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Teacher Feature: Elena

December 27, 2021

This article is part of a series of posts highlighting our community of teachers around the world. We hope you find their stories interesting and inspiring!

Before Elena became a teacher, she was a ceramic artist. After working by herself for a number of years, she began to feel like she needed a change.

“I wanted to expand my world. Being only an artist did not make me feel like I contributed enough to the world since my work is more decorative than political. I started as a volunteer and loved teaching, so I got trained.”

Elena has been a teacher for about 10 years now. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she currently teaches online from her home in Austin, Texas. She teaches adults from all over the world.

“I think of my classes as my own little UN. Exchanging cultural information is as important as learning English.”

For Elena, teaching online has had its challenges but overall, she’s happy now that she was forced to learn how to teach in a virtual setting. She does miss interacting with her co-workers though.

“I miss the potlucks and the camaraderie with fellow teachers the most.”

Elena finds ESL Library to be incredibly helpful. Check out her text response below to learn why she loves ESL Library and how she uses it with her students.

Despite the challenges of teaching online, Elena loves being an ESL teacher.

“I love learning about other languages and of course, when students finally understand something that was previously confusing, it makes my day.”

When asked if she has any advice for aspiring teachers, Elena said it’s important to watch the news.

“Learn what is happening in other parts of the world and learn something about the structure of languages spoken by the students in your class. Do adjectives come before nouns? Is their language a stress-timed language? If you know these things, you can help them faster.”

Want to share why you love ESL Library and how you use it in your classroom? Tell us here.

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Comments (4)

Tara Benwell(Author)

It's great to hear Elena's perspective on ESL teaching. I love her tip about studying the structure of students' L1s!

Reply to Comment

Melissa Bender(Author)

Me too! I'm glad she shared that with us.

Pam S.(Teacher)

Nice post. I agree. Learning about our students' first languages and their culture helps in so many ways.

Reply to Comment

Melissa Bender(Author)

Hi Pam. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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