Experiences of an English Language Teacher

In Response to Marisa Constantinides

In December, I was tagged to a blog post by Marisa Constantinides and have just got back to blogging after a busy Christmas and New Year in South Korea as well as a busy start to the year with LTC Eastbourne.  Nevertheless, the blog post by Marisa was to partake in a blog challenge and is the first time I have participated in a blog challenge.

So here is the task …

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger- in this case it would be me…
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 random facts about myself

  1. I once took an A-Level in Photography when I was 17 years old and after two years I achieved a grade of ‘E’.  Not something that I am particularly proud with.
  2. I got my first job when I was 16 years old and worked part-time as a cashier for a national home improvements chain for about 3 years.  It was a wonderful experience.
  3. I enlisted in the Royal Air Force when I was 20 years old and spent the next three years repainting and respraying military aircrafts, vehicles and equipment.  I was mainly based at RAF Odiham, the home to the Chinook.
  4. My wife made me promise to go to University if we got married.  After a few months of marriage, I went to University as a mature student. I suppose I am a late academic starter but it hasn’t stopped me achieving more than what others expected.
  5. I have never been very good learning languages in an academic environment, but I have made the decision to take a Korean Language Test (TOPIK) this year and am self-studying now in preparation for an April and October examination.
  6. I absolutely adore Korean food and drink.  I try to head over to H-Mart in London as often as is possible to get my fix of Korean food.  I even have a store card!
  7. My first ever computer was a BBC Microcomputer.  It had a tape to load up programs and I even tried to create my own games.  My parents always found me on this computer.
  8. I got to travel a lot when I was young and lived for a total of 5 years in Cyprus as both my parents were in the Army.  I suppose this was what inspired me to travel in my later years.
  9. I love to ski but don’t often get round to doing this.  I was able to go skiing a lot when I was young as my father was also a Ski Instructor.  As a family, we used to ski in different countries: France, Switzerland, Finland, etc.
  10. I can’t eat eggs if they are given to me due to an allergy or something related to post-traumatic stress.  When I was young, my mum would always make me egg sandwiches.  One day at school, I had enough of them and brought most of my lunch back up across the playground.  Since then, I can’t stomach any egg but am fine when egg is used as an ingredient.
  11. When I was about four or five years old, on Christmas Day, I woke up extra early to find all the presents for my family and myself under the tree.  I proceeded to open all presents, not just mine.  A few hours later, my parents awoke to see all their Christmas presents open under the tree and I was in the middle of what looked like a bomb site with wrapping paper surrounding me and all the toys and gifts in the centre.

The 11 questions Marisa asked me

  1. How long does it usually take you to draft and finalise a blog post? It takes me a few hours to draft a blog post.  Sometimes I hit on the publish button without rereading what I have written and then have to make edits post publication.  However, this blog post has taken me two days to complete.  I usually have difficulty finding the time to blog when juggling with so many other things.
  2. Which ICT tools do you actually use with your classes? Some of the tools that I use with my classes include using WordPress to create a PLE, Soundcloud to record and share speaking practice as well as Power Point.
  3. What is your absolute dream job? My dream job would involve learning more about culture and languages.  I suppose the closest to this is teaching English to language learners.
  4. Which classroom activity do you absolutely enjoy using with your students? I love to just have a conversation with my students and provide language necessary for learners to use the next time they need it: Dogme-esque style.
  5. How many of your current friendships were started through a social network? I have met many other like minded individuals through Twitter who are interested in language learning and perhaps one close friendship to a person who has assisted this blog since last year: Scott Worden.
  6. Which household chore do you hate the most and which one do you love the best? I absolutely hate clothes washing! I can’t stand it.  I know that I have to do it but all your clothes are damp and cold and you start to get quite cold yourself.  However, one thing that I really love is ironing.  It might seem contradictory as I hate clothes washing but I find ironing so relaxing.  Your clothes are a little damp but you soon warm up when you start ironing.
  7. Name your 10 Desert Island CD’s.
    1. Hell Freezes Over (The Eagles)
    2. Dreams Can Come True (Gabrielle)
    3. Best of British (Compilation CD)
    4. Back to Bedlam (James Blunt)
    5. 21 (Adele)
    6. Love Sensuality Devotion (Enigma)
    7. Vibesman (Roy Ayers)
    8. Sting / The Police (Compilation CD)
    9. Samba Pa Ti (Santana)
    10. Masters At Work: The Tenth Anniversary Collection (Compilation CD)
  8. Do you wish you had studied something other than what you did study? I have tried to study something different.  I tried to study photography and I didn’t really succeed, studied maths and soon realised I wasn’t very good at this either, as well as studied International Business and really enjoyed studying something that was quite natural and very stimulating.  Through my efforts, I now know what my strengths and weaknesses are.  I suppose I would really like to study Korean language in the future but I will stick with self-studying for the moment and see how I get on with my future exam.
  9. Describe the naughtiest thing you have ever done.  In the UK we have to separate our rubbish: plastics in one box, tins in another whilst normal household waste goes into a black bag.  I have found it quite time consuming to separate the rubbish and put it all together in the black bag and thrown it away.  Is that naughty?  I guess so.
  10. What artistic aspirations or skills do you have? Before I enlisted the RAF, I used to play the saxophone quite well.  I was involved in the local jazz circuit and used to play at a bar in Brighton with some other musicians.  We played at golf clubs, charity events as well as at the local halls.  I had played the saxophone for about 10 years before I joined the RAF – first at school and then afterwards.  This was the only artistic skill that I had.  I tried drawing and painting but soon realised that my sheep were more like white blobs.  It would be nice to play the saxophone again but there is always something new to try.
  11. Which TV series or film do you keep watching again and again? I love watching ‘Lost’.  I keep watching the series and love the whole timelines in the series.  I always recommend my friends to watch it but they soon reply that they find the timelines quite difficult to follow but the main focus are the characters and the development of their lives.  Absolutely love it!

11 bloggers tagged in this post … anyone else wishing to respond to this post

Unfortunately, as I am so late in responding to a tagged blog post that those that I wished to tag to this blog post have already been involved with this sort of tagged posting.  Nevertheless, if you wish to be involved in this blog post, please comment and/or send a link to your response and I will add you to a potential list below.  To come to think of it, there is a husband and wife blogger that I would like to tag to this post, and they are called:

  • The Conleys – They have have been writing about their experiences of teaching in South Korea and it would be great to see them answer some of the questions that I have asked below.

Again, if anyone would like to invite themselves to be involved with any of the questions below, please let me know and I will add you to list above.  Perhaps, I could reach a target of 11 bloggers!

My 11 Questions

  1. Tell me more about your favourite food you like to try or restaurant you like to visit.
  2. What achievements have you set yourself for 2014?
  3. What is the weirdest activity you have ever tried in your life?
  4. Who do you most admire in your life?  Why?
  5. What do you think is more important: happiness or money?  Why?
  6. Describe your favourite teacher from school.
  7. Are you learning any other languages at the moment?  Why/why not?
  8. Where would you like to go on your next holiday?
  9. What would you do if you suddenly won the lottery?
  10. When did you first learn to ride a bicycle and what was it like?
  11. What pet would you like to have?  Why?

Well, that’s it from me.  Best wishes for 2014.


  1. Great to have you take part in this series of ‘getting-to-know-you” posts.

    I love reading all the random facts and answers of friend bloggers

    Thanks for sharing some of yourself, Martin.


  2. LOST is an amazing show. Sarah and I are rewatching it from the beginning are about to finish season 1.
    That was fun reading about the random facts and questions. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    I just finished our blog challenge response to it.


    Thanks for tagging us in this post!


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