I live in Belgium where I teach Italian as a foreign language and Dutch (Flemish) as a second language. I have taught adults for over ten years, but started teaching teenagers in 2020.
I had lived in Italy for many years and acquired the language naturally. At the beginning I taught very much grammar-based and I was struck by the way advanced students still struggled making short sentences and conversations on daily topics. I therefore started doing research on the language used in manuals. Discussing my doubts and questions my supervisor asked me whether I had ever heard of Stephen Krashen. I had not!
I looked up his name and started reading, gradually many questions were answered… I discovered I could learn about TPRS in Agen. In 2016 I enrolled on my own, as the only Belgian participant… This opened up such a new world, changed my way of looking at language lessons. Since 2016 I have gradually introduced more and more CI in my lessons and tried to take my students into it, balancing between many happy faces, appreciation and struggling with the expectations of “grammar and word lists”.
Thanks to the Agen Workshop and my students’ appreciation I discovered my own passion for telling stories. I work a lot with Story-Listening.
“I teach therefore I learn”, so apart from CI-training I look for workshops in other fields from which I try to introduce aspects in my way of teaching: history, storytelling, theatre, …