Maria Pillet, English Teacher

From Argentina

The rewarding nature of the job inspired Maria, a 15-year Business English teacher, to begin her teaching career. Knowing she is equipping students with the knowledge and skills they can use professionally and personally inspires her to continually hone her skills as a teacher, and to ensure her students are receiving effective instruction and resources that meet their individual needs.

What is your nationality and where do you live?

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I currently live. I started studying English at a bilingual school from a very young age.

What is your professional and educational background?

After obtaining a university degree in Marketing and Advertising, I graduated as an English teacher and later earned a TEFL teaching certification.
Having found teaching to be my true passion, I have worked as an English and Spanish teacher, preparing students for different University of Cambridge examinations.

I teach General and Business English for finance, marketing, oil and gas, mining, IT, and pharmaceutical companies to corporate students from different parts of the world. I love the cultural exchange aspect of language teaching.

How long have you been teaching with Bridge?

I have been teaching with BridgeEnglish for more than two years.

Which Bridge Certifications or Micro-credentials have you completed?

Bridge certifications or micro-credentials I have completed:
120-Hour Master Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, the
Bridge Universe Summit – Teaching English Online: The New Frontier,
Introduction to Teaching Business English, Introduction to Teaching Young Learners, the 10-Hour Micro-credential Teaching English Online to Groups, the 10-Hour Micro-credential in Games in the Online Classroom with Teenagers, and the 10-Hour Micro-credential in Games in the Online Classroom with Adults Grammar Advisor.

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

I taught English for many years at bilingual schools, where I was in charge of preparing students for the Cambridge Examinations. I have also worked as a Business English teacher, both in person and online. I consider the main reason for becoming a language teacher is that it is a rewarding job. Equipping students with skills that will help them in their daily lives and careers, watching their progress and growth, and knowing you made a difference is incredibly gratifying.

What is your teaching philosophy or approach to helping students learn a new language?

Our role as teachers is to guide, encourage, and facilitate the sharing of information to help learners acquire a new language. Every student has a unique learning style, personality, and purpose for learning. Considering these, I evaluate how the students learn better to create opportunities for them to communicate, providing them with useful activities to face the real world in the future.

Can you provide a brief overview of your background and experiences in teaching Business English?

I have been a Business English teacher for more than 15 years. I have taught from absolute beginner to advance EFL corporate students in a wide range of contexts and areas, such as finance, marketing, oil and gas, mining, IT, the food industry, and pharmaceutics. My students, both in person and online, come from different parts of the world. I love the cultural exchange aspect of language teaching.

What motivated you to specialize in teaching Business English specifically?

Before graduating as an English language teacher, I obtained a university degree in Marketing and Advertising. That is why I find this area of language teaching really interesting. I like the idea of designing courses to respond to the needs of students who, beyond learning a second language, require practice in the language for specific professional areas.

Although I have experience teaching students of all ages, I really enjoy teaching adults because there is an exchange: I also learn from them. It is rewarding to see them succeed in both their personal and professional lives, knowing that I contributed to that. I have the chance to meet a wide range of professionals and learn about work cultures in different countries.

What teaching methods or approaches do you find most effective when teaching Business English to your students?

Business English students have a specific purpose for learning the language. So, one of the best ways to cater to their needs is by using real-life examples. There is a vast bank of authentic business-focused materials to choose from. Teaching students how to network effectively with clients and other business contacts, specific language for presentations, phone, and email etiquette are skills most business students find helpful.

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

English is the most widely used language in the global market. Being able to communicate in English is an essential tool for most workplaces. Therefore, Business English classes should focus on developing the ability to communicate in business settings, improving skills such as negotiating, giving presentations, taking part in meetings, contributing to discussions, writing reports, communicating via email, and participating in collaborative projects. Students should be learning the language through authentic tasks such as case studies, role play, and simulation exercises.