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A stranger from Crete – our teacher Ian

Hello, dear friends! I guess you are missing already the incredible stories about our natives. Our today’s hero is rather mysterious and enigmatic guy who was really glad to tell us about his life, though only a little bit. He still keeps some mystery about himself. So now let me play a bit with your imagination and first to introduce you the place and background of our mysterious "stranger" – Crete. 

Did you know?
Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own dialect, poetry, and music). Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC), the earliest "high culture" civilization in Europe, which built the first palaces in Europe. The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century B.C., repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (Caphtor). It is also known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting some form similar to both was the Minoan name for the island. The Mycenaean Greek name for Crete is unknown; it is not mentioned in ancient texts. The name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One speculative proposal derives it from a hypothesized Luvian word *kursatta "island". In Latin, it became Creta.

Just imagine your dream-place job! I think it can really refer to our hero as he lives only 2 minutes walk from beach. So you just sit in a cozy chair, enjoy the view of azure sea and tutor students.

So, envious already? I guess it’s high time to get you acquainted! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome – Ian, 37-year old British who has been living in Crete for 8 years already.

Ian is from Liverpool, England. He graduated from Liverpool University with a degree in psychology. In 2004 he obtained TEFL (English Teaching Certificate) and for the last seven years he has been teaching English and has lots of experience in helping students prepare for exams such as Cambridge, IELTS and TOEFL. Ian’s main strengths are helping students in improving their English speaking and writing skills. As a person, he is very laid-back, relaxed and patient, and he is fully confident that he can help all of you to achieve your goal of improving English to the level you desire.
You would ask how did Ian get to Crete. Ian just said that he was tired of England’s weather and changed it to eternal holiday (I should mark that it’s already not the first guy who does so!).

Here are some fun & interesting facts about Crete

  • Crete is the largest island of Greece.
  • In the past, Crete served as the centre of the Minoan civilization (c 2600 -1400 BC), the oldest form of Greek, and hence European, civilization.
  • Heraklion is the capital of Crete.
  • Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.
  • The people of Crete refer to themselves as Cretan, not Greek.
  • Speaking in mythological terms, Crete is believed to be the place where Zeus grew up.
  • Crete became a Roman province in 67 BC and the occupation continued for the next 400 years.
  • After the Roman rule got over, Crete got incorporated into the Byzantine Empire.
  • Arabs, Venetians and Turks are amongst those who ruled over the island of Crete.
  • Crete was liberated in 1913, after which it took part in the Balcan Wars as well as the two World Wars.
  • It was during the Second World War that Crete came under German occupation.
  • Gortinos used to serve as the capital of Crete, during the Roman times.
  • Ag Nikolaos is considered to be the most beautiful town of Crete.
  • In terms of food, Stifado Salingariko – snail stew, and Chirino Kritiko – pork chops, are the specialties of Crete.
  • Cretan olive oil is one of the best in Greece.
  • Crete stands divided into 4 Nomoi or Prefectures and many Dimoi (Municipalities).
  • Agriculture and tourism are the main economic activities of Crete.

After moving from England to Crete Ian started teaching in a private school for Greek children. After 7 years of teaching in school Ian started obtaining teaching experience in our online school tutoring students from different countries.

The most difficult points in learning the language for Russian-speaking students:

  • grammar side, esp. with describing past experiences;
  • confidence with speaking;
  • language barrier and making a start with a native speaker.

Our hero tries to spend 90% of the lesson talking with students in an informal and relaxed way. Ian marks that the majority of the funny stories that happen to his students is that they misuse the meanings of words, that is why one of Ian’s main ideas is to help them to master the language to the full extent. 

But mind that Ian doesn’t know any Russian words which might be strange (he even didn’t know how to say "Hello") so I tried to teach him a bit. But Ian knows also the Greek language, and a little bit French and Spanish.

Ian was also pleased to provide his colleagues with some valuable tips:

  • to be themselves;
  • to relax and have an easy conversation and comfortable atmosphere at the lesson;
  • to be informal.

I think that he is right to some extent but also a teacher should really control the student’s progress and inspire him (her) to go further.

Now it’s time to reveal you some secrets about Ian’s preferences.

U2, Coldplay

different genres – esp. alternative, thrillers

Clint Eastwood

history and psychology books

Jack Kerouac

pork souvlaki, pork, lamb, chicken

swimming, watching football (used to play it when he was younger).

– Don’t you want to change atmosphere and go somewhere for relaxing and having a holiday?

– No! I’ve left England to live on holiday! I live 2 minutes walk from the beach. From April to October I swim every day, but now I'm afraid of cold water.

As every other human Ian also has some dislikes:

  • impoliteness,
  • inconsiderate,
  • rain, cold weather,
  • coconut, pine-apple.

Hopefully if you are or going to be Ian’s student, you will not irritate him with such things and won’t tell him about coconuts and pine-apples.

So that’s a finish for now, see you here in a month! Don't forget to enjoy your lessons of English by Skype.

Feel English and Feel free

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