I suppose I had all the qualifications for a career in ELT: a love of languages and travel and a desire to escape dull, rainy Britain. That's how I ended up in Athens in 1991 teaching English to adults, most of whom were older than me. I had a degree in French from Sheffield University, but I didn't have a clue how to teach! With the help of a few inspired course books and a lot of understanding students, I muddled through for a few years and then decided to go back to the UK to do an MA in Applied Linguistics. There at the University of Newcastle I found out all the things I had been doing wrong!
Keen to put my newly acquired theory into practice, I got a job teaching English to Japanese undergraduates at the University of Northumbria. When in the first lesson, they begged me to 'teach them Geordie' instead of English, I realised that all the theory in the world can't really prepare you for the realities of the language teaching classroom. I returned to Greece feeling that maybe a lot of what I had been doing instinctively as a teacher had actually been right, but at least now I could explain why.
Now I live in Patras in the west of Greece, with my Greek husband and 2-year-old daughter. I spend my time writing books that hopefully make other teachers' lives a bit easier and teaching trainee teachers what I wish I'd known when I started off. I still have the feeling that I learn just as much from my students as they do from me and I still enjoy exploring the language learning process. My daughter, whose first English utterance was 'Oh dear!, is currently providing me with lots of linguistic food for thought.
Smash 3 (author) and Smash 4 (co-author)
Code Red (co-author)
Exambuilder London Tests of English (co-author) - Macmillan Hellas
ECPE Preliminary Practice Tests (author) - Macmillan Hellas