So many people wish they could speak another language! Indeed, speaking other languages opens up a whole new world and has been shown to have other benefits too (such as keeping dementia at bay in old age). Life with just one language to me would be like a world that is in black and white instead of in colour.
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a foreign country and grew up to be bilingual (English and Italian). In my early years, my parents worked a lot with people of many different nationalities and my earliest memories are of trying to copy what other people were saying, however funny it sounded!
At a young age I decided I wanted to learn to speak other languages and began with French, moving on to Spanish and later German. I continued when we moved back to England and needless to say, languages were my favourite subject at school!
A degree in languages seemed inevitable, and the University of East Anglia offered the perfect course for me, where I could combine the two languages of my choice (German and Spanish), with linguistics – a subject that answered all the questions I had always had, and enable me to explore language matters further.
I wasn’t sure where it would lead, but I did know that I enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for cultural matters and international affairs with others. I went into teaching in school for a while, where I gained a good understanding of what is required at GCSE and A Level. I later trained to teach languages to adults and taught within Norfolk Adult Education’s Service. Alongside that, I began to teach on a one-to-one basis and found I really enjoyed helping others achieve what they want to – whether it be a better grade at GCSE or learning enough phrases to get more out of their summer holiday!
Not only have I taught foreign languages over the years, but I have also had experience in teaching English as a Foreign Language to groups (different nationalities) and individuals. In addition, I have taught literacy skills and helped those of all ages who struggle with English, whether in school (where it is a core subject) or as adults, in the workplace.
Interpreting & Translation
Alongside my passion for teaching, I had the opportunity to train as a Public Services Interpreter in 2003, being one of the first ones trained in our county. Having gained that diploma in the health option (allowing me to interpret in medical situations) I undertook further training in interpreting in the field of law, and now also enjoy interpreting in legal settings. I gained the skills necessary in interpreting and have also experienced interpreting in other contexts (such as for businesses). With my legal and medical knowledge of vocabulary, I have also been able to offer translation services in those areas, as well as translating many other documents, in a wide range of subjects!
It is important to me to be able to offer a personalised service and I regularly welcome clients to my home, who require a phone call to be made abroad or have some documents they need to know the gist of. They can be assured of a warm welcome, my full attention and a nice cup of tea!