Where do you come from?
People are likely to ask you this if you do not look or talk like a local. The answer is not necessarily a simple one. I have nearly always been an exile. Right now I’m based in rural Malaysia, but I have previously lived and worked in South Korea, New Zealand, Wales and the Channel Islands. So if you ask me where I come from, I will answer as honestly as possible by telling you that I come from my mummy’s tummy… and you?
What do you do?
You mean my job? I am a mentor for a group of primary school English teachers in central peninsula Malaysia. Together we think about, discuss and implement programmes to help make English language teaching and learning more fun and more interesting for the Year 1, 2 and 3 pupils (six to ten year olds). The project I work on is run by the Ministry of Education and implemented nationwide via three different companies. This particular project will finish in September 2015. This is the second project of this type that I have worked on. I have also taught ESL/EFL in New Zealand and South Korea. In Korea I have taught children in holiday camps and in private after-school academies. I’ve also taught English speaking and writing to freshman students in Korean universities, as well as various other university courses including TESOL.
I did not come to work in language teaching and learning by the most direct route, although it has always been something that has occupied me to some degree. I have also spent many years making, and losing, fortunes in the food and drink trade.
It’s not all about work though, is it?
I like reading novels and Tarot cards, as well as watching loads of TV downloads. Recent viewing pleasure includes Orphan Black and Early Doors. I go to tai chi classes twice a week, and sometimes when I’m in KL I try to go to the swimming pool in Chinatown. I play cards and board games, and I am very thankful that my newest ‘neighbours’ like playing cards and board games too. They also like cooking, which I am also grateful for.
Viewing update: Check out Black Mirror
I’ve just started watching it: Wikipedia article about Black Mirror