Gaudencia Mugocha, English Teacher

From South Africa

Beginning as a volunteer tutor, Gaudencia has now been teaching English for five years. She has taught students from Russia, Poland, Germany, and South America, and enjoys meeting new people and learning about their cultures. Because she speaks four languages, she understands the challenges of linguistic insecurities and works hard to create a class culture that is safe and friendly. She enjoys working with her Business English students as they are motivated and dedicated and loves seeing their successes as their hard work pays off.

What is your nationality and where do you currently reside?

I reside in South Africa.

What is your professional and educational background?

I have a degree in Communication Science and an advanced 120-hour TEFL/TESOL Certificate. I have been teaching English for the past five years. Although I have experience teaching both kids and adults, I have mostly specialized in teaching Business English to adults.

Which Bridge certifications or micro-credentials have you completed?

None as yet. I had recently completed an advanced 120-hour TEFL/TESOL course prior to working with Bridge.

How long have you been teaching with BridgeEnglish?

I have been with Bridge since May 2023.

How long have you been teaching languages and what inspired you to become a language teacher?

I have been a language teacher for five years. I can confidently say my passion for teaching began a while ago. I first made efforts to nourish this interest in 2019 by volunteering to tutor underprivileged high school students in the subjects they struggle with. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience which subsequently inspired me to start teaching English online. As a Native English speaker, I can most definitely say that teaching English has been nothing but an enjoyable and effortless experience. I have taught many students from different parts of the world such as Russia, Poland, Germany, and now South America. It is always a pleasure meeting people from different parts of the world and learning about new cultures.

What languages do you speak?

I speak four languages. My first language is English. My second and third languages are Shona and Xhosa, both of which are Southern African languages. The fourth language is Afrikaans, which is of Dutch origin, spoken mainly in South Africa and Namibia. I am now in the process of learning what I hope to be my fifth language, German.

What challenges do you often encounter when teaching Business English, and how do you overcome them?

One challenge that I encounter quite often is when students have linguistic insecurities. Having taken Linguistics as an elective in University, I thoroughly understand and sympathize with my students in such instances. I overcome this challenge by making sure that the student(s) are comfortable in the classroom. In hopes to ease their anxiety, I make sure to show them how friendly and patient I am. I pride myself in always creating a safe and friendly classroom where students are not only relaxed but thoroughly enjoy the learning experience.

What motivated you to specialize in teaching Business English specifically?

My biggest motivation has been the students themselves. In my experience, I have found that Business English students tend to be more motivated and dedicated to their English learning process. I find great motivation in their dedication, which inspires me to perform to the best of my abilities. Teaching a class full of motivated students is enjoyable for teachers and students alike.

How do you incorporate your culture and background into your language lessons?

South Africa is one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world, hence its nickname ‘The Rainbow Nation’. Having grown up in South Africa, I was always exposed to different cultures and religions. This exposure molded me into a very open-minded person, who is always keen to learn about new cultures. I use my background as a means to connect and bond with my students. I have found that most of my students are rather keen on having meaningful engagement surrounding their own background and culture.
One specific cultural aspect I incorporate in my classroom is the South African Philosophy “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” which translates to humanity towards others.

Can you share a memorable experience or success story from your language teaching career?

One success story that always warms my heart is that of a student whom I taught Business English a few years ago. He had been learning English for quite some time; however, he felt as though his limited vocabulary and linguistic insecurities held him back in his career. A few months after our classes had ended, I received an email from him thanking me for helping him reach his goals. He further informed me that he had finally been promoted to the position he had been eying for several years but could not get because it required a certain level of English proficiency.

These kinds of success stories always reinforce why I love my job.