One career highlight since I began teaching English as a foreign language was a trip to Salvador in Brazil where myself and two other English teachers established an English language course for children and adults.
Working with the Aboliçao Trust based in Oxford we lived and worked in Itapua, a small community on the outskirts of Salvador. The Abolicao Trust has strong links with this area and funds raised in the UK are sent to Brazil to support the running of a Capoeira centre right in the heart of the community.
The centre is based in an old school so the building was perfectly suited to house our new English classes. With the help of a local professor we were able to enrol about 50 new students wishing to learn English. Most of the students had little or no English and for many of the adults it was their first experience of education since their school years. Starting from scratch is a very satisfying experience. The progress we observed during our time in Brazil was very exciting to see and the feedback we received form the local community was extremely positive. In towns like Itapua education is vitally important for the development of the area.
On a personal level it was amazing to build freindships with my students and see such positive results. Many of the students I was teaching were dedicated to their new English lessons and some had a real flare for the language. To be greeted every morning by smiling and enthusiastic students was a real pleasure!
This was one of the inspirations for setting up my own intensive English Language School here in Jersey. Although my students come from very different backgrounds, it is great to be able to inspire the same enthusiasm for learning that I first saw in Brazil.
About the Author
My background is in rock climbing, other adventure sports and languages. I speak English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. I teach English as a foreign language. I live on the small yet magnificent island of Jersey in the English channel with my small family!