Graham Sadler, English Teacher

From England

Leveraging his professional background in the tourism industry, Graham adapts his language classes to support his students’ personal interests and workplace expectations. Originally from England, he moved to Bogota, Columbia where he has taught English in a school, a language institute, and one-to-one with working professionals. He focuses on all four language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, but tailors the activities and resources to meet the job skill needs of each student.

What is your nationality and where do you currently reside?

I am from England and recently moved to Bogota, Columbia.

What is your professional and educational background?

I have spent most of my professional life working in the tourism industry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management and have worked in various hotels, restaurants, holiday resorts, and as a Tour Leader in South America, the Middle East, and North Africa.

In 2018, I gained my CELTA and taught English voluntarily whilst working as a Customer Service Representative for a multinational company. Recently I moved to Bogota, Colombia and since arriving here I have taught English in a school, a language institute, and one-to-one with working professionals. Now I am looking forward to working online for Bridge English.

Which Bridge certifications or micro-credentials have you taken?

Currently, I am undertaking the Bridge 60-hour TEFL teaching Business Online course.

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

I have been teaching English for over four years now and I was inspired to become a language teacher after helping my Colombian wife with her English and seeing her gain more knowledge, confidence and communicate effectively. I would like to make a positive impact on many more lives.

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

In previous lessons, I have talked about what it is like being English and growing up in England with stories from my school life to my working life. I try to open up the students’ minds, about the stereotypes they might have and talk about lifestyle, music, food, film, literature traditions, and customs in England. I like to talk to students and contrast and compare our different cultures and backgrounds. Sometimes I use anecdotes about my time living abroad which incorporate the cultures I encountered and how they differ to England.

How do you adapt your teaching style to meet the needs of different students?

I adapt the language classes to incorporate the student’s interests and work environment. Use language the student actually needs for their work or business and enhance their understanding. For example, using a direct style if you want to concentrate on the target language, relying on speaking and not grammar. Also getting to know the student’s personality and what they enjoy and progress in. Maybe use pictures, posters, or charts if they respond better to visual instruction than to auditory instruction.

What do you believe are the key skills and language areas that students should focus on when learning business English?

The key skills to focus on in business English are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Listening is important for meetings and presentations, as students will have to listen to multiple people and presentations may be proposals, analyses, or informational based.

Speaking with improved pronunciation and reducing accent will give students more confidence especially with presentations, talking with co-workers, or even discussions with the boss.

With regards to reading and writing emails and business letters, it is important to understand formal vocabulary and become familiar with layouts and formats and how they differ from personal emails or letters, such as the addressees and paragraph structure.

How do you incorporate real-world business scenarios or industry-specific vocabulary into your lessons?

You can incorporate business scenarios using role-play for job interviews, phone conversations, or booking a hotel. Whiteboards and PowerPoint slides can be used for presentations with spreadsheets, charts, and emails. You can use role-play, prepare questions, and introduce videos or worksheets for students to learn about specific vocabulary for their jobs.

What do you think sets Bridge apart from other language schools and why did you choose to teach here?

I think Bridge is committed to ensuring the very best service for their students by using the latest technology and materials and investing in the continual professional development of their multicultural teachers.