I have been a part-time Arabic and Russian tutor since 2007, and have taught English as a foreign language on and off since 1999 when I trained as a TEFL teacher in Barcelona.
Since 2015, I have specialised in translation workshops in schools, universities and as professional development for professional linguists.
I’m the Arabic tutor at Warwick Translates summer school for literary and creative translation (University of Warwick, from 2019). I also taught translation from Arabic in 2016 at the summer school’s previous iteration, Translate in the City (City University, London).
I regularly teach translation workshops focusing on different aspects of the profession, including practical translation taster events for complete beginners, and talks on linguist careers and the business side of freelancing. Please see here for workshops I’ve given in the past, at the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh, and at many schools.
Creative translation in the classroom
With Shadow Heroes and the Stephen Spender Trust, I deliver workshops in schools from KS2 (primary) to KS5 (6th form) which inspire pupils to think differently about translation, and to see it as a creative activity that is accessible even with very limited language knowledge. These workshops awaken pupils’ curiosity and confidence in their language learning, help them to analyse language use and to make connections between English and other languages they have encountered, empower them to realise that the skills they already possess can be used to decode texts in a language they don’t already know, and (hopefully!) inspire them to explore languages in a different and more creative way to the mainstream MFL curriculum. I offer translation workshops using comics, picture books, poetry and songs, all aimed at pupils with no prior knowledge of the language.
Communicative language learning
I’ve taught Arabic to beginners of all ages: over 60 Arabic students since 2007. I’ve also taught GCSE and AS level Arabic, and have been a teacher-examiner for GCSE oral exams. Students of mine have gone on to study Arabic at Edinburgh, Exeter, Oxford and Durham universities. I was the visiting Arabic coach at Cheltenham Ladies College for 7 years (2007-2014) and I have also taught at The Cotswold School, Prince Henry’s High School Evesham, Bredon Hill Academy and Tewkesbury School.
I’ve taught Russian to beginners and at GCSE, iGCSE and A-level. At AS and A2 level, I taught Russian history (Catherine the Great), film and literature (Chekhov and Tolstoy), where I produced a lot of my own resources. For 2 years I was an examiner for the GCSE Russian writing paper (Edexcel Pearson Assessment Associate). I have taught Russian at The Cotswold School, Prince Henry’s High School Evesham and Cheltenham Ladies College.
Since taking the TESOL certificate in 1999 (awarded by Trinity College London), I’ve taught English as a foreign language at various private language schools in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, at the University of Gloucestershire, and at Oryel University, Russia. I’ve taught every age and every skill level from A1 entry level to IELTS academic test.
I am a volunteer with Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees, where we support new arrivals with English-language practice at our regular community events. In 2017, I co-founded Cheltenham Arabic Club, a not-for-profit venture aimed at helping Arabic-speaking refugees gain teaching experience. We’ve run two successful series of beginners’ taster sessions and for a period we held monthly Arabic conversation sessions for intermediate learners. We’re not running sessions at the moment, but please email me here if you’d like to join our mailing list or are looking for an Arabic teacher in Gloucestershire.
Promoting multilingualism and creative language learning
I am a co-founder and director of Babel Babies, a company promoting early years bilingual education and an exploration of foreign languages within the family. I’ve been taught multilingual music sessions to parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers since the company was founded in 2011. I have also led the German, Russian and Arabic teacher training within the company and help out at Babel Babies workshops at events and festivals. Babel Babies was awarded the Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Children’s Company in Gloucestershire, 2019!