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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 Pinker; The Man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks; Eats, shoots and leaves by Lynne Truss. When 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.