to each language – you will learn much faster and get better results if you just settle down and learn them as you go! And finally – don’t give up!! We all want to communicate, and if you persevere, people will eventually understand you!
- If you had to pick another Lexis campus to work in, which one would you choose?
Brisbane, because one of my sons lives there.
- What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while teaching?
I will give an example from my other life, as a high school teacher. I was teaching at a school in one of the southern suburbs, and at the end of a class, where the students had been writing an essay, one of them didn’t want to work, so he jumped out of the window – not a problem, except that it was on the first floor!! My heart was pounding, but all the students were laughing, as they knew there was a patio roof outside, so he just landed on that and shimmied down the drain pipe! I can think of easier ways to get out of essay writing, can’t you?
- Which activity do you think students enjoy the most in your classes?
Conversations about topics they deal with in real life – which is why I try to make as much of my teaching related to real issues as I can.
- What’s the most useless talent you have?
Remembering odd bits of information – for example, did you know that Medea, from Greek mythology, cut up her brother and tossed bits of him out of the chariot so her father would stop chasing her lover Jason (from the story of the Golden Fleece) to pick them up? She really ended well, by killing her children when Jason deserted her for another woman…..
- If you were to be given a superlative when you were in school, what would it have been?
- Have you taught English overseas? If yes, where?
Yes, in Jordan in the Middle East. I initially taught English in a small technical University of Hospitality and Tourism, Ammon Applied University College, where I was the Head of the English Program, and taught a mixture of GE, and English for Special Purposes, Eng. for Business, Eng. for Hospitality and Eng. for Tourism. I then moved to a combined college/language centre, the al-Quds College, where I was a supervisor for 12 teachers, and also taught classes. This was my most interesting job, as I taught in a number of programs, including local college students who were in an international program linked with technical universities in Britain, and adult students in the evening at the language centre, from housewives looking for a hobby/ work opportunity, to high-powered executives who couldn’t function in modern business without high level English. I also taught occasionally in an intensive program for Iraqi Gas and Oil workers, as the political situation at that time (2013-2015) meant that no foreign teachers were prepared to go to Iraq. All these students came from Basrah in the far east of Iraq, at the end of the Euphrates River, which is such an exotic location, although their tales of fluctuating access to electricity combined with consistently high temperatures of 50°C didn’t sound like much fun!
When I left the college, I spent a year as the Curriculum Development writer for an NGO, Petra National Trust, which works towards improving knowledge and enhancing awareness about the World Heritage Listed Site of Petra – you will recognise this as the iconic site from the Indiana Jones’ film The Last Crusade. This was amazing, I learnt a lot, especially about the Bedouin, the tribes who still live a reasonably traditional life in parts of Jordan.
My last year in Jordan, I worked part-time at the British Council, teaching GE and some individual classes for private clients, and as the English Language Trainer at the Hyatt Hotel at the Dead Sea. This took me full circle back to my beginnings in Hospitality and Tourism, but with staff of a 5-star hotel rather than students. Working in a hotel is always a blast, as they let you use the facilities for free when there is space, and you get lots of discounts from your students in the various restaurants and bars……
I also had a private Syrian student, who had come as a business migrant when it became impossible to keep their soap and detergent factory operating in Damascus. He was doing a Masters in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in one of the British universities, but found it impossible to communicate in everyday life, even though he understood technical English well, and was doing well in his studies. He basically paid me to chat with him about topics of local interest, TV and movies, as well as cultural differences between the west and the east – as well as stuffing me with delicious Syrian pastries. The worst thing was the only time our schedules worked was at 7:30 in the morning, and like most Syrians, he liked to get up late. I had to call him 15:00 minutes before I left home to wake him up, and then again just before I arrived – but he was usually still in bed when I got there.
- Where will your next holiday be?
I am going back to my beloved Jordan to spend Christmas with my daughter Naomi, who is still refusing to come home. I will be there for 5 weeks, then flying home via Florence, where I am attending the International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, as I still edit articles for academics, particularly archaeologists, who work in Jordan, as well as the annual archaeological journal for the Department of Archaeology and Antiquities.
- How do you think students will remember you and your class?
I hope with fondness, and that we all learned a lot about each other, as well as a language!
- If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?
Enjoy every stage of your life, and live in the moment as much as you can. Too many people spend too much time either reminiscing about times past, or time to come, and miss the delights of the time they are in………