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  • Ambassador
  • (29 reviews)
J
Jakub
« Emilie is a brilliant tutor. She is reliable, patient, and delivers... More »
J
Jakub
« Emilie is a brilliant tutor. She is reliable, patient, and delivers results. Definitely recommend. »
£40/h
1st lesson free!
Profile and degree verified
Response Time 1h
Lessons offered by Emilie
  • Individual
The lessons will be held
  • at her home
  • at your home
Taught subjects
  • Academic tutoring
  • School support
  • School Coaching
  • Methodology
  • Early Years Education
Levels
  • Primary

Experienced teacher offering after-school tutoring lessons to primary school students in London

Methodology

I am a Philosophy major at University College London. I give lessons to children aged 7-11.

I practice positive discipline, a technique created by Dr Jane Nelsen. Positive Discipline is an effective discipline in the long-term: it considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world — and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive. I want to help children feel a sense of belonging and significance in society by means of mutual respect and encouragement. I aim to teach important social and life skills: e.g. respect, concern for others, critical thinking, problem-solving and cooperation. I invite children to discover their inner capabilities to encourage the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.

Young learners tend to have short attention spans and a lot of physical energy. This is why I do not spend more than 10 or 15 minutes on any one activity because children tend to become bored easily. I keep them engaged by supplementing the activities with lots of brightly coloured visuals, toys, puppets, or objects to match the ones used in the stories that I tell or songs that we sing. I try to make learning more fun by involving the students in the creation of the visuals or realia. Having children involved in creating the visuals that are related to the lesson helps engage students in the learning process by introducing them to the context as well as to relevant vocabulary items. When choosing materials or themes to use, I find ones that are appropriate for my students based on their language proficiency and what is of interest to them.

I do a five-minute meditation before each class. A number of studies in school settings have shown that when children meditate, this improves their attention and behaviour. Children’s brains get tired easily so meditating is the opportunity for them to take a time out, relax and focus. Meditation offers this break and helps kids function more effectively and clearly. This is why I incorporate mindfulness training into my lesson plans. I invite the child to sit quietly, resting with eyes closed, and bringing attention to his/her breath. When their attention drifts away, which happens very often, I simply remind them to usher their attention back to their breath without judgment. The benefits of this type of meditation are countless; they rest the mind, body and spirit. This, in turn, has many mental, physical, and spiritual benefits.

There's no doubt, however, that sitting still for any length of time can be difficult for some kids. For this reason, I often change the mindfulness meditation to a movement-based meditation — yoga. I teach yoga poses and exercises that children of all ages can enjoy to help cultivate self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfilment and body awareness. I never do any pose that can harm the child in any way.

I approach children’s yoga with an educational philosophy. I am a huge fan of Treehouse Yoga for Children’s philosophy. I aim to teach children life long strategies to deal with everyday life. With continued practice and time, I believe I can foster them with self and spatial awareness, kindness, community, and focus.

Yoga blends physical activity with breathwork and guided mindful activities to help children separate themselves from feeling stressed or anxious. Deep breathing exercises send signals to the brain telling it to relax. Yoga focuses on the present moment and encourages children to leave their thoughts and worries behind. With a relaxed body and mind children are better able to cope with their emotions, i.e. frustration, patience, sad, angry, excited.

While practising yoga, I ask the child to clear his/her mind and focus on moving his/her bodies through a sequence of poses. A regular yoga practice will help translate focus from the movements in yoga practice to schoolwork and other activities the child is involved in. Sessions scaffold from the first to the last class, building repetition, patterns, and memory. I encourage the child to tune in to his/her body and notice how they really feel in each present moment.

Through yoga, children are taught to focus on themselves personally as well as how they contribute to the success of a group or community through partner poses and group poses. Through these activities, they build confidence with their practice and who they are as a person. Each child is taught to have an “I can” attitude with poses, and are taught to not give up even if a pose does not come to them easily.

My lessons are dynamic and fun, and I challenge my students in many ways so that they can learn and study more confidently. Lessons are important, but so is homework in order for the child to continue studying between classes. Homework plays an important role in children’s education.

There is a huge homework debate in primary schools. A lot of teachers believe that homework only brings stress and anxiety to children once they are home. I disagree partly with this claim. I agree that homework can be stressful if it is not purposeful and misunderstood. But I believe that homework is essential for a child’s education because it helps him/her memorise and digest the information learnt during the day/week. In order to experience the benefits of homework, the work being set should have a clear goal, as well as being worthwhile and purposeful to encourage student completion. Thus, I give purposeful and short homework to my students. Purposeful homework is intrinsically linked to quality homework‭, ‬as opposed to quantity homework‭. I do not overload my students with huge amount of homework. When I was teaching in Thailand, all my students were very excited to hand back their homework. I provided clear‭ ‬and detailed‭ instructions ‬and set engaging tasks that ‬provided the students with a real reason to complete them‭. ‬

I want to offer my children the ability for their curiosity to flourish through play and exploration.

I want to:

-enable children to find their own voice and style, not simply imitate others;
-provide experiences that emphasise exploration and active participation;
-set provocations to feed exploratory learning
-value children’s self-initiated activity by being available and interested;
-help children acquire new skills and identify possibilities;
-recognise that the process may sometimes be more important than the end result;
-resist intervention as a reflex and watch more; know when to be silent, when to encourage, when to inspire and when to help;
-work alongside children as a more experienced learner modelling learning together;
-establish with the children as a more experienced learner modelling learning together;
-establish with the children clear guiding principles, such as rules for the use of materials and behaviour;
-extend learning by encouraging critical reflection;
-pause before speaking, giving children the opportunity to communicate their views first;
-offer constructive feedback and encouragement during an activity;
-craft appropriate questions to encourage the child to work to communicate their ideas for themselves and thus deepen their own commitment to learning;
-give children time to respond to my questions and comments.

Good teachers communicate concern and caring by their tone of voice and use of body language. They transmit genuine commitment and affection for their students. I care about my students' progress and let them know it at all times. I learn my students' names early and use their names when addressing them. I get to know their hopes, fears and preferences and communicate this knowledge to them. I communicate my appreciation for what they do by celebrating their successes and constantly encouraging them. This helps students feel recognised and validated.

I report student progress to parents. I explain the strengths and weaknesses of my students so that parents will understand the message and be receptive rather than defensive. This is especially important when I convey a difficult message about the student's misbehaviour or learning problems. The message must be delivered clearly and with tact. I feel comfortable communicating with parents regularly, with phone calls and informal notes in addition to formal report cards.

As a teacher, I am concerned with children’s welfare – physical, mental, emotional, and social. Primary schools are the most accessible “outposts” of the welfare state as far as most parents and children are concerned. They are crucially essential points of contact. I want to promote my children’s well-being and relationships with others.

In addition to the welfare of children, I think teachers themselves should be fit and well. This is why I look after my own well-being through yoga, training, mindfulness and daily meditation.

My philosophy seeks to highlight an education that emphasises the importance, relevance and need for equity and empathy, challenge and relevancy, as well as exploration and freedom.

I adopt and pursue the aims of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. The Cambridge Primary Review was published in 2010, as a result of 6 years of work, including more than 1,000 submissions, 28 specially commissioned reviews, more than 3,000 published sources of evidence reviews and 237 meetings at a regional and national level. The CPR was a comprehensive and independent enquiry into the condition and future of primary education in England.

The twelve aims set by the Cambridge Primary Review (CPR) unashamedly reflect values and moral purposes (for that is what education is about). They are designed to empower children to manage life and find meaning in the 21st century. They reflect a coherent view of what it takes to become an educated person.

The twelve aims for primary education are organised into three groups:

THE INDIVIDUAL
-Well-being;
-Engagement in learning;
-Empowerment of pupils;
-Autonomy and sense of self.

SELF, OTHERS AND THE WIDER WORLD
-Encouraging respect and reciprocity;
-Promoting interdependence and sustainability;
-Empowering local, national, and global citizenship;
-Celebrating culture and community.

LEARNING, KNOWING AND DOING
-Exploring, knowing, understanding and making sense;
-Fostering skill;
-Exciting the imagination;
-Enacting dialogue.

I believe that to be a successful teacher, you need to understand why you teach what you teach, how children learn from what you teach them, and from what and where your own values are derived. My BA in Philosophy has been extremely relevant in this regard. It has helped me figure out what my values were, where they were derived from and why I wanted to do what I am doing now. The modules I have taken in Educational Psychology and have taught me how children learn from what teachers teach them.

When you teach English to children aged 7-11, you teach them terms and their definitions. As in any tightly structured area of knowledge, grammar, vocabulary and spelling involve a network of technical concepts that help to define each other. Consequently, the definition of one concept builds on other concepts that are equally technical. Concepts that are defined elsewhere in the glossary are hyperlinked. For some concepts, the technical definition may be slightly different from the meaning that some teachers may have learnt at school or may have been using with their own pupils; in these cases, the more familiar meaning is also discussed. Philosophy deals with concepts and seeks to define concepts and their different meanings.

Philosophy differs from most disciplines because, in philosophy courses, you are not taught what to think but rather how to think. Knowing that some problems have multiple solutions—or no solution—is an important skill. In primary schools, children start learning how to ask the right questions, analyse issues from many points of view, and assess the pros and cons of competing proposals. When you study philosophy, you develop skills in verbal and written communication, problem-solving, clear and disciplined thinking and analysis, along with persuasive argumentation. These are skills that are directly applicable to education.

I prioritise the values of the CPR in order to provide a rich, broad, balanced, and imaginative curriculum for my children.

I believe that primary education should have intrinsic value in itself rather than being seeing seen solely as a preparation for secondary school and above. I want to provide a balance between making sure that the children’s future will be fulfilled, and that the children’s well-being and needs are met here and now. A successful primary education should foster children’s development as self-motivated, resilient learners, instil a lifelong love of learning and empower them with a sense of agency, autonomy and optimism for the future.

As a teacher, I seek to prioritise my values and view of the aims of primary education. As a primary school teacher, I have a unique opportunity to influence children’s learning dispositions and identities. Nurturing children’s intrinsic motivation to learn and belief in themselves as learners are at the heart of my pedagogy, which is shaped by a commitment to the learning capacity of every child; all children should have a positive view of what they can achieve and feel that their voice is valued. I apply a dialogic pedagogy to listen to my children’s perspectives in order to promote children’s active engagement and foster their growth as autonomous learners. I strive to enable enjoyment, fun and laughter and, ultimately, nurture their happiness and well-being.

I work hard to create a positive, safe learning environment. I don’t want my children to feel ashamed to ask questions. Together, we rise to challenges, take risks and celebrate each other’s successes.

As a reflective teacher, I am committed to continue and principle my professional development, actively seeking out opportunities to use evidence to reflect on and improve my practice.

Ambassador

One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualifications verified and response guaranteed. Emilie will plan your first lesson with care.

Experience

I am 21 years old and in my final year as a philosophy major (BA) at University College London (UCL). I took an interruption of studies in January 2019 for health reasons. This year I gained a lot of experience in teaching and realised I wanted to pursue a career as a teacher (more below). I am a member of The Chartered College of Teaching, the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, and the National Association for Primary Education.

In primary school, I studied at the Ecole Internationale Bilingue of Paris (EIB), a bilingual private preschool. From CP, English represents one-quarter of school time (that is, 1h30/day), for a total of 6 hours per week. Accredited by the University of Cambridge, Edexcel, College Board and IBO, this English-speaking curriculum prepares students to take the Cambridge International IGCSE examinations in Grade 10.

I did my secondary school and high school at the Institut de la Tour. I was part of the Anglophone Section — the section for bilingual students from 6ème through Terminale. The curriculum was a mixture of Anglophone literature and history in English taught by highly-qualified, native-speaker teachers. While the program in secondary school concentrated primarily on the United States and Great Britain, the high school literature and civilisation courses introduced me to Anglophone countries outside of Great Britain and the United States. I had the opportunity to take four electives in high-school: film-making, photography, personal essay and creative writing. The Anglophone Section provided me with an academically rigorous and supportive environment, which enabled me to achieve academic excellence in English and experience an Anglo-Saxon learning environment.

In the summer of 2013, I took a 4-week digital filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy. The Four-Week Workshop provided me with a thorough introduction to the foundations of film craft. The workshop is a full-time program. I wrote, directed, shot and edited a series of short film projects of my own using high-def digital video, film lighting packages, and digital editing software. Classes in directing, writing, editing, cinematography, and production cover the creative and technical demands of telling a story with moving images. Each week my films were screened and critiqued in class with the instructor.

In 2016, I graduated from the Institut de la Tour with the French Baccalaureate (Bac) — a demanding pre-university diploma that marks the completion of French high school. It is recognised worldwide as being a comprehensive rigorous program, which guarantees in-depth knowledge. I chose the Scientific program of study because it allowed me to study every subject (Science, History, Mathematics, Philosophy etc.) — whereas a Literary Bac is not as complete. The diversity of the Scientific program led me to wide-ranging knowledge and general culture. I graduated with high honours (mention Très Bien).

My passion for teaching sparked when I took an internship as an EFL Teacher in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, in the summer of 2019. This internship turned out to be the most eye-opening and gratifying experience I ever had. I learned to inspire students and found myself inspired by the amazing abilities and personal qualities children can reveal. The process of learning turned out to be as exciting as the process of teaching. I grasped a full knowledge of key theoretical perspectives and how these underpin a pedagogy of excellence for young children. I was teaching around 10 hours a week all grades (grades 1 to 6) and lesson planning 10-15 hours a week.

I then went on to teach English in a textile company in Karachi, Pakistan. I was teaching five adults every day of the week. I did enjoy teaching adults; however, I prefer teaching children. They have more energy, tend to be more dynamic and interested than adults. During primary classes, I can be more creative, imaginative, fun, funky and artistic. But moreover, I can be a maverick: ready to stand out by doing something unusual. I believe that teachers are very significant and influential agents in children’s socialization. Contemporary children need to find a place – a comfortable, affirming, respected place – in our society. Primary teachers need to help them find it and make it their own.

Rates

Rate for a 1-hour lesson. : £40/h

Details

My rate is quite high compared to the average hourly price of school support in London. This is because I offer exceptional after-school support. My aims are to:
-Promote a love of learning and children’s intellectual curiosity;
-Ensure that there are plenty of opportunities to actively explore in contexts that are meaningful to the children and stimulate intrinsic motivation;
-Set provocations: for playful exploration and resist intervention; to absorb a child’s fascination, to witness and watch their focus and challenge so that exploration is genuine;
-Enable children to find their own voice and style, not simply imitate others;
-Set provocations to feed exploratory learning;
-Find the child’s preferred learning style: visual, auditory or kinaesthetic:
-Value children’s self-initiated activity by being available and interested;
-Help children acquire new skills and identify possibilities;
-Work alongside children as a more experienced learner modelling learning together;
-Establish with the children clear guiding principles, such as rules for use of materials and behaviour;
-Extend learning by encouraging critical reflection;
-Offer constructive feedback and encouragement during an activity;
-Craft appropriate questions to encourage the child to work to communicate their ideas for themselves and thus deepen their own commitment to learning;
-Give children time to respond to my questions and comments.

Lessons offered by Emilie
Individual
The lessons will be held
at her home
at your home
Taught subjects
  • Academic tutoring
  • School support
  • School Coaching
  • Methodology
  • Early Years Education
Levels
  • Primary

Emilie's CV


CERTIFICATES

2019: Introduction to Safeguarding Student Diploma (Level 1)
2019: Advanced Safeguarding Children Diploma (Level 2)
2019: Safeguarding Children in Education Diploma
2019: Challenging Behaviour Training Diploma
2019: First-Aid Certificate
2019: TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TEFL) / Qualified TEFL 120-Hour Level 3 TEFL Certificate with specialisation in Teaching Young Learners
2020: CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

EDUCATION

2016-PRESENT: BA Philosophy, University College London
Expected to graduate with a First in June 2020.
-Developed intellectual skills (e.g. critical, analytical, synthesising and problem-solving skills) through weekly seminars, lectures, classes, group discussions, essays and examinations
-Writing skills are practised in weekly essays, submitted essays and dissertations
-Communication skills fostered through philosophical discussion, and oral presentations
-Organisational skills (e.g. working independently, taking initiative, time-management.)
-Inter-personal skills (e.g. ability to work with or motivate others,flexibility/adaptability)
-Elected as Treasurer of Student Society (1 year), Students’ Union's Halls’ Accommodation Representative (1 year) and UCL National Union of Student (NUS) Delegate for 2018 Conference.
-Responsible for social medias and student society’s website

2016-2019: INSTITUT DE LA TOUR, PARIS, FRANCE
-Junior School Certificate, High Honours (16/20)
GCSE English (16/20), GCSE Maths (17/20), GCSE Biology (14.5/20), GCSE Physics (16.5/20), GCSE French (16/20), GCSE Spanish (16/20)

-French Scientific Baccalaureate with specialisation in Biology, High Honours (16.86/20)
Grades:
French Written: 14/20
French Oral: 20/20
Maths: 17/20
Physics: 13/20
Biology: 18/20
English: 19/20
Spanish: 17/20
History: 12/20
Philosophy: 16/20
Team Work: 16/20
Optional art: 17/20

Summer of 2013 : NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY (NYFA), 4-week workshop in digital filmmaking
-Participated in a summer camp in digital filmmaking (4 weeks)
-Acting, Directing, Editing, Photography skills

WORKING EXPERIENCE

SEPTEMBER 2019: SUNBERG PRIVATE LIMITED - English Teacher for Pakistani Staff
I was teaching each member of the company's staff based in Karachi, Pakistan. I gave lessons to five adults over 30 years old. I developed their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. I taught them Grammar and Vocabulary. I displayed patience when the students faced difficulties and motivated them to become confident English speakers. It was a great experience as I was selecting and planning the kinds of lessons that were most appropriate for each learner.

JUNE-JULY 2019: BANTHAMAKA SCHOOL, Kanchanaburi, Thailand - English Teacher
I had the initiative and courage to head off to another country to teach English to children from grade 1 to grade 6. I managed a class in an organised and structured way. I had to work with students and people from different cultures and backgrounds. I learned to inspire students and found myself inspired by the fantastic abilities and personal qualities children can reveal. This experience sparked my desire to become a primary school teacher.
-Responsible for teaching 10 classes of students, from grade 1 to 6
-Managed classes of over 30 primary school students with limited supervision
-Lesson planning
-Maintaining discipline
-Assisting with various extra-curricular activities
-Presentation skills: can lead a class in a structured way
-Planned lessons according to students’level and needs
-Engaged students through creative lesson plans and teaching games
-Cross-cultural understanding: knowledge of how to work with students and people from different cultures and background skills
-Get up and go: initiative and courage to head off to another country to teach


01/10/2018-06/06/2018 : Students' Union UCL - UCL Halls and Accommodation Representative
I was elected to represent the views of students living in UCL residences. I was in close contact with UCL Residences. I made sure every student had a good experience in their home. This job involved a lot of dealing with students' complaints and problems, as well as solving conflicts between students and Halls' managers. My general aim as Hall Representative was to fight for affordable, quality accommodation for all students in UCL halls.

30/09/2017-30/05/2019 : MITCHELL & BUTLERS - Team coach of a pub
-Responsible for coaching, managing and supervising the team of the pub.
-Assigned tasks, trained, coached and provided feedback to employees
-Mediated interpersonal conflicts, and implemented company procedures
-Motivated staff through acknowledgment of hard work, achievements and instilling accountability while leading by example
-Integrated talented individuals into a team to exceed all customer and corporate expectations with regard -to service, food safety, and restaurant cleanliness
-Excellent listening and communication skills when dealing with employees problems and customer dissatisfaction
-Awarded “Employee of the Month” twice for paying great attention to detail
-Communicated effectively with the kitchen to serve food to the table quickly
-Worked well under pressure, noise and loud music with an upbeat attitude
-Energetic, clean and organized with strong multi-tasking skills

01/10/2017-10/04/2019: National Union of Students (NUS) UK - UCL's NUS Delegate
NUS delegates represent the views of their university's union at the National Union of Student's National Conference. I expressed the voices and concerns of UCL students at the 2018 conference. I stood for a fair and democratic society run by students and staff for students and staff. I voted on measures that offered support to a general struggle against all forms of oppression on campus, austerity, and attacks on public services. Moreover, I voted for motions on free education.

09/01/2017-22/12/2017: Students-Union UCL - Treasurer of Student Society
I was responsible for maintaining and designing social media pages, creating events, and managing the financial assets and liabilities of my Society. I demonstrated leadership and teamwork by working closely with the President and our Students' Union contacts to ensure the efficient running of the Society. I gained experience in general administrative duties. I improved my IT skills using MS Excel and by creating the website of our society.






29 reviews on Emilie
  • 5/5

All our ratings are collected by us and are given in confidence, they correspond to a real experience.

29 recommendations

J
Jakub

Emilie is a brilliant tutor. She is reliable, patient, and delivers results. Definitely recommend.

A
Adam

I have known Emilie for a while now and I can say that Emilie is a happy and joyful person,and loves teaching kids and always has a smile on her face.i work at reception and I see her every day,her apartment is so nice and friendly beautiful place for kids to lean with Emilie.i would recommend Emilie without hesitation.emilie is such a wonderful person and I know that any child will be happy to have Emilie teaching them,also that Emilie will go out of her way to help others

J
Jen

At UCL I took a formal logic class with Emilie as part of our philosophy degree. I was really struggling to understand how to complete derivation proofs in first order logic. Emilie was able to explain to me where I was going wrong very clearly and effectively. As a result of her help, I grasped the procedure; and in our exam the following week, I achieved a first class.

Since Emilie was able to so excellently help me grasp this complex process in university level logic, I have every confidence in her ability to offer effective tuition to children of all ages.

H
Hubert

Attentive, patient and very kind, Emilie has remarkable qualities in her contact with children. It allows them to gain confidence and make rapid progress. I don't regret trusting her and my children are looking forward to seeing her again in France.
Hubert

A
Angelica

Emilie is a dedicated, passionate, and perceptive individual. She has a natural way with children and is able to adapt her teaching style accordingly. She enjoys reading and is dedicated to keeping up-to-date on relevant research about education. Emilie is passionate about teaching and recently spent time in Thailand teaching English to primary school students. She returned with a renewed fervor to be the best teacher she could be.

Emilie has lived and traveled abundantly which makes her sensitive and respectful to different cultures. Traveling has provided her with an open perspective which allows her to work with the diversity that is present in education. Furthermore, she is very punctual and good with communication.

I am an elementary school teacher and have been teaching for the past 5 years. I have know Emilie for over 2 years and I would highly recommend her as a tutor. I am positive she will be an excellent classroom teacher once she has finished her PGCE which she has been ardently preparing for.

M
Marc

I am a primary school teacher and have known Emilie for a year. She has a deep understanding of her students and their individual needs and capabilities. She demonstrates a vast array of knowledge and remains current and well-versed in educational methodology. She embodies the right qualities to captivate one’s attention. She builds confidence and facilitates thorough understanding of lesson content. I absolutely recommend Emilie as a teacher for the attainment of your learning goals.

A
Andy

As Emilie's personal trainer, I can say that she values and takes very seriously the quality of her work in her training and nutritional habits. When we are learning a new exercise, Emilie takes her time to learn and master the mechanics before slapping on the weight - a real perfectionist! She is also quite hilarious and a real joy to be around. It is very easy to work with such a professional and sociable person.

A
Antonia

Emilie was one of my best Spanish students in high school. Emilie is a naturally curious young woman who is always trying to deepen her knowledge by all possible means: conferences, reading, trips, and museums. She is passionate about history, politics, cinema, philosophy and is a real encyclopedia in certain domains! At ease and dynamic in spoken work, she always takes part in debates organized in class and is a driving force in these discussions. Her written work is equally of high quality and pertinence. Her motivation, work and participation are all very consistent and precise and she is always very mature in her reflection and argumentation. Emilie is a very charming, funny, original young woman, a real intellectual and an artist who also has a good sense of humour.

L
Laurent

Emilie is a former student. I helped her with her maths Baccalauréat in France, before she entered UCL. She got 17/20 at the exam, which is an excellent grade. She is hard-working, serious, kind, extremely polite, fun, with a growth mindset, and I must say I am very much impressed – however not suprised - with the wonderful work she’s done so far as a primary teacher. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone with children in primary school.

R
Rick

In 2017, I met Emilie at a students' demonstration fighting for free education. It was organised by the National Union of Students (NUS). Subsequently, we were both elected as NUS delegates for the 2018 Conference. During the conference, Emilie demonstrated herself as a warm, approachable, enthusiastic individual, with wit intelligence and time for everyone. Emilie's communication skills were on fleek. She was confidently able to put her ideas across without condescension. I would highly recommend her as a primary school teacher because she can combine the above attributes with a creative and innovative approach to education.

Interview with Emilie

QUESTION 01 | 07
Do you speak this language fluently because of your origins or because a teacher inspired you to learn?
Emilie — I speak English fluently because I learned it at a young age. I studied at the International Bilingual School of Paris. It was very difficult for me since I spoke both French and Swedish at home, and on top of that had to learn English. But my teachers were inspiring and by the end of primary school, I had a really good grasp of English.

I then carried on my studies at the Institut de la Tour in Paris. I was part of the Anglophone Section — the section for bilingual students from 6ème through Terminale. The curriculum was a mixture of Anglophone literature and history in English through age- and grade-appropriate textbooks and materials taught in Anglophone countries taught by highly-qualified, native-speaker teachers. The teachers were fantastic and promoted me with a love of learning and excellent written and communication skills. I passed the FCE with an A in 2013. The FCE is the First Certificate in English, an English language examination provided by Cambridge Assessment English. It shows that learners have the language skills needed to communicate confidently in an English-speaking environment. In 2015, I passed the IELTS and received a 7.5/9, which is an excellent grade. The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989.
While the Anglophone Section’s program in secondary school concentrated primarily on the United States and Great Britain, the high school literature and civilization courses introduced me to Anglophone countries outside of Great Britain and the United States. I had the opportunity to take four electives in high-school: film-making, photography, personal essay, and creative writing. In conclusion, the Anglophone Section provided me with an academically rigorous and supportive environment, which enabled me to achieve academic excellence in English and experience an Anglo-Saxon learning environment.
QUESTION 02 | 07
Can you name a living, historical or fictional character that you think is the emblematic representative of the language's culture?
Emilie — The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the UK ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany and Canada) in 2013 and 2014.

HISTORICALLY:

Personally, I would say that the Beatles are, at least culturally, the most emblematic representatives of British culture. They are, in my opinion, the most influential band of all time and I love their music. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they sparked the "Beatlemania" phenomenon in 1963, gained international stardom in 1964, and remained active until their break-up in 1970. Over the latter half of the decade, they were often viewed as orchestrators of society's developments. They are recognised particularly with concern for the era's counterculture and popular music's evolution into an art form.
Many cultural movements of the 1960s were assisted or inspired by the Beatles. In Britain, their rise to national prominence signalled the youth-driven changes in postwar society, with respect to social mobility, teenagers' commercial influence, and informality. They went on to spearhead the shift from American artists' global dominance of rock and roll to British acts (known as the British Invasion) and inspired a proliferation of young people to pursue music careers. From 1964 to 1970, the group had the top-selling US single one out of every six weeks, and the top-selling US album one out of every three weeks. At the height of their popularity, Lennon controversially remarked that the band were "more popular than Jesus now".
The Beatles' music was supernaturally beautiful and it was English music. In it you could hear cheeky music hall songs and send-ups, pub ballads and, more importantly, hymns. The Fabs had the voices and looks of choirboys, and their talent was so broad they could do anything – love songs, comic songs, kids' songs and singalongs for football crowds (at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hot spur's ground, we sang: ‘Here, there and every-f**king-where, Jimmy Greaves, Jimmy Greaves’). They could do rock 'n' roll too, though they tended to parody it, having mastered it early on.

Historically though, I think that Henry VIII is the most emblematic character of British culture. He was the second Tudor monarch and was well-known for having six wives. His break with the papacy in Rome established the Church of England and began the Reformation. To remember the fates of Henry the six's wives, there is a very common rhyme taught to children, “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.” Henry VIII of England and his reign have been depicted in art, film, literature, music, opera, plays, and television. I love the Guardian’s article imagining Henry VIII describing himself: “I'm the star of the British Library's blockbuster exhibition, Henry VIII: Man And Monarch, and I would have been this year's Wimbledon winner had it not been 500 years since my coronation. I'm the original British sports hero, and my loyal subjects can find out about real tennis, hunting, hawking and jousting on 21 July and 4 August at the British Library. Some say my ex-wife Anne Boleyn was watching a game of tennis when she was arrested, and that I was playing tennis when I was informed of her execution, but I'm not here to quash rumours. ».


LIVING
The Queen has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits. Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.


FICTIONAL

Shaun the Sheep
Peppa Pig
Sherlock Holmes
Horrid Henry
James Bond
Paddington
The Snowman
Oliver Twist
Mr. Blobby
Dr Henry Jekyll
QUESTION 03 | 07
Is there a typical word, phrase, tradition or behavior in the language that you particularly like?
Emilie — TRADITIONS:

1. HAVING A SUNDAY ROAST DINNER
One of the most iconic things about Britain is a Sunday roast dinner. Sunday is not a proper Sunday unless we have a roast dinner. And it’s the favourite meal of the week. Roast Chicken, Beef, Pork, Gamon or Lamb, it doesn’t matter what meat, us Brits love a Sunday Roast. In fact we also like to mix it up a bit and have a couple of different types of meat, especially when we go out for a carvery. Roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings are a must.
2. AFTERNOON TEA!
Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a mini meal to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal at 8pm. I only did it once in London, since it is quite expensive, but it is really cute and fun. Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into 'fingers'), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. Interestingly, scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.

3. TEA!

Whilst many countries love their tea, UK citizens, and the English in particular, are particular ‘tea people’ (and proudly so). This reputation is not just a typical stereotype either – the average UK citizen consumes nearly 2 kilograms of (dry) tea each year. When you take into consideration that quite a few grown-ups (and most children) drink little or no tea, the amount of tea a British tea drinker actually consumes is even higher.
The stereotype of the British tea drinker is generally considered a positive one, and even those who don’t partake will happily use phrases like ‘as English as a cup of tea’, and describe something they like or are well suited to as ‘just my cup of tea’, and things they don't like as 'not my cup of tea'.

4. PUBS
Pub culture is an integral part of British life, especially student life. Pubs are a place to go to socialise, relax and have a drink. It is something you should experience if you want to learn about Brits and our culture, even if you don’t drink alcohol. Going to pubs is fun. One of the great things about the pub culture in the UK is that you can strike up a conversation with a stranger and even make new friends. It might be a passing comment about the weather or the football scores. It could also be something weightier, such as something in the news or about politics. Whatever the topic is, join in! It’s fun! You may even get a drink bought for you, but remember to return the gesture. Holding up your drink and clinking your glass against everyone else’s whilst making eye contact and saying “cheers” is a must before you start drinking. The custom is about acknowledging friendships and the fact that you are all gathered to have a nice time.

5. BISCUIT DUNKING
Dunking biscuits in tea is serious business in Britain. Dunking biscuits is one of the chief pleasures many Britons afford themselves, which tells you much about the country.
I myself prefer the custard cream. Dunking biscuits is fine when it comes to digestives, bourbons, custard creams or the hobnob. However, it’s quite a different story if you have bought lesser known biscuits and tried the dunk. There is nothing worse than losing your biscuit in a fresh cup of tea. Many people try to grab it quick and if they are lucky will be successful, but I tend to let it sink. The only trouble with the sinking strategy is remembering it’s there. There is nothing worse than getting a mouthful of soggy biscuit from your last slurp of tea. Many people will refuse to drink the tea and make a fresh cup if they accidently dropped the biscuit.

6. EATING A FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST
I absolutely adore having an English Breakfast. When I first moved to Britain and started working in a pub, I hated it. I found it disgusting serving the plates to the table... I grew up in France, where you have cereals and milk for breakfast. It would never cross a French person’s mind to have cooked bacon, sausages, beans, fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and a slice of toast for breakfast. As of today, I love it, especially the hash browns!
7. CHRISTMAS IN THE UK

The majority of families in the UK will eat turkey on Christmas Day. As a country the UK gets through on average over 10 million turkeys at Christmas time. Often families do like to have other meats, but Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Turkey. I love Turkey and I enjoy greatly this tradition. British people also decorate their homes with holly, ivy, and other evergreens and hang a mistletoe "kissing bough." I find it really sweet.

Additionally, I love the “Christmas crackers!”. Ever since the late 1840s, Christmas crackers have been a British holiday staple—and they still are in 2019. I love popping them and find the yummy chocolates, booze (and even some seriously luxurious accessories and beauty products!) with my family during Christmas.

8. NOTTHING HILL CARNIVAL:

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of the Notting Hill area of Kensington, each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday). I went there in 2018. What a great celebration! Every one was so festive dancing along the parade of soundsystems, it was wild. Theres a lot to offer in terms of food and drinks too. You are allowed to bring your own in a backpack, much cheaper option! It was 31° all day, sun, drinks, beats and dancing.

9. GUY FAWKES

Guy Fawkes was Britain's most notorious traitor. Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Guy Fawkes’ night is held annually every November 5th and entertains people across the UK. It is sometimes known as Bonfire Night and marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organized by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. On Bonfire Night, grown-ups set off fireworks, light bonfires, and sometimes burn a doll that looks like Guy Fawkes.


BEHAVIOURS:
1. SAYING SORRY
British people are very polite and use manners. But they sometimes go overboard and apologise for everything. Even when they’ve done nothing wrong we still say sorry!
2. NEVER JUMPING THE QUEUE
It’s rare you will see a British person jumping the queue. The British have the ability to queue nicely and wait their turn even if there are no barriers, signs or security enforcing them to do so.
3. TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER
British people talk about the weather as often as they say sorry. They are obsessed with talking about it. One day it can be warm enough for summer clothes, but the next cold enough for overcoats and central heating.
4. BRITISH HUMOUR: IRONY.

I think that British sense of humour is unique, more subtle and more highly developed than other nations.
Perhaps the most confusing part of British humour however, is that there is no ‘off’ switch. Almost every conversation between Brits is bound to feature some form of irony, sarcasm, banter, understatement, self-deprecation, teasing or mockery. When every word exchanged between Brits has an undercurrent of humour, it becomes difficult to decipher when a Brit is joking or being serious. This is even more problematic considering the delivery of jokes is almost always done with a deadpan face. The rule of thumb is therefore, if someone is saying something which makes absolutely no sense with a straight face, they’re probably joking.

The British have a unique partiality for irony and are always ready to whip out a sarcastic quip when the opportunity presents itself. An extremely dry example of this would be for a British person to comment on how delightful the weather is when it is pouring outside. The British make use of irony and it’s derivative, sarcasm, to say the opposite of what they mean in order to make a point. This typically occurs when a Brit is confronted with a silly question, such as when British actress Cara Delevigne was asked on US television if she had read John Green’s book, Paper Towns, before starring in the movie. Delevigne scoffed and replied, “No, I never read the book or the script, I just winged it”. For the rest of the world, there is a time and a place for irony. For the Brits, that time and place is wherever and whenever. It is this constant use of irony in conversation which can make the British come across as tiresome and rude to outsiders.

5. BRITISH FONDNESS FOR UNDERSTATEMENT
In refusing to be overwhelmed by anything, the British resort to rather emotionless statements, such as “Not bad” when they really mean, “That’s actually quite good”.
British speech is littered with understatement. The Debretts guide to British social skills, etiquette and style notes that British conversations are filled with moderating expressions, such as ‘quite’, ‘rather’, ‘a bit’, ‘actually’.
A ‘spot of bother’ or ‘a bit of a pickle’ may understate that things are disastrous, in the same way that “Let’s go out for a pint” usually means going out for many, many more drinks.
A classic example of British understatement can be seen in the ‘Black Knight’ scene from Monty Python, where upon having his arm chopped off the Black Knight proclaims, “Tis but a scratch”

6. SELF-DEPRECATION
The British do not parade their achievements and are deeply hostile to pomposity.
Instead of boasting and blowing their own trumpets, the Brits tend to make light of their shortcomings by being excessively modest and putting themselves down.
Obvious sources of self-deprecating humour include one’s accent, age, physical build, baldness, prominent features, geekiness or strange name.
British comedian and self-proclaimed ‘language nerd’, David Mitchell, is a well-known self-deprecator. In an episode of Would I Lie to You? Mitchell mocks himself by calling his beard a “failure in personal hygiene”.
Watch David Mitchell defend his ‘noteworthy appearance’

In dealing with the embarrassment of success through such self-mockery, the Brits believe they appear more humble and relatable.
Fellow Brits are able to read beneath the self-deprecation and admire them for their modesty.
It is particularly important for the Brits to not appear too big for their boots when it comes to addressing an audience.

7. NEGATIVE HUMOUR: TEASING AND TAKING THE PISS

Besides finding it funny to self-denigrate, the British use those around them as sources of humour too. While classed as ‘negative humour’, for the British, to tease is to show approval and affection. The same holds true for taking the piss (or taking the mickey), which quite literally means to mock and make fun of someone. The Brits are also known to ‘take the piss’ in an attempt to deflate somebody of their mistaken belief that they are special. Again, this can be seen as affectionate. Alternatively, negative humour can be used to chip away at narcissistic characters who take themselves too seriously.

British humour isn’t actually funny when you first encounter it. Much of British humour is not obviously hilarious and does not result in fits of laughter. The most difficult part of British humour for foreigners is that it is not often funny across cultures. It takes time to get it, and it took me 2 years to get it! But I managed! But those unaccustomed to British humour need not worry. For the best thing about British humour is that it is not something you can learn, it’s something that grows on you.

For a full understanding of British humour, I recommend that you watch the following comedies: Peep Show and the In Betweeners.

8. FRESHERS AT UNIVERSITY!
Freshers' week is held for at least a week, although some universities stretch it to two, before lectures and deadlines begin. The dates of Freshers' weeksvary but it is usually at the end of September with many university Freshers' weeks commencing either September 15 or 22. It’s the time when you finally make the move to your chosen institute of learning and introduce yourself to the people you’ll be spending the next few years with – and it’s probably one of the most exciting periods in a young person’s life. This initiation is designed to help new students become familiar with their new surroundings and have fun doing it.

TYPICAL WORDS, IDIOMS AND PHRASES:

What I love about the English language is the vast amount of phrases, words and idioms that exist. English has the largest vocabulary of any language. Depending on counting methods it has approaching one million words. The Anglo-Saxon lexical base has been supplemented by the influx of words from Latin and Greek, from French and the languages of countries colonized by England.

I love British terms of endearment:
1. Love, luv
2. Honey/hun
3. Sweetheart
4. Dear/Dearie
5. Darling
6. Babes/baby/boo

These are common in specific areas of the country, and you’ll often only hear them used in certain parts of the UK.
• Hen – Head to Glasgow in Scotland and, if you’re a woman, you’ll be called this all the time – “Salt and vinegar on your fish and chips, hen?”
• Duck/me duck – Another example of a bird-based term of affection, this is one you’ll hear around the Midlands of England, usually when a man addresses a woman or a woman addresses a man – “Alright, me duck?”
• Pet – See how the Brits like to use animals as terms of affection. Calling someone pet doesn’t mean you think they’re your little lapdog, it’s a typical way to end a greeting to someone in the North East of England – “How you doing, pet?”
• My lover – Don’t be alarmed if you’re in the South West of England and anyone calls you this. It doesn’t mean that they want to take you to bed! It’s a common term of endearment and greeting in this area, so even the milkman might greet you with a “Good mornin’ , me lover!”
• Babes – If you’re in Essex (just east of London) you’ll hear this at the end of sentences all the time – “Fancy going into town, babes?”
• Boyo – Typically most of these terms of endearment are used to address women, but this Welsh term is primarily used between men, in much the same way as mate or pal – “Alright, boyo? What you been up to?”
• Princess/treasure/beautiful – Have you encountered any Cockney yet? The language of East London, typically working class, if you’re a woman in the back of a black London cab the chances are that you’ve been called one of these. The use of these words can seem quite patronizing, but they are meant in a friendly, affectionate way, not really meant to offend – “Lovely chattin’ to ya, princess!”

SLANGS AND PHRASES:

1. “Going to play some footy” (Meaning: going to play football)
2. “Did you just fluff?” or “Did you just pop? (Meaning: Did you just fart?)
3. “He’s such a plonker,” “ponce,” “pillock,”, “twat” “tosser,” “ twit,” “knob,” “bellend”, “wanker” (Meaning: He’s not very nice / He’s an idiot)
4. “I’m just having a fag” (Meaning: I’m just having a cigarette.)
• “Blimey” is used as a way of expressing surprise at something, often used when seeing or looking at something surprising or impressive instead of shocking or upsetting.
• “Blinding” – a slang term that is far from something that physically causes someone to lose their sight. ‘Blinding’ is a positive term meaning excellent, great, or superb.
• “Bloody!”: out of all British slang, this is by far the most popular and most commonly used. In the past it was regarded as a swearword but now, due to its common usage, it is generally acceptable. It is often used as an expression of anger or is used to emphasize a comment.
• “Bollocks”: Perhaps one of the most internationally famous British slang terms, it has a multitude of uses, although its top ones including being a curse word used to indicate dismay, e.g. ‘Oh bollocks’; it can also be used to express derision and mocking disbelief, e.g. ‘You slept with Kate Upton last night? Bollocks…’; and, of course, it also refers to the scrotum and testicles.
• “Brilliant” is not a word exclusively in the British lexicon, but has a very British usage. Specifically, when something is exciting or wonderful, particularly when something is good news, ‘brilliant’ can mean as such.
• “Nice one” – used almost always sarcastically in common British lexicon, although it can be used sincerely depending on the context.
• “Posh”. Generally, ‘posh’ denotes the English upper classes. However it can be used to describe anything flashy or needlessly classy or expensive. It is similar to the American word ‘fancy’, however it has a much more entrenched class basis.
• “Mate” – one of the commonly used terms of endearment and affection in British slang terms. Used when you are talking to a close friend, and is often easily substituted for the American ‘buddy’, ‘pal’, or ‘dude’.
• “Cheers” doesn’t quite have the same meaning that it does in other counties – of course, it still means ‘celebrations’ when toasting a drink with some friends, but in British slang, it also means ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’.
• “Dodgy”: In British slang terms, ‘dodgy’ refers to something wrong, illegal, or just plain ‘off’, in one way or another. For example, it can be used to mean illegal – ‘He got my dad a dodgy watch for Christmas’; it can be used to mean something food-related that is nauseous or nauseating – ‘I had a dodgy kebab last night and I don’t feel right.; and it can also be used as a pejorative – ‘He just seems dodgy to me.’
• “Fortnight” – a British slang term more commonly used by virtually everyone in the UK to mean ‘a group of two weeks’.
• “Gutted” – a British slang term that is one of the saddest on the lists in terms of pure contextual emotion. To be ‘gutted’ about a situation means to be devastated and saddened.
For example, ‘His girlfriend broke up with him. He’s absolutely gutted.’
• “Knackered” – a great word and phrase used by Britons to describe their tiredness and exhaustion, in any given situation. Often substituted in friendly circles for ‘exhausted’. For example, ‘I am absolutely knackered after working all day.’
• “Sick”: This is a relatively newer entry to the lexicon of British Slang, most often used by youth. In this case something being “sick” is actually a good thing. It’s like a stronger form of “cool”. For example, .Yeah I’d love to do that, it sounds sick.
• Oh, ‘wanker’. Possibly the best British insult on the list, it fits a certain niche for a single-worded insult to lobbied out in a moment of frustration, anger, provocation, or, of course, as a jest amongst friends. ‘Wanker’ fits the closest fit by ‘jerk’ or ‘asshole’, but to a slightly higher value.
• Given the British tendency to mock and satirise anything and everything possible, ‘taking the piss’ is in fact one of the most popular and widely-used British slang terms. To ‘take the piss’ means to mock something, parody something, or generally be sarcastic and derisive towards something.
IDIOMS:
• “Don’t count your chickens before your eggs have hatched”: Basically don’t make plans for something that might not happen. For example, don't spend all your birthday money before you get it - as you might not get any at all.
• “Hit the nail on the head”: A saying that simply means you have done or said something exactly right – matching someone’s feelings/point.
• “Kill two birds with one stone”: When you accomplish two tasks in one go. So if you need to go to te bank, and you drop your library books off on the way - you'll be killing two birds with one stone.
• “Speak of the devil”: Used when the person is question arrives right on queue - as if they knew you we're talking about them.
• “Best thing since sliced bread”: Basically meaning a good invention or innovation – a good idea or a good plan. Because the best thing to happen to the Brits is sliced bread.
• “It takes two to tango”: suggests something in which more than one person or other entity are paired in an inextricably-related and active manner, occasionally with negative connotations.
• “Don’t put all of your eggs in one’s basket”: This is a piece of advice which means that one should not concentrate all efforts and resources in one area as one could lose everything.
QUESTION 04 | 07
Why does speaking this language matter to you?
Emilie — The benefits of speaking English are countless. Speaking English allows me to actually broaden my world, from job opportunities to the ability to relate to people from every country.
By speaking English, I learn about other cultures.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English! Knowing the language makes every trip much more interesting (especially for me since I am a massive traveller).
English is the language of science, of aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. Knowing English increases my chances of finding work abroad.
English is the official language of 53 countries. That is a lot of people to meet and speak to.
English is spoken as a first language by around 400 million people around the world.
Anywhere I go in the world I can find someone who speaks English. Simply put, we must recognize that English is an international language, the main language of this planet.
The statistics reveal that more than a quarter of the world’s population speaks English that means that about 1.6 billion people understand and relate with the help of the language of Shakespeare. To not mention that most of the films are in English, the largest film industry, Hollywood, is produced in English.
It is true that in the world are more than 3 billion people who speak Chinese, however it is very unlikely that in addition to the mother tongue there is someone else who wants to learn Chinese characters.
Most of the international trade agreements are concluded in English, and is the most widely used language for international business meetings.
Good English is not only classy but a possibility to continue studies and specializations in the best universities in the world, which are in fact, in countries where they speak English.
What is important to understand is that the English language is able to knock down a lot of barriers, including cultural ones.
Knowing the habits and customs of other countries allows me to understand myself and others. By better understanding our fellow man around the world we are always surprised at how we are different and similar at the same time.
The English language allows me to relate and therefore to understand others.
English is the language of the media industry. Since I speak English, I don’t need to rely on translations and subtitles to enjoy my favourite books, songs, films and TV shows.
Since English is spoken in so many different countries there are thousands of schools around the world that offer programmes in English. Hence, there're lots of opportunities for me to find an appropriate school and course to suit my academic needs.
QUESTION 05 | 07
What is the main difficulty in learning this language and what can help the process of learning?
Emilie — There is strong evidence to support the claim that English is a difficult language to learn. English has a crazy spelling system and it seems like every word makes up its own pronunciation rules, because English has borrowed so many words from other languages. In order to know how to read the spelling you have to know which language it comes from or have previously heard the correct pronunciation.
Irregular verbs in English are seemingly complex and are often a headache for English language learners. Why is the past tense of “buy” “bought”, and why is the past tense of “sell” “sold.” Why aren’t “buyed” nor “selled” real words?
In English, questions are made by changing the order of the words, something that doesn’t exist in other languages like Portuguese. Many Brazilians will say “You are American?” instead of the correct “Are you American?” Word order is not only important when asking questions, but when describing nouns as well. English has very subtle word ordering rules that make “A cute little brown dog” correct to say, whereas “A brown cute little dog” would be incorrect.
Why English is Easy
Despite these difficulties, English is actually the easiest language in the world to learn. You may think I’m crazy for saying this but allow me to explain.
Unlike other languages, English has no cases, no gender, no word agreement, and arguably has a simple grammar system. English speakers sometimes have difficulties when learning Portuguese because they are not used to words having genders.
The reason why English is the easiest language to learn is because of the vast selection of English resources to learn from, including TV shows, movies, music, podcasts, books and websites. English is the most studied foreign language in the world and there are a ton of resources available to help speakers of each specific language learn English. There are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of books written about learning English as a foreign language that you can use to improve. In addition there are a ton of great English learning blogs on theinternet.
Studying from a book will only get you so far though; you need to get contact to the real language as it’s spoken by native speakers in order to speak the best English. You need to make a lifestyle out of English where you listen to music, watch TV and read in English every day. The popularity of English pop culture means that you don’t have to look very far in order to find English language resources that you can incorporate into your daily life.
English will seem easy for you when you stop looking at it as something mechanical and start connecting to the culture that it comes from. You need to connect to the language on a deeper level by absorbing media produced in English.
There are hundreds of TV shows in English that you can watch for free online to help improve your language abilities. Watching an episode of the TV show Friends every day can drastically improve your English, and it will help you understand the culture that comes with the language. No other language can boast so many different types of TV shows that guarantee there will be something that everyone will enjoy. I’ve found it difficult to find good TV shows to learn Portuguese with, since most TV shows in Brazil are novelas. If you know of a good Brazilian TV show, please let me know in the comments.
It’s All in Your Head
Truth be told, it is pointless to ask whether English is a difficult language or an easy language to learn. If you want to believe that English is a difficult language then you will find reasons to justify your belief that it is hard to learn. But if you believe that it is easy to learn then you will find reasons to justify that belief.
What is most important to ask is if you are willing to devote yourself to the process of learning a language, which means having daily contact with the language and incorporating it into your lifestyle. Anything that is seemingly difficult can be accomplished if you consistently apply yourself to it and are committed to the end result. NASA didn’t bother asking whether it was difficult to put a man on the moon, they asked whether it is possible and found ways to make it happen.
Language learning is not a destination with a clear path to follow, it is a journey that will lead you down many different paths. There are many paths to fluency but what they all have in common is that YOU are the one who has to walk down them. YOU are the one who sets your pace; YOU are the one who is responsible at the end of the day for failure or success.
QUESTION 06 | 07
How has travel or a specific trip helped you to increase your skill and knowledge of the language?
Emilie — Moving to London has definitely helped me to increase my knowledge of English. I feel like a true Londoner now and am really confident speaking to British people. I used to be a bit uneasy when I heard them speak because it took me some time to get used to the accent. But now, I am really self-confident and can certainly speak to anyone on the streets, whether they are from the North or the South; even Irish and Scottish!
QUESTION 07 | 07
What makes you a Superprof in language?
Emilie — Just Because You Can Speak a Language, Doesn’t Mean You Can Teach It Well.

I know the subject, and just like my students, I have learned it. It is not my first language. I speak four different languages, thus, I believe I am a Superprof in language. I possess the linguistic skills (range, fluency, pronunciation) and "declarative" knowledge of vocabulary and grammar - namely, being able to explain to you how the language works. I continually aim to improve my skills and keep my language fresh by listening and reading to as much target language as possible.

I drive my classes as far as possible, often working at pace, often expecting quick responses. I correct by giving good models, but not in a way to discourage students. I set work at a challenging level, focusing a good deal on comprehension and skilled manipulation of structure and vocabulary. I set plenty of appropriate, meaningful and purposeful homework because I know that maximising input is crucial and that practice makes perfect. I do not set work which needs masses of corrections. They have a clear sense, derived from experience and/or by asking for student feedback, of what students find hard. I know when it is important to stress accuracy or fluency.

I establish a relationship which encourages my students to concentrate, work hard, want to please and to take risks. This can be through a caring, warm, nurturing style, or by something more formal and businesslike. There is no one recipe for this. I have a good sense of humour, appreciated by the class. I try and listen to my students’ needs as much as possible so that I have a very good sense of what makes each individual pupil tick, and what their preferred learning style is. I share my enthusiasm for the subject. There is a trusting and usually warm rapport between students and the teacher.

I plan my lessons ahead, have clear lesson objectives, arrive on time, plan lessons well (usually building in a variety of tasks), keep good records, file efficiently, revise from one lesson to the next, probably do not just stick to published course materials, assess regularly, give feedback, mark promptly and on a regular basis. I plan homework carefully to reinforce the work done in class. I follow up students rigorously if work is incomplete or behavior unappropriate. I prioritise the important stuff.

I share short and long term objectives with classes, respond sensitively to the needs of individuals, have a good sense of what children find difficult (or just ask if they are not sure), use data to set goals (not just numerical ones). I explain to my students why they are doing particular tasks so that they understand what they need to do to improve. I will use subtle differentiation during interactions with pupils. I prepare students thoroughly for tests and exams, whilst not being scared of doing non exam-related activities.

I know how language learning takes place, believing that target language input is the key to acquisition. I use effective questioning and drilling, choose input at an appropriate level, find interesting content, know when to use games, pair work, group work, computer-based work, avoid time-wasting tasks. I do not take on new fashions unquestioningly, but am willing to experiment and fail. I believe that "practice makes perfect". I have a good repertoire of activity types. I explain the language clearly, in a way students understand, but know that progress comes more from practice than explanation. I work very largely in the target language, but know when this is unproductive. I have a keen sense of when students may be getting bored and when it is time to switch to plan B.

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