Breathtaking Breakthrough, Book BS, and an Interesting Interview

This week at Inkreadable, dear reader, was the stuff of teaching legend. At least for me. It’s not often that I get to really see the progress of my students because they are mostly high level and the jump in higher levels is much smaller than from low to high. But this week I realized when my student went from a beginner level to an intermediate level. My Japanese client and I had been working on expressing regrets which are quite difficult using modal verbs, the expression I wish, and the expression I regret. She was able to express the things that she regretted easily and fluently. Of course, she’s all of 30 years old so she doesn’t have that many regrets. This is the first time that I have felt that I have really accomplished something as a teacher with this client. These moments don’t happen often but when they do they make me marvel at the adaptability of people, and of course, the human brain. I had done a lesson with Shinwei about the human brain and people being able to change the way they think and the way they do things with ease. That the brain does accommodate change quite easily. And that age doesn’t matter, the brain can still learn. This was especially true of my Japanese client. Every once in a while people really do surprise you. And really it’s not because of my teaching it’s because of my students’ motivation and her willingness to learn.

I also got positive feedback from a client regarding my pronunciation lessons with him. He is Italian but the galvanized me enough to design a pronunciation course (specifically for Dutch students at the moment) but this lesson can be adapted for various languages. Most languages do not have a th like in then or a th like in thin. So that is something that can be adapted to nearly all pronunciation lessons. If I start getting more clients for pronunciation then I will just adapt the template that I have into something that can work for multiple languages. It’s been an interesting weekend trying to do that work.

There weren’t many highlights on the English Center administration track this week. I continually do the things that the English Center sends me and I continually try to keep up with the things that I set myself. I got a little behind on Friday but that’s okay because I spent the day catching up yesterday. The only hiccup with the English Center currently is that we are still expecting three books for the group course that we are teaching to Ukrainian refugees. I got an email from the bookstore that that book will probably not come in at all. I sent the email to the English Center and yesterday we tried to figure out what to do. They wanted me to try and get the books but if they’re not printing the books how do we get them? I was a little bit flummoxed. The solution we came up with was to try and get a slightly higher-level book in the series. I have a telephone later today to see if I can sort this out with Waterstones.

I do not have any experience doing in-company courses with the English center at all. I’m not sure if that’s because they simply don’t have enough or because they don’t feel that my skill is good enough for in-company. I suspect given what they think of me that that might in fact be the case. One of my friends who I actually recommended to the English Center did me a – likewise good turn and recommended me for Flowently and their in-company courses. I had a wonderful meeting with the owner of Flowently and we seemed to click quite well. We talked about the differences in education and teaching in the Netherlands and what I think the educational system is like. She opened my eyes to quite a few things, especially with regard to her grandchildren who are Primary School age. It was a very interesting meeting and the job that she would like to hire me for also sounds kind of interesting. She would like me to do an in-company for a business in a city called Lelystad. If the company accepts the proposal, the lessons would start on the 25th of April and go on Tuesday afternoons for 15 weeks. That means that I would be commuting three hours a week to go out to these lessons. It’s not terrible. I would still get home at 7:30 or so. The pay is decent as it’s about 50 euros an hour plus travel. Having said that I am not sure what to compare it to because I only have them as a reference. I don’t know what people make for in-company at the English center, however, I do know that the English Center pays for lesson prep and I don’t think that Flowently does. Fluently also has a tutoring side but I am not interested in that one because they only pay 25 Euros an hour to the teacher for in-person lessons. That’s lower even than the English center.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always there is more to come.

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