An Interview with a native English teacher in Jakarta.

Hey Sam, could you tell us a bit about you?

Hey, sure. I first came to Jakarta in 2007, worked on some music projects then began working at EF Cinere in 2010. I spent a year there and joined English Today in late 2011. I met my wife around this time and got married in 2013. We now have one daughter and live in Bintaro.

That’s great. Sounds like you really enjoy it. So, what has been your most satisfying teaching experience working for English Today?

My most satisfying teaching experiences are actually when I am most silent. Those times when I feel I have set my students in groups or off on a journey, each having a separate role. I watch and listen to them enthusiastically accomplish their tasks using the target English focus we learned before. These group/role-plays remind me of being a conductor for an orchestra, though these symphonies are the happy chatter of students practicing English.

That sounds like fun! But it can’t always be like that being a teacher. What was your most challenging moment?

My most challenging teaching moment was when I was asked to cover a class of 30 senior managers at Garuda Indonesia. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare and to add to the pressure the class was formally opened by the Vice President of Garuda Indonesia. Once I began the class my heart-rate had calmed down and luckily by then I was experienced enough to use tried and tested material which worked well with the participants.

Talking about your tried and tested methods, could you expand upon those a bit for us?

My personal teaching style is all about maximising student talking time and minimising teacher talk time. I aim to encourage student’s confidence through patience, enthusiasm and perseverance. I give them achievable yet challenging goals and regularly consolidate their learning through fun and meaningful activities. Oh, and I also use lots of games because it really is possible to have fun while learning.

Thanks go to Sam for speaking to me during a busy teaching schedule.

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