PEP English
PEP English
Vos Cours d’anglais personnalisés au Cœur de Genève et à Veyrier PEP a un taux de réussite de 99% aux examens
Vos Cours d’anglais personnalisés au Cœur de Genève et à Veyrier PEP a un taux de réussite de 99% aux examens

Ruth Avison Dang Founder & Director of PEP, teacher, teacher trainer, course book reviewer and examiner

 



 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?
I grew up on the south coast of England, a beautiful place. I enjoyed walks along the beach and in the New Forest where horses, cows and pigs would roam freely in the summer. The animals were so tame that we could stroke and feed them 

 

What inspired you to become a teacher? I am passionate about teaching and learning languages. I always feel sad when people come to me and say that they are terrible at learning languages and that they will never learn. I strongly believe that everyone can learn if they really want to. Our job, as teachers, is to find the right way of teaching for every learner, enabling them to achieve their goals. We can’t put students in one box that fits all, we as professionals, need to think outside of the box to understand how our learners work and adapt accordingly. This still inspires me

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching?  Observing the progress and pride learners feel


What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?  We learn from our mistakes so don’t be afraid of making them. The more of a risk-taker you are, the quicker your progress will be.You do not need to suffer to learn, the more enjoyable our learning is, the more productive the results are


What is your favorite book and why? Well, there are a few... The language instinct by Steven PinkerThe Man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks Eats, shoots and leaves by Lynne TrussWhen I was younger I loved The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


What are your hobbies?  Walking, biking, pilates, cooking, reading as well as travelling & discovering new horizons


Which website do you go to every day? swissenglish & bbcnews


What one thing would your students never guess about you?  I have played the flute since I was 10 years old and my daughter is my biggest fan!I speak German, a language I simply adore 


What would you never forget to take with you on holiday? A good book and The Economist

 

L'équipe de PEP

 

Name and specialty:

Claire, administrative assistant

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in Switzerland, in a village between Geneva and Lausanne. My childhood was absolutely idyllic; street parties, daylong bike rides, treasure hunts, games and activities with all the kids up the road. I was never bored as a child.

 

What is your favourite book and why?

I really enjoyed Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. So evocative and magnificently translated. The characters jumped off the pages.

 

What are your hobbies?

Running, boot camp and going to concerts (mostly classical music nowadays)

 

Which website do you go to every day?

BBC news, LeTemps.ch for interesting articles, Lematin.ch for the news and stories that you can’t find elsewhere and Facebook

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

My mobile phone: a camera, phone for last minute bookings and weather update in one. 

 

Name and specialty: Adrian, Office worker



Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in Geneva and I like all the different nationalities you can meet.



What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a specific book in mind but my favourite author is Stephen King. I like the atmosphere and the darkness in his books.

What are your hobbies?

Travelling, walking and reading



Which website do you go to every day?

News websites (20 minutes and Tribune de Genève)



What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

I would never forget my camera and a phone charger.

Name and speciality? 

Katie, English teacher


Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?
I grew up in a village in Yorkshire. I most loved how quiet and beautiful it was. It was very safe and picturesque.

What inspired you to become a teacher?
Working as a language assistant in a Spanish bilingual primary school in Andalusia. I loved working with children and felt inspired by their creativity and energy.

What do you find rewarding about teaching?
I love seeing and hearing my students progress whether that be using a new word or mastering a tense. I always feel proud of the student.

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?
Don’t be afraid. It’s ok to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect!

 

What is your favorite book and why?
My favourite book is the Shadow of the Wind. It’s an amazing book that I can read again and again. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves history and books.

 

What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are cooking (or trying to) and hiking.

 

Which website do you go to every day?
I always go to the BBC news website so I can catch up with the news back in the UK and abroad.

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you?
I absolutely love anchovies

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?
My camera

Name and specialty? Kathleen, teacher

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it? I am a native of Michigan, and I love the outdoors.  I like to hike, swim, canoe, bicycle and cross-country ski - and all of these pastimes are a pleasure to pursue in Michigan.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?  I love to learn and naturally enjoy sharing that learning with others. My grandmother and both of my parents were teachers, so maybe it is in my blood!

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching? One of the things I enjoy most about teaching is that you always have a chance to improve your teaching and make it better.  I am always thinking about what I could do to make a point more clear, or how to involve my students in a different way, or on a different level. I find it rewarding that teaching allows one to grow continually.

 

What is your favorite book and why? I love biographies.  My favorite book right now is “My Life in France” about Julia Child.  I love the way that Julia approaches her life in a new country with zeal. Sometimes when I am faced with a new and challenging situation here in Switzerland, I just think of Julia’s adventures in Europe, and I have to smile because I know she would charge ahead. 

 

What are your hobbies? Cooking, reading, traveling, biking, and swimming.

 

Which website do you go to everyday? I read the New York Times online everyday. I especially enjoy the Opinion section, Cooking and the Arts, and the Obituaries!

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you? I like to fish. Just last month I caught a 24-inch Redfish on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holidays? My sense of adventure. I love to try new things. 

 

Name and specialty: Lauren, tutor

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up on the north coast of Wales in the UK, right by the beach and the mountains. I feel very lucky to have grown up in the countryside and love to go back during term breaks. I spent most of my childhood trotting down country lanes on very cheeky ponies and building dens in the woods near my home. I’m a bilingual Welsh speaker and even learned French through the medium of Welsh!

 

What is your favourite book and why?

After all these years I would still have to say Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of the wittiest books I’ve ever read, and I’m still searching for something to beat it! Jane Austen is a wonderful wordsmith, and her writing makes me very happy. Zadie Smith’s White Teeth comes a close second!

 

What are your hobbies?

I love to draw and visit galleries.  

 

Which website do you go to every day?

I like to check the latest news on The Guardian website or the BBC app if I’m in a hurry, and I usually check out some art reviews on Hyperallergic.

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

A huge pile of books as I still can’t make the switch to eBooks! I love to read and can get through loads on holiday.


 

 

 

Name and specialty: Rick, Teacher

I have experience with very different types of students. The largest group, however, have been those who are preparing for high school graduation exams or Cambridge First Certificate.

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in Sydney. I liked the weather, the beaches and parks but I especially liked walking or cycling around and discovering what made each neighbourhood different. Sydney and its neighbouring cities sprawl over an enormous area, so it’s impossible to be familiar with it all.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher and what do you find rewarding about teaching?

I did not know how much I would like teaching until I did it. What I value most is the immediate
knowledge of how you can help someone. To see clearly how someone can improve at something which is or will be very important in their lives. To see how they can leave the class able to do something they weren’t capable of just an hour earlier.

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

To give everything a go and value the importance of making mistakes. Mistakes are normal, so students shouldn’t be worried about making them. By giving everything a go they will see
better what their present limits are, and seeing where their limits are will help them go beyond them.

 

What is your favorite book and why?

I don’t have a favourite book. I like most types of literature and I read both fiction and non-fiction.
I enjoy reading everything from novels, plays and poems to newspapers, encyclopedias, even dictionaries.

 

What are your hobbies?

I spend a lot of my free time reading, especially to improve my language skills. I’m currently trying to
improve my French but I’m also trying to learn Italian and German. I like towatch films, to walk around Geneva, and to play table tennis. I occasionally go jogging.

 

Which website do you go to every day?

Apart from checking my email, I usually check The New York Times website. I read or at least skim
through two or three news sites.

 

What one thing surprises your students about you?

After I tell them I’m from Sydney they usually expect me to know how to surf, which I don’t (I’m not even a good swimmer), but they don’t imagine I’ve played rugby, which I have. I enjoyed playing rugby league as a teenager and I survived with my bones intact.

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

Some clothes and a passport. Spare clothes wouldn’t be bad either. A bit of the local currency. Curiosity and an open, positive attitude. 

 

 

Name and specialty: Melanie, Teacher and Jewellery Designer



Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in the South East of England. Being a city person, I loved being so close to London which is such a vibrant city. There is so much to do there.



What inspired you to become a teacher?

I have a love for learning languages and enjoy sharing that passion with others.



What do you find rewarding about teaching?

It gives me a real sense of achievement when I can see my students make real progress when learning English.



What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

It’s better to make a mistake and learn from it, than fear failure and so never learn.



What is your favourite book and why?

‘Notes from a small island’ by Bill Bryson. I love his style of writing. He makes me laugh and is so observant. His perceptions of the UK in the book were spot on, remarking on things that I hadn’t sat back and thought about before.



What are your hobbies?

Photography, tennis and travelling



Which website do you go to every day?

Google



What one thing would your students never guess about you?

I can dance the tango and used to play badminton competitively.



What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

My passport



Name and speciality: Richard, Teaching general and business English to adults and young learners

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in Birmingham, UK and the thing I most liked about it was leaving!

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?

A passion for languages and a desire to help others achieve their language goals

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching?

Seeing students progress and enjoy the learning process

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

Listen and repeat! Don’t think too much....)

 

What is your favourite book and why?

Anything by P.G Wodehouse because of his rich language and incredible humour

 

What are your hobbies?

Skiing, mountain biking, reading, gardening and writing

 

Which website do you go to every day?

The Guardian

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you?

That I used to have a haircut similar to Elvis in the 1950’s – called ‘a quiff’ !

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

My sense of fun and adventure

 

Name and specialty? Valerie, teacher

 

I specialize in preparing students for study in the United States.

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in the City of Detroit, Michigan which is famous for music (Motown) and automobiles. I liked that we have all four seasons of the year and that in Michigan, you are never very far from a lake or a river. And Detroit is home for so many famous musicians such as Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and Eminem, the rap artist.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?

Teaching has always come naturally to me because I grew up with lots of younger sisters and brothers. I was also inspired by my primary school teacher, Miss Patty Canfield who was tough but taught us to love the English language.

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching?

I feel like I have hit the jackpot when my students are able to express themselves in ways that match their personality. For example, to be able to speak well enough to tell a joke or a story in another language is also a great way to get to know people.

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

My advice would be to think about topics that you are curious about. Do you love music? Want to know the lyrics to songs so you can be a star at karaoke? Or do you want to be a sports commentator and express your love of “the beautiful game” (football, or as we Americans call it, soccer) to others? Use your curiosity to help you learn!

 

What is your favorite book and why?

It’s so difficult to choose because I love reading but I guess I would have to say the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I think his plays express many different kinds of human nature and he was brilliant in creating many expressions and idioms that are used in present-day English.

 

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are music, travel and going to flea markets. I especially like classical and jazz music and attend lots of concerts around town. I have lived on three continents: North America; Africa; and Europe and enjoy learning about other cultures. And I love finding odd, old objects at flea markets. I can walk around the Plainpalais flea market for hours on a Saturday.

 

Which website do you go to every day?

I read the New York Times and the BBC websites on a daily basis so I can learn about the latest news. I also use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends around the world.

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you?

They would never guess that I am the 8th child in a family of 15 children. Right in the middle!

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday?

I never forget to take a good book with me on holiday. I can read on the train or the plane or in a café.

Name and specialty? 

Angie, English teacher 

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in White Plains, New York. I liked it because it was a quick train ride to New York City where all the action was and I could still go home to peace and quiet. 

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?

Realizing the impact teachers had in my life

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching?

Interacting with students and helping them meet their goals 

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

Breath and relax.  This way you open yourself up to receiving new information.  There is always something you can take away from the lesson. 

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Too many to name! My current favorite book is called 'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love it because I could really relate to the protagonist. 

 

What are your hobbies?

Traveling. I've been to 50 countries and counting. 

 

Which website do you go to every day?

Facebook. It's how I stay in touch with friends and family from around the world. 

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you?

I learned how to ride a bike at age 23.

 

Name and speciality: Clarissa, Teacher, Journalist and creator of the serie 'Now you know about'

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?

I grew up in countries all over the world because my father was a diplomat. So I lived in hot Brazil and cold Moscow and many other countries as well. It was interesting and fun to move countries every few years.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I like the English languagevery much and I also like meeting people!

 

What do you find rewarding about teaching?

Watching my students improve their language skills and seeing their confidence growing.

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson?

To be patient, to be energetic and to be enthusiastic.

 

What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is by Kingsley Amis and it is called Lucky Jim. I like it so much because it still
makes me laugh every time I read it.

 

What are your hobbies? 

I like swimming in the Lac Leman with my two dogs. I like hiking and I like skiing.

 

Which website do you go to every day?

 I go to Wikipedia almost every day because I want to look something up.

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you?

That I ran a marathon!

 

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday? 

A nail file.

Name and specialty: Christina, English teacher and art specialist

 

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it? Miami, FL - The sun, the beach.....need I say more?

 

What inspired you to become a teacher? It comes naturallyWhat do you find rewarding about teaching? The little surprises along the way 

 

What advice would you give to a new student before their first lesson? Relax ;0)

 

What is your favorite book and why? That depends, right now I love “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” it inspires me!

 

What are your hobbies? Yoga and all things art

 

Which website do you go to every day? Sadly Hotmail. I can barely keep up!

 

What one thing would your students never guess about you? That I play the flute

 



 

Name & specialty? June, English Teacher

Where did you grow up and what did you like about it?
I grew up in California. It offers you everything: ocean, mountains, diversity, culture, music, food - the list is endless.

What inspired you to become a teacher? The advice of all my friends who've said that I'd be an excellent teacher.

What do you find rewarding about teaching? Getting "thank you" from my students.

What advice would you give a new student before their first lesson? Relax, it's going to be a lot of fun!

What's your favorite book and why? Anything from David Sedaris because his books make me laugh.

What are your hobbies? Cooking and collecting delicious recipes.

Which website do you go to every day? CNN and Wall Street Journal

What one thing would your student never guess about you? My age.

What would you never forget to take with you on holiday? Sunscreen and magazines like Time and The New Yorker.

 

 

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 Email: office@pep-ge.ch

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