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A Brief Career Bio

About my teaching background

Key terms: teaching adults, in-company lessons, English Literature, NLP, literary and scientific translation.

My name is Claudia Ceraso and I graduated as a teacher of English at IES Lenguas Vivas "Juan Ramón Fernández" in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Halfway down the course of studies I realised I wanted to teach adults. One year before graduation I started working in companies to train executives. Working for institutes and coordinators of in-company lessons has helped me obtain a wider view of education outside school walls. I am very interested in exploring aspects of ongoing, lifelong learning.

I simply love teaching adults. I believe I understand their motivation and stumbling blocks when they are faced with the challenge of learning a foreign language. I think I enjoy dealing with some of the resistances to learn they find, such as doing homework, striving at pronouncing correctly or understanding the basics of English grammar. I feel I have a lot to offer to them and I am happy when at the end of the course they say learning English has been a profitable and enjoyable experience.

Soon after graduation, I became acquainted with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I attended workshops organised by an NLP practitioner who is also a teacher of English. Discussions on how to apply some techniques in class and in materials design helped focus on the part of my job that has to do with communication and building a rapport with students and among students in class. Gradually, my teaching style changed altogether. I think I became more confident. I reduced my prejudgments about student’s needs and best ways of learning and instead I found myself speaking less and listening to a lot more. That was a rediscovery time in my career. I still resort to NLP sometimes.

I have worked in different company environments. I have experienced what it is like to work in a state-run company, a family business and international groups. I learned to identify components of company culture. I have heard many managers discuss what level of English employees should have and how teaching is supposed to be done. Working in so many different contexts has kept me flexible and open to debate ideas.

I am very keen on languages. For the last decade I have studied Italian, French and Portuguese –some attempts more successful than others. I am a regular reader of online newspapers in those languages.

My love for language led me into translation studies. I have been studying to become an English into Spanish literary and scientific translator at Lenguas Vivas. I was first attracted to it because I felt I had a kind of deficit in Spanish, my mother tongue. However, I discovered I like the process of translation, the research, the recreation of a message in a new medium. I hope one day to be able to combine my teaching career with translation projects.

While studying translation, I became acquainted with Alfredo Jaeger. I had heard a lot about his approach to teaching so I requested permission to attend his Literature I lessons at Lenguas Vivas as an auditor. That was in 2001 and I have been there –with some intervals- until last June when Mr Jaeger retired. To detail how enriching those lessons have been for me would make this career bio too wordy. Let me say I have learnt a lot.

In 2000 I started working at AACI, Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa. My objective was to be able to teach adults at an advanced level, since companies rarely afford that. At AACI I have taught Cambridge exam courses. At present, I am working on a personal project to explore the use of websites as a support to my FCE lessons. In this experience I seem to be blending the IT knowledge gained working at companies, the web research abilities I learnt in my translation studies and my zeal for sharing information with students. I believe teaching in today’s world requires a degree of web literacy, to be able to communicate in a digitally connected world. I am slowly learning Internet language - I am still a beginner with a foreign accent.

Last March I started the Licenciatura en enseñanza del inglés at CAECE University. My objective in this graduate course of studies is to refresh, update and learn anew. I look forward to teaching in higher education one day.

Note: This short career bio was written at the request of Mr Efrain Davis at CAECE University.

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