We’re very excited to welcome Nadia to our team of coaches! We wanted to introduce her to you, our community, so we interviewed her to learn more about her background and teaching methods! Read on to learn more about Nadia, her experience as a teacher, and what is most important to her in language education!
Let’s start with a quick intro- where did you come to us from?
I’m originally from New Jersey, and I went to universities in Montreal then New York City. I most recently earned my M.A. in Comparative and International Education from Columbia University.
You recently moved to Sweden; where were you living before and what was your biggest challenge in moving here?
In July I successfully moved from NYC to Stockholm! I feel privileged and humbled to have made this journey during these times. The most obvious dissimilarity between New York state’s and Stockholm county’s navigation of the pandemic is their use of masks; I am slowly getting used to being ‘mask-less’ everywhere I go.
Most of our coaches teach Swedish, but you teach English for our newer "English for Business" courses...how do you see your role with us, as a language coach working with people who are so experienced in multiple languages but need to hone their abilities in the language of business?
Knowledge of English is–however much we like or dislike it–crucial to societal development in much of the world. Seeing that many people in Sweden are great with ‘everyday’ English, my lessons are a space to specifically help participants learn business jargon and gain confidence in all aspects of utilizing the language. Being multi-lingual myself, I have experienced the difference between being comfortable in speaking but not in writing (Mandarin Chinese), or reading but not in speaking (Spanish and French). That is why I cater lessons to my students’ needs! In general, excelling at ‘workplace’ English requires studying idioms and slang, recognizing vocabulary from different industries, and familiarizing with complex verb tenses. Though every student I have had comes with their own expectations, I engage each of them in practical conversations and a variety of real-life scenarios to maximize our time together.
Have you picked up any tricks for language learning you'd like to share with everyone?
A “fake it ’till you make it” approach has worked for me in terms of copying sounds of new languages, so I recommend it to others as well. Repeating words, tones, and gestures helps learners embody what they study. Everyone says that Hollywood movies and American media can teach English, and they are totally right! (However, learning Business English through film requires particular content, so feel free to reach out to me through the company for suggestions…) One of my students started listening to podcasts while doing mundane tasks around the house to digest new terminology. That sort of behavior, coupled with verbal practice, is a recipe for success.
What does being a language coach mean to you? What are your favorite parts of the job?
I enjoy coaching English because I know it is such a useful tool for others. I have tutored various subjects to both kids and adults for over six years. Getting to know students well and filling the gaps in their ability is satisfying–especially when I get to see their confidence grow.
As a newcomer to Stockholm, what are your plans for getting to know your new home this summer?
Exploring Stockholm on foot is my top priority. My second top priority is trying not to spend all of my money at bakeries and secondhand shops! I am also going to begin my own Swedish language-learning journey, and I look forward to utilizing å, ä, and ö.
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