The students of Imperia have interviewed their English assistant 11 May 2008Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English, Our Partners.
An interview with Paul, the English assistant,
1. Why did you decide to teach?
I gradually came into it. I started out teaching in private schools in Italy, with the intention of going back to England after 2 years. I wanted to live in another country and learn the language. It was good experience. However, I started to like moving and moving – so things just snowballed. It was also a difficult period in the UK. Unemployment etc. Life in Italy was more lively at the time in comparison to the UK.
2. How long have you been teaching English?
About 28 years.
3.Why in Italy?
I applied to teach in Germany, Japan and Italy. Italy was the first country I got a job offer from. I liked Italy for the art, culture, the people etc.
4.Why did you learn Italian?
If you live in a country you have to learn the language otherwise it’s like not learning home. You learn about a place when you make friends with a lot of people.
5.How did you learn this language?
Self-study, listening, practising, studying grammar, a girlfriend…
6.Did you have difficulty learning Italian?
Yes, it was very difficult for me. I didn’t study languages at University- Latin languages are very different from English.
7.Do you think you will study other languages?
I don’t think so. I will if I need it, but only for that reason.
8.Which ones? What language do you like most?
English, because it is my mother tongue. It’s a very flexible language, which is something I appreciate.
10.Do you have any advice for Italian or other exchange students who want to learn a language?
The best way is to go and live in the country of origin. Especially if you are a language student and thus probably study grammar and syntax for years , what you need is to use the language, and hear it spoken. But you have to be careful not to pick up bad pronunciation and it depends on the company you keep. I think the best way is to work in a country- in a big city- and make friends, but friends who are interesting!!!