17 October 2014 / by Radmila Gurkova
7 Questions for ESL Teachers to Change Education
We interviewed Virginia Roquero, a 22 year old recent TEFL graduate from Spain, whose education, due to a British mother and a Spanish father, has been developed in two languages from the very first day of life. Despite her youth, Virginia has considerable experience as private tutor in English. After finishing her degree in English studies, Virginia wants to focus her career as an ESL teacher. Here is what she shared with OxbridgeTEFL.
"I recently finished my English degree having spent part of the course studying in Melbourne, Australia. This amazing experience allowed me to appreciate the different methods of teaching and has encouraged me to pursue a similar career. I am bilingual and I am currently studying other languages. Apart from language teaching I also enjoy playing field hockey, playing the piano and singing."
OxbridgeTEFL: What moved you to consider becoming an ESL teacher?
Virginia Roquero: I was first attracted to the study of English language and literature so I did an English degree at Universitat Autonoma de Madrid. After finishing, teaching seemed one of the natural options to follow and I happily chose that cause.
OxTEFL: What is your biggest challenge as an English teacher?
V.R.: Probably to encourage students to enjoy learning and to make them aware that English is not only a classroom activity.
OxTEFL: What needs changing in our educational system so that Spanish learners achieved better results?
V.R.: We need to reduce the emphasis from intensive deductive grammar teaching to a more communicative approach.
OxTEFL: What is your opinion of education in English from the early ages?
V.R.: I am in favour of English being introduced and taught at early ages. Babies and children have the amazing capability of absorbing information very quickly so I would definitely use this advantage to introduce them to a new language.
OxTEFL: What do English teachers need in order to make the most of their vocational talent for teaching?
V.R.: They must be naturally enthusiastic, creative and curious in order to discover new ways to capture and stimulate the attention of the students.
OxTEFL: Your funniest moment as an ESL teacher?
V.R.: There have been many funny moments. Students’ personal stories and experiences are the best. My favourite happened when a student tried to explain the problems he was having with his neighbour who was flying a helicopter model around his garden during siesta time.
OxTEFL: What would you recommend to someone who considers becoming an ESL teacher?
V.R.: I would tell them to make sure that they feel it is their vocation because you have to love and feel comfortable to be able to share knowledge.
OxTEFL: Best of luck in your ESL career!