Who are our teachers? Let’s meet one


Today we meet Ian, one of our teachers here at Travelling Languages

Why did you choose to be a teacher to foreign students?

I didn’t choose to teach, my first classroom was a refugees class in 2011.I didn’t like teaching before, I was a waiter and there was a lot of unemployment so i decided to become an English teacher. The main thing with the refugees class was that you couldn’t use textbooks because the people there couldn’t read so you had to use anything useful around you. I studied linguistics at university and it was helpful, like with the phonetic alphabet. In the end, I chose to be a teacher for ethical reasons.

What are the most satisfactory things about this job?

When the pay is appropriate and then when people improve so you don’t need to ask yourself what I did last month, you know that because you can see the students improve not like other jobs where you do the same things over and over again. It’s like a challenge, some times you are like a psychotherapist.

Do you think it is important to make a connection with the student?

Yes but you don’t need to be their best friend, you need to be understanding you have to talk to them and understand their feelings to make them comfortable and let people feel relaxed so they don’t feel bad about making mistakes. I try to create a normal atmosphere.

What have you learnt from the students?

Portuguese, a lot about Brazil. The different ways people live in Dublin. I learnt that good behavior doesn’t come from the country but from the family.

Describe the best lesson you have ever given.

I give the best lessons every day. I like teaching to kids, the most funny lessons were especially when singing was involved, making a song or those about movie festivals. They were the best lessons.

What is your teaching philosophy?

It depends, I take inspiration from ancient sources so I use stuff from Greek teaching, I learnt things such as oratory skills, I like also Irish teaching style because teachers need to care for their students. I believe in scientific methods for teaching, it’s good to always ask why, most teachers will tell you “just learn this” or “just do it” but you need to know why and then you know how so that in the end, you can remember.