English as an Additional Language Teacher, Secondary School
Welcome to Stephanie Smith, or Steffi as she prefers, our new EAL teacher in Secondary. Steffi hails from Cambridge, however, this is not her first time teaching in Thailand. Previously, she worked for the British Council for three and a half years.
“Working for the British Council here in Bangkok, I had learned of Bangkok Patana’s fantastic reputation and was interested in working here. I had actually interviewed for the role a few years ago but went on to work in the Maldives and Portugal. In the Maldives I worked for the Four Seasons, working with local Maldivian staff and students from all over the world. After that, I moved to Portugal to teach in a small school in a coastal area south of Lisbon. They were really great experiences that gave me insights into different student needs.”
“This is my first time in a mainstream school, I have worked in a corporate setting, small language schools and the British Council. I have been pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone has been even though it’s so large. People stop and talk to you, it’s really a nice culture to have. I’ve worked online before, but I already knew the students from a classroom environment so building rapport with the students is a main focus for me now.”
“As a language teacher, I believe a communicative approach is key – getting the students chatting to each other, building speaking activities into every lesson to really encourage our students to connect. During CSL, many of our EAL students have limited opportunities to speak English so this is especially important now. I am a very enthusiastic and energetic teacher and I feel bringing energy to online classes is vital for student motivation. I like to encourage students do pairwork and groupwork in the breakout rooms and get the students moving around the room as much as possible during CSL.”
“I am a huge lover of the sea; scuba, surfing, wakeboarding, snorkelling, free-diving. Actually, I am a divemaster and have dived with sharks and manta rays, which are my favourite animals. I enjoy dancing too, from salsa to Bollywood. I love learning languages, I speak French, some Spanish and Portuguese and I am restarting Thai lessons now that I am here again.”
“When I was in the Maldives I lived on a tiny, one square kilometre island with 300 other staff members!”