Last week, we interviewed Quebec City's School Director, Viviane Brassard. This week, we're meeting Nathalie Tremblay, the Director of Studies at our partner Quebec City French school. Here is what she had to say!
What is your background?
I am over 40 years old and the single parent of a 10-year old boy. I have 2 bachelor degrees as well as some post-grad courses in Teaching French as a Second Language. I obtained my CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) in 2001.
Do you travel abroad often?
Have you studied abroad?
Never had the chance.
Which languages do you speak or have studied?
French,English and what I call 'survival Spanish.'
How and why did you get into the Study Abroad market?
Through my work at our school!
When did you start/join your organization?
From the very first days, back in November 2009.
What is your job or function at the organization?
I am the Director of Studies.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Most of all, to lend a hand to the teachers in preparing their lessons: It make me realize that all the good ideas I have for them are simply the product of all my experience and it is a nice feeling to be able to bring it all into play.
Tell us one of your biggest challenges in starting your organization.
On the very first day, facing an empty work desk and realizing we had to start from scratch, I mean from buying pen and paper and all. After that, my challenge was mostly using everything I learnt from over 15 years of combined experience in teaching French as a second language and as a teaching manager to built the best pedagogical foundation I could for the school, i.e. competency-geared curriculum, function-based lesson plan, pedagogical advising and support for the teachers and everything else necessary to the upholding of a warm friendly yet extremely professional working environment for staff, teachers and students.
Tell us one of your biggest mistakes in your job, studying/teaching a language and/or traveling abroad.
English is my second language and I am not always as bilingual as I think I am… Let me explain: During my CELTA training, I taught a whole lesson on 'Giving Advice' saying advices (yes, plural, just like in French!) only to be asked by my instructor, during the feedback session, if I knew that advice was never used in a plural form in that context. “Well, it appears I did not,” was my answer! Mind you, I was the only trainee not speaking English as a first language and the only one with a 9-month old baby at home – but I graduated with an excellent grade.
Can you tell us about your school’s philosophy, specialty and/or why you think it is special?
We work hard at maintaining what I think is the most essential thing for a small new company: a great "esprit de corps". It is defined as a common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group. And our cause is the French language, its teaching and its learning.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Develop, keep and maintain a good sense of humor about yourself and about all of the intricacies of life: it does make learning French, managing a language school and experiencing new places a lot easier!
Learn about AmeriSpan's partner Quebec City French school