TEACHER CASE STUDIES
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Years of experience: 25+
“"Teaching does not just include the language itself, but also the cultural aspects. Without understanding the culture somewhat you will only be able to talk to people, but not actually be able to communicate"”
Listen & Learn: Please tell us a little about what you teach, and why?
Marion: I have been teaching German and English for quite a while. German because it is my mother tongue and English because I have always liked the language and wanted to go abroad for a year after high-school - for the language, the culture and the experience of living somewhere else in general. As a trainer you are always a student as well, you will always learn new things about other cultures, other lifestyles, and your own teaching methods as well as the needs of your students. I myself just enrolled again in a Spanish class!
Listen & Learn: Where did you study, how long have you been teaching, and what age groups do you usually teach?
Marion: I studied in Kiel, Germany, where I obtained my MA (s.a.) and I have been teaching for about 10 years officially, but giving one-to-one tutoring since I was about 14. I have taught children from the age of 10 up to high school students (both in English and German), but my main focus for the last ten years has been on adult/expat teaching. This does not just include the language itself, but also the cultural aspects. Without understanding the culture somewhat you will only be able to talk to people, but not actually be able to communicate.
Listen & Learn: What do you think a student should bring in to the lesson?
Marion: Motivation and the excitement to learn something new. If somebody feels pressured or is forced to take a class, they most likely won’t get much out of the lessons.
Listen & Learn: What do you think is important for the teacher to bring to the lesson?
Marion: Again, motivation, an enjoyment in your work, a sense of humor, and flexibility when it comes to student needs!
Listen & Learn: What is your favorite teaching story?
Marion: I once had a high school student who HAD to do English, but thought of himself as a bad student. In the beginning he kept saying “I can’t do it”. I taught him in such a way that it was more like a conversation, not a lecture. I motivated him to get rid of the vocabulary “I can’t” and after a few months he said the words “I try” and “I can” and finally he passed the course with “no sweat” and stayed my student for another year. His sister was about to fail her class in grade 9. She also passed, started enjoying the language and even took it as a major in grade 12/13. She was also my student during those years.
Listen & Learn: What are three words that describe you?
Marion: Adventurous, humorous, free-spirited!