I'm Avi Arditti, and this week on WORDMASTER: an update on an Iranian
listener. Rosanne Skirble and I spoke to her by phone early in 2005.
RS: "Well, what do you like about studying English? What is it, is it a ... "
"Oh, no, actually I love the language. I love studying anything in
English, actually any program on TV that is in English I watch it and I
AA: At that time, Atefeh was studying English
literature at a university in Iran. Now, she tells us, she is studying
for a master's degree in teaching English as a foreign language.
"I really enjoyed studying literature and literary works and different
things like that. But, you know, as a matter of fact, when you think
about working after studying, you will see that the only thing you're
going to do after studying literature is just teaching, right? That's
why -- because I was teaching also at that time I had an interview with
you, so I just thought it might be a good idea to know how teaching
That's why I chose T.E.F.L."
AA: "Well, very good. So how do you enjoy teaching English as a foreign language?"
"I really enjoy teaching because I like it and I like students. I like
teaching them how to speak. And I really enjoy seeing them learn and
improve. I've been teaching for five years now, and I've got good
experience from my classes and I try to be creative by doing different
AA: "How old are your students?"
ATEFEH: "Most of them are adults, maybe older than me. I'm just twenty-three, but most of them are more than twenty-five."
AA: "What kind of school do you teach in?"
"Well, I teach in institutes and also university, and they're a bit
different because people who come to institutes are highly motivated
because they come 'with their own legs,' as they say, as we say, and
they're quite interested. They like their classes and they try to be
active. But the students at university, because they have to pass some
courses, they might not be interested enough most of the time."
AA: "Well, you say in your e-mail to us that recently you've been trying to be a creative teacher, to stimulate students --"
ATEFEH: "Yeah, exactly!"
" -- and motivate them. So tell me about that, what are you doing to be
creative and to stimulate your students to learn English?"
"Well, most of the time I try to make them motivated by just making the
class more fun and interesting. Like, in every term they memorize a
song and that's quite fun, because at the beginning, every session we
sing that and that's enjoyable. They like it very much. And sometimes I
put some meetings online. We meet online in Yahoo and then we have a
conference in Messenger."
AA: "And then you ... "
"OK, we choose a topic beforehand and we talk about the topic, we give
our ideas, different things, and I just lead the class and correct
AA: "What would be like a typical topic that you suggest?"
"For example, one of them was friendship. Most of the students liked
it. We choose it together and everybody agrees upon that, and then we
talk about it. It's fun for them because it's extra activity. It's not
included in the class activity, you see. This is outside, and they like
AA: "So now I remember when we talked to you back in two thousand five you had a -- "
AA: " -- I think a sheet of paper on your wall, maybe, where you told us how -- "
AA: " -- and you even sent us a picture of how, every time you would learn a new word in English, you
would write it on this sheet on your wall. Do you still have that?"
"Oh, no. I should say that I have just removed the paper from my wall,
but I have kept it and I have it now. And sometimes I just look at it
to see if there is a new word for me to learn. But you know, because I
have become very busy, there is no time for me to do that."
AA: "What do you find is the hardest part of being a teacher?"
"Well, the hardest part for most of the people -- of course, it's not
for me, it's not difficult for me, I have gotten used to it -- but the
hardest part is that a teacher has to forget everything in his life, in
his or her life, OK, before going to a class."
AA: "Why do you say -- what do you mean by that?"
"You see, if you are sad, if you have a lot of ups and downs in your
life, when you enter a class, you have to be a teacher full of energy,
very happy. You have to forget about all your problems. If you just
take your problems to the class, you won't be a good teacher."
Atefeh is an English teacher in Iran and a global member of the TESOL
association. And that's WORDMASTER for this week. I'm Avi Arditti.