Thanks for the great response
Good Evening Everyone,
Well, I am amazed by the response to my first blog. Thanks to everyone for all the welcome messages and for taking the time to write. I am really looking forward to chatting to you all over the next few days and weeks and getting to know everyone better. Xuan, hope you can blog sometime soon.
I wonder what you are all doing right now? I’m at home after managing to stay awake all day at work (I was jetlagged yesterday after my trip to the UK, but feel much better today) and it is silent in my flat. The kids are sound asleep and Steve has just nipped out to get some food, so I have time to blog.
Quite a few of you have asked me about my job and to tell you more about my work. You’ve also asked me loads of questions about Thailand. So, let me start to tell you about work first and we’ll see how far we get. Like I said, I work for a large software company as Head of English. The company makes software packages for the finance industry. We have offices all over the world, but the operation in Thailand is one of our biggest, with over 700 staff. The staff have to deal with colleagues and clients in the UK, the US and Australia in conference calls and via email, so my team and I provide them with specific training to help them do this. We also provide training in other business skills, such as meetings and presentations, as well as running courses in general English, to improve speaking and writing skills. The staff have a real need to learn English, as they have to use it to communicate every day for their jobs (like Miao says, English is an essential tool for a lot of people) and they are very motivated to learn.
How did I get the job? Well, like many things, I was in the right place at the right time. I just happened to be in Thailand and saw an advert for the job. To cut a long story short, I applied, got an interview and then got the job. I am really lucky as I enjoy my work, the Thai staff I work with are all great and I also have a fabulous team working with me! Funnily enough, one of my team-mates (Sam, from Adelaide, Australia) discovered yesterday that I was doing this blog and she has said she will log in every day to read your posts. I felt a bit guilty, as I had forgotten to tell the team that I was going to be the teacher blogger. Ooops! I work with another Australian called Rob, Tom, who is from the UK and Nurat, who is Thai. If I can persuade them, I’ll stick a photo of us all up on the blog sometime. We don’t do much translation work, Paulraj, but when we do Nurat is the one to do it, sometimes assisted by Tom who speaks fluent Thai. I am both impressed and very, very envious of him. I am trying to learn Thai but it is difficult, as it’s a tonal language and the alphabet is completely different to English. I’ll get there one day. I think it’s important that if you live in a place, you try to speak the language.
Before my current job, I worked for the British Council in India, where I was posted for 3 years, and prior to that I worked for a university in Thailand. And I started off my career as an EFL teacher working for International House (so yes, Cristina, I know IH very well!).
OK, I think I have waffled on about work enough, so let me reply now to some of the comments you have made. I cannot promise to reply to each of you individually every time, but I will try to do this when I can.
Supriya – thanks for your post and I am looking forward to hearing more from you. Where in India do you live? I was based in Delhi for a while. I am also waiting for Xuan’s first post.
Merce – Well done for trying to read the blog every day. And your English doesn’t sound poor to me :-) Keep writing to us all.
James – I have never been to Taiwan – please tell me more about it. See you and take care
Tanya – I hope I have answered your question about my job. Are you from Ireland originally, or are you just living there now?
Vladimir – I hope I have included some new useful expressions in this blog (a lot of them seem to be informal – I hope that is OK). I promise that I will write some things about life in Thailand next time, so that you can become more acquainted with it. See you later.
Kuldeep – there has been a lot of talk in previous teacher blogs about weddings, so I won’t go into too much detail here. But to answer your question about giving a gift to my sister, I actually haven’t got her anything yet. Is this really bad of me? I will of course send her something very soon....
Antonio (from Portugal) – we have a similar festival in the UK called April Fools’ Day. People play practical jokes on each other and are allowed to tell small lies. I don’t think this happens in Thailand.
A warm welcome to you too, Pedro. I am looking forward to these 2 months as well, and to hearing more from one of my most diligent students.
Paulraj – I think that lots of software companies do employ English teachers, especially international ones. Where do you live in India?
Miao – welcome to the blog! Are you still living in Melbourne? What are you doing now that you have graduated? I think you already seem to be making a big effort to learn English. For example, I saw that you made 2 posts and that you had made changes between the first and the second version. You obviously worked on what you wrote the first time, improved it, thought about the language you were using and then made a second post. This is a great way to write – remember, writing is a process and we shouldn’t expect to get it right first time. We all need to be ready to check our work and write several versions, before we come up with a final version that we like.
Welcome back Yanko. I guess we just couldn’t keep you away :-) Have I told you enough about how the work my team does supports the company we work for?
Hey Ernesto! You are right. Thailand is a very beautiful country. But I have also heard that Chile is an exciting, diverse and exotic place. Am I right?
Haajiabdi – Your post made me chuckle. I liked the way you copied everything Kulpdeep said and added in LIKE SOMALIA. OK, now you have to tell us more about your country.
Eugeny – thank you for your brief message. I did a google search on Tchaikovsky city to see where you live. Do you like his music?
Antonio (from Belgium) – I am looking forward to your ‘active’ comments this month.
Welcome Tahir. Sorry to hear that you were bored at work today. If you get bored again, why not take a look through all the previous student and teacher blogs. That should keep you busy for a while :-) You will find lots of interesting information, as well as exercises set by the teachers, new language and grammar points. In fact, that’s something we can all do. Revising is a very important part of learning – we all need to remind ourselves of what we have learnt, in order to commit it to memory.
Hi Tiasha – I love Thai food as well. In fact, I think it is one of the world’s best cuisines. However tonight, Steve and I are having pizza! But that is one of the joys of living in Bangkok – you can get more or less anything you want, at any time of the day or night. I didn’t realise that I am the first teacher blogger from Thailand.
Good to hear from you Ana Paula – I hope I live up to your expectations about teaching you a lot. I am also looking forward to learning from all of you, as we chat in cyberspace. Best Wishes.
Cristina – I know a lot about International House, but very little about Argentina. Please tell me more about your country. How do you think that doing FCE has helped you in your life / job etc? What motivated you to do it?
Alireza – thank you for your post and I am glad you like the blog. It is a great resource and makes very interesting reading. I look forward to chatting more with you.
Hello Richard – thanks for the wishes for my family. I promise I will tell you all more about Bangkok next time and I hope that along the way I can help you all with your English.
OK – nearly time for my pizza with Steve. But just before I go, let me give you your homework. Hurray, homework! This applies to the posts for Supriya, Merce, James, Vladimir, Kuldeep, Antonio, Pedro, Paulraj, Miao, Yanko, Ernesto and Ana Paula. Read the posts from these bloggers then read the replies I have written. In my posts, I have either amended or corrected something(s) that each blogger wrote. Can you spot what I have amended? Sometimes it might just be a spelling mistake, it might be a change if preposition in a phrasal verb, or it might be using a different verb tense or word to one they have used. You don’t need to post what you have noticed – just keep your own notes and I will give you the answers next time.
Bye for now, everyone, and speak to you soon,
PS. Let's chat about Thailand in the next blog. Out of interest, have any of you ever visited Thailand before?
Sound asleep (adjective + noun) – deeply asleep
To nip out (verb, informal) – to go somewhere in a hurry
Loads of (pl. Noun, informal) – a lot
Operation (noun) - used here as a synonym for ‘office’ or ‘company’
To deal with (verb) – to do business with
I’ll get there one day (expression, informal) – if I work hard, I will be able to do it i.e. speak Thai one day
To cut a long story short (expression, informal) – to avoid going into detail about something
Current (adjective) job – the job I do now
Prior (adjective) to that – preceding/before that (i.e. before I worked for the British Council)
To waffle on (verb, informal) – to talk for too long
To chuckle (verb) – to laugh
To commit something to memory (Verb) – another way of saying ‘to rememeber’
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.