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  • Hello everyone and welcome to English Talk.

  • I'm your host Robin Shaw.

  • And in my podcast series I like to talk about topics about English

  • and improving your English.

  • And any advice or good tips about learning English.

  • I have a very special guest today.

  • It is Fanny.

  • One of the teachers on my Shaw English website.

  • So welcome Fanny.

  • Thank you.

  • Hello.

  • And today we're going to talk about Fanny's experiences teaching in Europe

  • and types of students she meets there and how she helps them to improve their English. Okay.

  • So why don't you just give a quick introduction about yourself.

  • Hello everyone.

  • My name is Fanny.

  • I'm an English teacher.

  • I've been an English teacher for six years now.

  • I taught mainly in Belgium and now I'm in Korea as well.

  • And I've been living in Korea for nine months now.

  • And I love it and yeah that's it.

  • Okay.

  • And when did you first become a teacher?

  • I actually...

  • I studied conference interpreting and... in Europe... and after graduating,

  • I worked a little bit in finance.

  • And in I'm in conference interpreting And then, I decided to become a teacher.

  • Just because I think I had always wanted to become a teacher.

  • Okay so you first became a teacher in Belgium, correct?

  • And what kind of school do they have there?

  • It's just a regular high school you would say.

  • Okay.

  • Middle school.. high school...

  • I mean ... upper secondary and just...

  • So what is your job title there?

  • I was a language teacher.

  • So is that a certified teacher?

  • Oh absolutely.

  • Oh okay.

  • Okay and how long have you worked there?

  • Um I worked there for five years.

  • Five years?

  • Oh quite a long time.

  • And why did you leave there?

  • Because I wanted to travel.

  • And I wanted a change of scenery and I think I wasn't happy anymore,

  • so not teaching - had nothing to do with teaching, but I wanted a fresh start,

  • so I decided to just go on an adventure.

  • Okay well yeah.

  • So what kind of students did you have at the high school in Belgium?

  • Were they all Belgian students?

  • Not necessarily.

  • No.

  • Mainly Belgian students, but a few English speakers sometimes.

  • A few people from South America as well.

  • Or people coming from - Turkey for example or some countries.

  • and just their families had arrived in Belgium.

  • And by the high school level, how well do they speak English?

  • Not very well.

  • Well you've you've taught in Korea a little bit,

  • so compared to Korean students how well do they speak English?

  • Well I would.. I would say that it's maybe it's a tiny bit better here,

  • but the difference is that people lack discipline in Europe.

  • Especially in french-speaking countries for some reason.

  • Do you mean they're lazy?

  • Absolutely.

  • Absolutely.

  • Especially teenagers.

  • So they just... yeah didn't do that homework.

  • Lacked maybe motivation for some reason.

  • I mean it's a general thing with French speakers for some reason,

  • so it was hard to get them to actually train. and... and you know have the the self-discipline

  • that is required to learn a language.

  • Which is not a problem here in Korea.

  • And English is mandatory?

  • It's a mandatory language?

  • In Belgium.

  • Not officially but I mean everyone learns English.

  • It's one of the... the first language that you have to learn is Dutch

  • because it's the second language.

  • The second official language. No actually I think it's the first, but shh.

  • And then English.

  • But if you want to learn Spanish instead of English,

  • I think you can in some schools.

  • Okay

  • Okay and are you a product of this system?

  • No.

  • But...

  • But how did you learn your English?

  • Well I had...

  • I was lucky I think.

  • My dad is British so I spoke English at home.

  • And my mother is an English teacher, so just through family and friends.

  • Just a lot of friends so I grew up speaking English,

  • being surrounded by English.

  • So you don't give any credit to the school system there?

  • I think it was good.

  • I think it was good.

  • Honestly, there are good teachers.

  • There are very good teachers.

  • It all depends on do you have the motivation or not.

  • And I was extremely motivated.

  • And I loved languages and so I really wanted to learn.

  • And I actually still...

  • I mean I studied English at school.

  • It's not only at home because I really wanted to be as

  • perfect as you can be.

  • Okay.

  • All right.

  • I wasn't lazy.

  • You're not lazy?

  • I know that.

  • Okay so...

  • the countries around Belgium,

  • you've also traveled and you spoke to the people there.

  • And what's... you know I haven't been to Europe very much

  • how well do the other countries speak English?

  • It depends.

  • You have France.

  • Pretty much the same situation as in Belgium.

  • French speakers and I think the younger generations are probably a lot better

  • and have more motivation for sure.

  • so I've met... well you know the cliché about French people

  • that they can't speak English?

  • I've actually met a lot of young business people in Paris and their

  • English is excellent so that's you know, that's a good improvement.

  • Then you spent one year in Germany.

  • I did yeah.

  • There's very good in Germany, but then that there is German you know

  • They're extremely disciplined and and they love English in general

  • so their English is quite good honestly. Yes.

  • And you also speak German.

  • I do.

  • How well do you speak German?

  • um I'm fluent.

  • Okay.

  • Well I'm a conference..

  • I'm supposed to be a conference interpreter in German

  • so I haven't practiced for years now but I mean yeah I could live in Germany.

  • Alright.

  • What's the future for you Fanny?

  • Where are you going next?

  • I don't know.

  • Where are you gonna teach English?

  • Maybe... probably in Europe because as much

  • as I love Korea, Asia in general, I love Europe.

  • I think I'm deeply European.

  • I love our culture.

  • I love..

  • I think we're very lucky to have like this collection of countries.

  • I mean in Europe the great thing is you can actually drive for a

  • few hours and you're in a completely different environment, different language

  • different culture, but still there's like this European bond that we all have.

  • I guess...

  • It's a great place.

  • We have good food.

  • Great people, I think.

  • So I don't know I might go to Spain maybe or Portugal.

  • And be an English teacher there or...

  • Probably, yeah.

  • English teacher - French teacherGerman teacher.

  • Okay okay

  • I'd love to learn Spanish.

  • Okay.

  • Wow.

  • All right.

  • Well thank you for sharing your experiences and your comments about English.

  • Oh thank you for having me.

  • And yeah well I hope everyone learned something from our discussion today.

  • And thank you for listening.

  • And see you in the next podcast.

Hello everyone and welcome to English Talk.

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