ESL Teacher Interview
-- Challie Chachere --
Where are you from?
New Orleans, LA
Where do you teach ESL?
Modern Languages Institute, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Tell us about other places you've taught.
I taught private lessons to Italian adults and children while living in
Siena, Italy. However, private teaching is not a way to make a living in Italy.
How long have you been teaching ESL?
One year of part time teaching privately in Italy and seven months at Modern
Languages institute teaching classes and privately.
How did you get started?
I believe my first ESL teaching gig was when I was fortunate enough to live
with a wealthy Italian family in their Tuscan villa for two months. I taught the
two children English lessons five days a week, and spoke in English to the
father whenever he was home since he was studying English at the time.
I got the job because I found a flyer for summer live-in English teachers on
the bulletin board at the University for Foreigners in Siena, where I was living
at the time.
What for you are the perks of being an ESL teacher?
I love learning about other cultures, so this is one of the best perks for
me. Other perks include being introduced to various foods from the students'
countries, friendships, continual learning, every day being different, and the
challenges associated with teaching diverse students on different levels of
English language skills.
How do you plan your lessons?
I focus on conversational skills and teaching the intermediate and advanced
level students concepts that will help them become better, more effective
people. I like to use lessons on idioms, newspaper articles, and magazine
articles from "Psychology Today" and travel magazines.
What advice would you like to share with those teaching ESL?
Be patient with the students.
What are some of your other interests and how do they play into your
I love foreign travel and plan to live in different countries and travel as
much as possible when I am able. Learning about other cultures from the students
is the next best thing to being there.
What is the most important thing to you about being and ESL
I love my job.
What do you like the most about being an ESL teacher?
I like being able to influence students about life skills as well as teaching
them English language skills.
What do you like the least?
I don't like having students that don't want to be there and are unresponsive
and don't seem to be listening to me.
What impact has teaching ESL had on your life overall?
It's really one of the best jobs I have ever had in terms of my