Gwen Zeldenrust and Lynn Schneider took up the challenge of producing a video and teaching materials to teach pragmatics. They are both talented and creative teacherpreneurs residing in Canada.
You and Lynn worked together on Impressions: Making Positive Impressions in Conversation Video Program. How did the idea come about?
G: The idea for Impressions first came about when I started teaching ELT (English Language Training – a program for internationally trained immigrants to Canada). In the beginning I wasn't quite sure what I needed to teach these students because they had high levels of English. I finally understood that they needed to learn about how we use English in this culture.
Did you find many materials to teach pragmatics?
G: No, I had a lot of difficulty finding resources to support my lessons. I find that teaching pragmatics is very abstract when using text based resources. I really needed to show the students how to do it. Using video...
Drew Smith is an ESL teacher and published author. Drew believes that "all teachers have a book or two in them". Do you?
Can you start off by telling us where you teach?
I’ve been teaching with St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada for the last 14 years. Currently I have a class in a wonderful school called Circle of Friends.
Can you describe a typical teaching day?
My typical teaching day involves a healthy mix of instructing, listening, and entertaining. I aim for learners to learn and smile at the same time. A great mood in the classroom always encourages great learning.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
Music, reading and the great outdoors!
What is your biggest challenge as a teacher?
I would say that innovating is the biggest challenge as a teacher. I think every teacher has a lot of great habits, but also a lot of bad habits. The longer you teach in one...