For your Monday of #MeetTheTeacher, Priyanka Chandan, Marketing Manager, Chennai caught up with the oldest, yet the youngest Teacher of English at our Chennai English language centre.
Here are five questions with Premila to get to know her better!
Priyanka Chandan (PC): Let’s start with an anecdote! Can you tell us an interesting anecdote that you recall from your days as a student?
Premila Lowe (PL): Something that I would always remember was the way I learnt to speak English in school. It was long, long ago, when English was the sole medium of instruction and communication in Chennai schools. It was compulsory for us to speak in English on the campus. We actually had teachers going around the premises during breaks to ensure that we spoke only in English. God forbid if we didn’t, as we got knocked on our knuckles with their rulers. As they said, “Practice makes perfect” – it sure did!
PC: Why did you become a Teacher of English?
PL: I’ve always loved teaching and have been a teacher / trainer in all the professions I have been in. Added to that, a passion for teaching English overtook the challenge of being part of the Corporate World. Hence, the move to teaching English.
PC: What are students at the British Council like?
PL: Students at British Council are a lovely, mixed bunch – some eager to learn, some forced to be there, some just to be there with their peers. All of them ultimately benefit from the courses here, simply because of the way we teachers interact with them, encourage and support them. We become their best friends by the end of the course.
PC: We have a lot of students asking us how they can improve their speaking skills. What is your advice to them?
PL: One of many would be to speak to people in English, irrespective of errors in grammar and vocabulary. This will help them gain confidence, as a lot of students don’t speak because they are afraid of being laughed at. Once they have a conversation with someone else, they should ask the other person to correct any errors they find.
PC: Have you learnt a new word recently? Tell us about it.
PL: Oh yes! I came across quite a few new words that were added to the dictionary to celebrate the author Roald Dahl’s 100th birth anniversary. One of them is “Dahlesque” which means something that resembles or is characteristic of Dahl’s works.
PC: If you got a chance to go #BacktoSchool as a student, what is the one thing that you would like to learn and unlearn?
PL: If I had a chance to go back to school as a student, one thing that I would like to learn is to pursue my interest in theatre, as opportunities those days were few. There is nothing that I would like to unlearn, as life in school and the learning gained were the greatest experiences ever.
By Priyanka Chandan