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French riddle – our teacher Joanne

Hi, dears. Nice to meet you in a new year already! Hopefully you are okay and fresh for new deeds and aims. So today we have a very tender and kind heroine who lives in Great Britain – Joanne. I can say that Joanne is a rather easy-going person with whom it’s quite easy to communicate and discuss different topics.

So, as usual I’d like to start with our teacher’s knowledge background and professional experience.

Joanne has tried lots of professions in her life. Twenty years ago she moved to France with her husband because he wanted to be a farmer. There they set up their own family business and they have been farmers for many years. 

Interesting facts about France
France has historically been an important producer of agricultural products. Large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and EU subsidies have combined to make France the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe (representing alone 20% of the EU's agricultural production) and the world's third biggest exporter of agricultural products.
Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as an internationally recognized processed foods are the primary French agricultural exports. Rosé wines are primarily consumed within the country, but champagne and Bordeaux wines are major exports, being known worldwide. EU agriculture subsidies to France have decreased for the last years, but still amounted to $8 billion in 2007. This same year, France sold 33.4 billion euros of transformed agricultural products.

It was exactly the time when our heroine started teaching, first these were mainly children. One more interesting thing about Joanne is that in France she learnt French rather perfectly and now she always tries to practice it when she has a bare possibility to do it. Now Joanne has mostly Russian speaking students… so why not try to learn Russian a bit? "No", says our heroine…"My son learnt Russian and he persuaded me not to try it as it’s rather complicated."

A few years ago Joanne came back to the United Kingdom where she passed Teacher’s Certificate Exam. Since that time she has been teaching online and is the part of our friendly family.
Joanne also gave a number of valuable tips for starting teachers and English learners.

For teachers:

  • try to find a bulk of interesting topics and things to do during the lesson, try not only to use the course book following the curriculum but also diversify the lesson;
  • get to know your student and adept the lesson to him (her). It can be anything – business, tourism or just holiday;
  • but try to find out what the student exactly wishes from learning and aims in future;
  • try to master new technologies in teaching online, though it can take a lot of time.

For students:

  • first of all start improving vocabulary;
  • feel confident but not embarrassed or shy for not getting something right and correct;
  • speak and practice as much as possible;
  • feel relaxed and natural.

A little video interview with Joanne: 


The greatest funny situations with students are connected with pronunciation mistakes. Once Joanne had a hilarious story with one of the students who said: "I had a room in a holiday house for ghosts". "Ghosts" meant "guests", but Joanne and the student had a funny two-way conversation for several minutes having realized at the end that they were discussing different things.

But I agree with Joanne that it’s not a big mistake and it just adds some fun to the lesson.

Joanne has also shared that she is not a very strict teacher but she constantly gives, controls and checks students’ home tasks. Though Joanne can boast really perfect, brilliant and assiduous students who always complete the tasks. Joanne tries to make the home tasks also diverse by providing students with various articles, movies and songs.

She thinks that each language has some difficult point to memorize and remember all the time. The English language has too many exceptions to the rules which are almost everywhere in the language – grammar, pronunciation…

Let’s now stop talking about work! It’s high time to proceed to Joanne’s likes.

I should also mention that Joanne is so sunny and positive that she can’t single out any bad points she doesn’t like about people and life generally. So enjoy only positive information further.

"I have a vegetable garden, and I spend as much time as I can there, obviously in spring and summer. And I love doing it and collecting my produce. That’s all what I do when I have some free time. And I adore when I provide my family with everything from my garden."

Joanne is into swimming and tennis. She usually does it with family at the weekend for exercise.

 "Bridget Jones's Diary". She likes it mainly because it reminds her 30s and all of her friends of that time and all the same kinds of problems that they and Bridget had. Generally speaking Joanne gives preference to light romance comedies.

"Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt

Coldplay, light rock music

Spain, esp. Majorca for its marvelous scenery. Joanne laughs: "If I could, I would retire there." Joanne also likes camping and sightseeing, being in nature. She would love to do camping when it is snowy winter. So possibly her dreams will come true this winter.

Let’s hope for better and I wish you to have a really snowy winter months ahead! 

Enjoy your lessons of English by Skype!

Feel English and Feel free

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