Can you briefly describe what you do at Greenway English School?
My job title at Greenway is Teaching Director. One of my job responsibilities is working together with my colleagues to assess each student’s English ability and create a study plan for them. Another main responsibility of mine is teaching. I mostly teach spoken English; IELTS and TOEFL speaking, Practical speaking and Academic Presentations.
What made you decide to open your own school?
Let me answer this question in two parts; one is why I want to do it, the other is why I think I am capable of doing it. My experience studying abroad in Australia and working as an interpreter made me fall in love with language, especially English. Two years teaching experience in Sydney and Zhengzhou helped me understand that teaching is what I want to do for the rest of my life. As for what gives me the confidence to start my own school: I worked for a few different English schools in Zhengzhou, and I would have to say that I was lucky enough to get all those attractive offers from the schools that I worked at. However, I did find that I did not fit in very well due to the fact that my ideas about teaching did not match with the ideas of the school management. I was lost for a while, until I found all these lovely people who share similar experiences with me. With our passion for English and teaching, plus the confidence and desire to help young English learners, we decided to open our own English center.
What makes Greenway different from other English schools in Zhengzhou?
At greenway, we care first and foremost about our teaching quality; everyone here will fight to help you improve your English ability. Moreover, Greenway is a place full of joy; we believe that you must enjoy what you study before you making any progress. One last thing is that Greenway is truly a beautiful place; modern, fashionable, clean and comfy. You really should check us out.
You lived and studied in Australia for several years. Can you tell us where you were and what you studied?
I went to Sydney, Australia in 2005. I studied language for half a year until I felt confident enough to do a Master’s degree in Translation and Interpreting. In mid 2008 I finished my Master’s degree and started another Advanced interpreting course in TAFE. I started working as a part time interpreter for AAP Australia in Rhodes in 2009, and did that until I came back to China for good in May 2010. During my time in Sydney, I also worked as a part-time teacher in a few English school in Sydney.
How do you think the experience of studying abroad has helped you now that you are back in China?
Study and working overseas is such a wonderful experience. It has made me more independent and confident about life. Having a good understanding about both language and culture really helps me a lot in my teaching.
What specific advice do you have for other young Chinese students who may be interested in improving their English or studying abroad?
I would first like to say that studying English takes patience. One or two days of study won’t make any difference, three or four months would not be enough to really understand a foreign language; it requires years of hard work. You also need to be passionate and smart about your English learning. Try to find all the resourses that you can, as long as you are interested in them. Be smart about how you study, and don’t always focus only on school exams like CET4 OR 6. Those won’t help you much for your overseas study. To prepare for studying overseas, you should get a handle on TOEFL or IELTS early if you intend on studying abroad.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Finding the right teachers to help you along your study journey is very important; try not simply believe what a school advertisement says. Talk to the teacher in person and see if his or her ideas and abilities suit you.