What would you say if you could select your own private English language coach? A professional who helps you improve your communication and business skills? You can increase your active vocabulary, learn how to negotiate and write commerical correspondence and so much more. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and a headset. Point your browser to e-english.co.uk
and register as a student looking for an English teacher. This service is free to use so you can only win. Of course this site is also an ideal place for English language teachers and trainers to find private students from all over the world. If you want to learn more about the founders of this unique online agency you should read the interview below.
Neil, you are offering services to English language trainers as
well as people who want to practise and improve their English. Why
have you created e-english?
We started e-english after a short period of using Skype, the Internet
telephone system for calling my son in the UK (we live in Belgium).
This worked so well that I began to think about possible uses of Skype
in education. I am a teacher and having lived and worked most of my
career outside the UK I have had many colleagues who teach English as a second language. I find
the idea of teachers from one side of the world teaching learners on
the other side of the world really exciting and another step towards
the creation of the Global Village and perhaps towards greater
understanding between peoples.
What countries have you worked in and what subjects have you been teaching?
In fact I have only worked in three different schools but they were in 3
different countries: Germany, UK and Belgium. I have always been a
teacher of Chemistry but then I added «ICT» (Information and
Communication Technology) to my teaching subjects. In my first post I
taught in German and now I use German and French as well as English as
these are the three working languages used in the European Schools.
These are schools for the children of EU officials who of course come
from all over Europe. The effect of the new member countries is already
noticable in the schools as well as in other EU institutions: English is
becoming the main means of communication!
Are there any differences in the way young people in European countries live and learn? What did you like about your jobs abroad and how did you get along with your foreign colleagues?
In the Euroepan School system pupils study some subjects like their
mother tongue, sciences and mathematics in their own language. So when
I teach Chemistry all the pupils in the class have (or should have)
English as their first language. Other subjects like History,
Geography, Art, PE, Music and ICT are taught in mixed groups using one
of the Working Languages (English, French or German) as the language of
the lesson. So, in my ICT lessons I usually speak English but when I
help pupils individually I also use French and German.
What has all this to do with your question? Well, of course there are
generalisations we all make about people from different countries and
there is no doubt some truth in them. However, when you teach pupils in
mixed classes, the differences between pupils from the same language
section and the similarities between pupils from different sections are
what you tend to notice. This is what the European Schools are all
about. The older the pupils get and the more their second and third
languages improve the more they integrate with each other a process
which of course is increased by the the cross-section attractions which
inevitably occur in this situation!
You also asked how I get on with my foreign colleagues. This I can
answer very quickly. There are no foreigners here. We are all Europeans
living in the heart of Europe!
I understand you are promoting e-english through Google Adwords. What other methods of promoting your site are you using?
With an interview on English-test.net do we really need any other
publicity? Of course interviews, reviews and press releases (in both
TEFL journals and the general press) and partnerships form one part of
the plan for increasing the use of e-english.co.uk.
We are also considering offering a number of free credits to current
teachers if they recommend the site to other colleagues who then sign
up and become users.
However, the best way to promote a web site is to have a really useful
site which people talk about and so its use increases by word of mouth.
Have we achieved that with e-english? We think that we have. Where else
can you select a teacher by his methods, by reviews, by price, by
experience etc? Where else can teachers contact learners from all over
the world so easily and cheaply?
If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.