CLIENT CASE STUDIES
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Years of experience: 28
“Listen & Learn gives me the freedom to develop lesson plans and activities with the client's input. Teaching materials and methods aren't prescribed; I have the elbow room to seek out and use the resources that work best for the clients”
Listen & Learn: Good afternoon, Steven! Thank you for talking to us and our readers today! We would like to share your experience and insights as a teacher working with Listen & Learn, so perhaps you can kick us off by telling us the languages you teach and a little about your teaching history?
Steven: I’d be delighted to! Before my retirement in 2016, I taught English and German at the middle school and high school levels. Years ago, when I was wondering which career to pursue, I ran into a former social studies teacher of mine who urged me to go into the profession. He told me that, unlike other lines of work, teaching will reward you with lots of priceless and colorful memories for the rest of your life - and, of course, he was right. So, I acquired two BA degrees in English and German, as well as a Masters in Comparative Literature, and I earned my California teaching credentials back in the 1980s. German was also my first language—my parents were both Germans who came to the US—and I've always been an avid reader in both languages.
Listen & Learn: Those are some impressive qualifications! What attracted you to teach with Listen & Learn?
Steven: After thirty years of working primarily with adolescents, I appreciated the opportunity to work with older students.
Listen & Learn: So, you have a huge amount of experience working with students of all ages, then. What would you say are the main things you look for in a student? How do you know when you have pupil who is going to gel well with your style of teaching?
Steven: I value students who are motivated and able to accept guidance and criticism when that's necessary. Also, I appreciate those who can keep their materials organized and readily available, as well as those who give me honest and timely feedback about how the course is progressing.
Listen & Learn: And is there anything particularly fun or interesting you like to teach your students?
Steven: German has many odd and entertaining expressions, and many of these find their way into my lessons at one time or another. A "Glühbirne" - literally, the "glowing pear," is a light bulb. "Handschuhe" - literally, "hand shoes" - are gloves. "Wolkenkratzer" - the "cloud scratchers" - are called skyscapers in English. And that list goes on and on.
Listen & Learn: [Laughs] Those are wonderful examples. And about you as the teacher? What should students expect from you in their language courses?
Steven: They should expect that I'll always be prepared for my online sessions and that I'll always offer them a variety of activities to choose from.
Listen & Learn: Why would you recommend students enroll in our language courses, do you think, rather than any of the competition?
Steven: They'll be able to work at their own pace with knowledgeable, seasoned instructors who can offer them ongoing one-on-one attention and lessons that are tailor-made for their learning goals.
Listen & Learn: I couldn’t have put it better myself! It really sounds like you have enjoyed working with us. Would you say you have a favorite thing about teaching with Listen and Learn?
Steven: Unlike some other companies I've looked at, Listen & Learn gives me the freedom to develop lesson plans and activities with the client's input. Teaching materials and methods aren't prescribed; I have the elbow room to seek out and use the resources that work best for the clients.
Listen & Learn: And finally, can you tell our readers about an especially memorable teaching moment with Listen & Learn?
Steven: One woman in Texas was engaged to a man from Austria, and her wedding was scheduled to take place in Austria in a few months' time. I taught Beginner German to her as well as her parents, so that they would all be better able to communicate and interact with people at the ceremony. Later on, after the course had wrapped up, they emailed to let me know that things had gone very well at the wedding and the reception.