I confess that I rather do. I guess I went into ELT to travel, like many people in language teaching! Now I am madly preparing for a two week author tour of Germany Austria and Switzerland.
It’s a rewarding experience to run training workshops. I am always impressed at the motivation of teachers who come to these workshops on top of their busy working weeks, for input, stimulation, and sharing new ideas. I notice how ELT teachers working with monolingual groups are far more diverse in their approach to translation and using the students' L1 than teachers in the UK. With multi-lingual groups over here, it’s just automatically in the target language!
I believe it’s extremely important for cultural awareness trainers to experience life within other cultures. I once ran a CAT course for a Finnish company who had taken over a Spanish company. The Finns were going ballistic because they were sending e-mails and not getting replies. I have – bizarrely – lived in both countries, and it was essential I felt as a trainer to have experienced culture shock in both places. Quite different extremes in Europe!
On a personal note, this next trip is also a great chance to look up old friends. I spent a lot of my career visiting Germany, and it’s fun to go back. So, I’m dusting down the passport and creating and selecting training material in order to promote a course book. First stop next week is Cologne….I’ll be blogging with any thoughts on the session outcomes.