Lana Šiljeg, English teacher
For more than fifteen years I’ve been teaching English to people from all walks of life – from university professors, school teachers, students, businessmen, company owners, factory workers to non-working mums… I may not recall all the names, but I surely remember our moments together and individual progress they’ve all made in their fields of work.
In 2006 I founded a language school called West End in Zagreb, Croatia. In running my company I’ve also learned a lot about management, human resources, marketing, customer care and administration. This has given me more insight into business processes and issues my students face on a daily basis. And I can tell you this – it all comes down to communication!
My scope of interest has been business English and communication skills, with special regard to soft skills and non-verbal skills. I consider it important to integrate these aspects of language into the courses and programs and I aim to pass on my knowledge to the teaching staff. It’s about constant learning and being able to understand what our students need English for. If it’s English for academic purposes, so be it. If it’s about finances and management, or law, or veterinary medicine, a proper teacher should have background knowledge of these areas as well. It takes a wide general knowledge to be a teacher, right?
As for my credentials, I graduated English Language and Literature and Art History at the University of Zagreb. I have been additionally trained in London, Oxford and Malta, and am now making plans for a postgraduate course in the U.S.A. My final thesis dealt with elicitation skills and techniques in English teaching, as I consider interactive classes the most effective ones. Elicitation is a technique in which the teacher gets the learners to give information rather than giving it to them. In a way it comes down to empowering the students and engaging them in the learning process and the process being more student-oriented.
In teaching I have been driven by a quote by American psychologist David Paul Ausubel: “If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.”
So English and art have been two passions of mine. To know how cultures and their expressions in artistic and linguistic form evolve through time is fascinating to me. And it’s important to be able to teach English cross-culturally, as well.
I have travelled a lot, but mostly how I explore the world is through the interaction with our friends and learners from all corners of the world through this platform. And, boy, it has been a long way to get to this point. So many lessons learned along the way, good practice polished… to be ready to go online with all our strengths and weaknesses and share it with you. PowerEnglishByLana platform is a breakthrough for me personally and professionally on many levels. I truly hope you will relate to it, enjoy it and find it valuable and educational.
Larry Waite, English teacher
I have my undergraduate (Bachelor of Science) degree in Political Science and Economics and a graduate (Master’s) degree in International and European Law. I have taught the English language for over 20 years in various countries and diverse educational settings and with students of all ages and backgrounds. Reflective of this global intergenerational experience, I have interest in how evolving cultural reality impacts and transforms language. I am presently tutoring individual students and teaching conventional English classes in a private school in Croatia. I am expanding my reach to students and sharing my rich knowledge as an English teacher by launching an online learning initiative with Lana- a very exciting highly creative entrepreneurial endeavor! My love of the expressive arts is deep and very broad! I very much like creative writing and poetry. Also, I’m about to launch my own business that combines political science and language in advancing an optimal numerical/symbolic communicative (voting) system for the ballot box – to elevate the right to vote to sublime capacity to freely democratically express – a prospect also extremely exciting!
Marko, English teacher
I studied English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka. I began teaching almost immediately after college, working in several schools across Croatia which helped me gain valuable experience and evolve my teaching style. Since public schools never appealed to me because of their strict programs, I focused on language schools. I’m currently teaching a variety of programs in a private school, ranging from beginner groups to full-on conversational English practice.
I would describe my teaching style as friendly and open-ended, with less focus on rules and more on upgrading vocabulary and real life situations. In fact, that’s what originally drew me to Lana’s learning initiative. I think it’s a chance to reach a larger number of people and show them that English is easier than they think – and maybe impart some lasting knowledge along the way.
I recently opened a small business specializing in translation services, mostly dealing with enginnering and IT. It’s a far cry from the relaxed and informal way my classes are structured, but balance is the key to everything!