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Last updated at 16:13 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Nuala O'Sullivan

Nuala O'Sullivan

What do you do?
I'm an ELT (English Language Teaching) writer so I create materials on our website for learners and teachers. I devised and produced The Flatmates - our online interactive soap opera - for four years. Now I devise quizzes, produce Words in the News and write the Teacher Blog.

Where were you born?
Glasgow - best city on earth.

What other languages can you speak?
Basic French, which I learned at school. I've got OK Indonesian (I lived and worked as an EFL teacher there for 3 years) and a tiny bit of Thai. It's embarrassing to say I lived there for 3 years and learned so little. I found it very difficult because Thai is a tonal language (so the same word can mean 5 different things depending if you say it in a high, low or medium tone or if your voice rises or falls). But the upside is that it does mean I can really sympathise with English language learners!

What's your animal alter ego and why?
A swan. My name comes from an old Irish legend about Fionnuala who was changed into a swan by her wicked step-mother. 900 years later the spell was broken and she was changed back into a human just before she died - a happy old woman. Fionnuala means "maid of the fair shoulder" which means I should have a long graceful neck, like a swan. I'm not sure if that bit's true for me but I do like the idea of swimming around in the great lakes of Ireland for almost a thousand years and living to such a ripe old age.

What's your favourite word in English?
Driech (pronounced 'Dreek') - it's a Scottish word to describe a rainy day. I think it's one of those words that sounds exactly like the thing it's describing.

Give us a quote from your school report
From my first ever report card when I was 5 years old, in Primary 1: "Nuala should work more and talk less."



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