My work often inspires me. One example that sticks in my mind is when Serena and I were translating texts about education and learning. These were for our new client TinQwise, a company that provides online learning solutions:

How to be a blended teacher?

Blended learning: we talk of nothing else.However, not every trainer is also a blended teacher. Want to be a pro in the new way of learning? Then make sure you have the following skills:

1. Be flexible
Be prepared to improvise and to be flexible.

2. Learn from your students
They learn from you and you learn from them.

3. Make sure you have enough tools
You will need a ‘toolbox’ full of traditional and digital learning resources.

More tips? Please visit the TinQwise website.

Source: TinQwise E-dossier on Blended Learning
Written by Linda Peeters and translated by Serena Lyon

It’s wonderful when this happens. When what happens? When my skills and experience come together. I’m also a language trainer, so when I’m translating I can really identify with these tips. In fact, being flexible (tip 1) and learning from my students (tip 2) are precisely the reasons why I enjoy teaching so much. It can be very rewarding.

And let me tell you, tip 3 about having plenty of tools also rings true: like many other teachers, I have a number of favourite classroom activities that always work, no matter what. Things like a grammar auction, a 3-sentence writing exercise, the mystery definition game or analysing a speech by Barack Obama, to mention just a few. One new tool that I added to my toolbox recently is the free online interactive tool Kahoot!

Every student joins in, using his or her own mobile phone or tablet in the classroom. This achieves two goals, thanks to Kahoot:
A.    the students’ knowledge is activated in a fun way (with a quiz) and
B.    the teacher gets a quick and accurate impression of the students’ current level.

Research shows that people learn more when they are having fun and enjoying themselves.
You should try Kahoot! sometime (if you haven’t already)!

Apart from the example above about teaching and translating texts about e-learning, there are other occasions when my experience and skills as a language trainer, interpreter and a translator meet. Such as when I was recently asked to develop a Business & Legal English course for a civil law notary’s office where I occasionally work as a legal interpreter.

Another recent example is being asked to check the English language usage and writing in the new corporate brochure of engineering & consultancy company AAB in Naaldwijk. I gave 2 language training courses there in 2013 and 2014, and it’s great to see how much these business professionals have improved when writing English texts.

Teaching. Interpreting. Translating.
Blended indeed.

P.S. This is what I love about having my own business. The sheer range of projects and questions that clients come to me with. And if it’s not my ‘cup of tea’, then there is always an excellent language professional in my network who is the best person for the job. Thanks guys!!