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Embassy English 27 July 2017 - by Saph Gordon, Teacher, Embassy English Brighton

Embassy Teachers: Saph Gordon from Embassy Brighton


Students choose to study at Embassy English because they want to improve their English language skills with the most qualified teachers. Our diverse teaching staff is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals with fun and engaging interactive classes that help students learn English quickly and easily. We promise to give our students guaranteed outcomes, invaluable skills and amazing experiences that last a lifetime. Recently we caught up with Saph Gordon, English Teacher at Embassy Brightonto learn more about her passion for teaching and why the UK is great for international students.

Embassy Brighton

Tell us about yourself!

I was born in Oxford, a famous university town an hour to the north-west of London. It was a fantastic place to grow up, with the picturesque university buildings, tree-lined streets and the Thames river meandering through. It’s a relatively small city and easy to get around on foot, plus it’s a diverse and interesting place with a prominent music scene.

When I was 18 I moved to Brighton to study Anthropology and Spanish at Sussex University, and I’ve been living in Brighton on and off ever since.

I immediately fell in love with Brighton’s vibrant culture and was thrilled to be living by the sea! The city is teeming with young people so it was a great place to make friends and there is so much going on here, you are never stuck for something to do.

When did you start working for Embassy English?

I started working for Embassy English back in 2010 as a Student Services Officer. I already had some teaching experience but I had decided to go for the job in order to develop my administrative skills and to expand my CV. I enjoyed helping students solve any issues that would come up, but one day the teaching department was short-staffed so I was asked to cover a week’s worth of classes. I realised that the classroom was the place for me, and I haven’t looked back.

I have taught English at Embassy in Brighton over three summers and I will be at the school until September, and hopefully back next year. Last year, I worked in Embassy English in Melbourne for 12 months. It was rewarding to be somewhere familiar but different and to meet my ‘Aussie’ counterparts. The team over there are great and I would love to go back one day!

What is your role at Embassy English?

I teach General English to all levels, depending on demand. I also teach elective classes which focus on a particular skill, like grammar or communication.

Embassy Brighton 2

What is your favorite part of your job at Embassy English?

I love meeting people from different countries so my job at Embassy is absolutely ideal! I am constantly learning new things from my students so it is a very rich experience for me as well. For lots of students, coming to the UK is a huge adventure and they are very excited to be at the school. The classroom atmosphere is so positive, which is very rewarding!

I also think the facilities at Embassy are fantastic compared to those in other schools I have worked in. I love having an interactive whiteboard and a computer in every classroom, which means teachers can present class materials, use interactive websites and show videos in class. It makes life much easier for the teacher, plus students respond really well to these kinds of modern teaching techniques.

Can you share a story about how you have personally helped a student reach his or her goals?

I can think of a lot of different students that I have watched develop in so many ways. From growing in confidence to fostering the language skills they need to work in an English speaking country, to getting a place at university or achieving the IELTs score they need for a visa.

Students will likely have more than one teacher at the school and it is definitely a collaborative effort from all the staff which helps to create the supportive environment students need to reach their goals.

Embassy Brighton (2)

 What is unique about your centre?

The centre is just a 5-minute walk from Brighton’s North Laine, which is my favourite part of the city. It has some of the best shopping around and is full of amazing cafes and restaurants.

It is also extremely close to the train station which makes it easy to travel to other parts of the country. I quite often pop up to London for the afternoon to meet friends or family, visit an art gallery or do a spot of shopping!

What are your favorite places to hang out around the centre?

I buy lunch in the canteen every day and the food is really good! They serve dishes from all over the world and have a great selection for vegetarians. There is an outside courtyard that you can sit in which is lovely on a sunny day.

In Melbourne, I used to eat lunch at a Sri Lankan buffet in a food court on Little Collins Street, just two minutes from the Embassy Melbourne school. The curries and poppadoms were absolutely delicious and I was already a huge fan of Indian food (which is very similar), so it was a real treat!

What advice would you give a student starting the first day in your city?

I would really encourage students new to Brighton or Melbourne to have a look at the centre’s social programme and to arrange to go on trips or do activities with the school. It’s such a great way to meet other students, to see the local sights and to discover new venues which you might not come across on your own.

Embassy Brighton (3)

Do you have any tips for success in reaching student’s English speaking goals?

It sounds obvious but the absolute best thing you can do is practice! That’s why learning in an English speaking country is so beneficial as you have the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the language. Try to speak English as much as you can and listen to the people around you. You’d be amazed at how many colloquial phrases you’ll pick up just from listening to locals in the street!

I also recommend that students try to learn 7 new pieces of vocabulary every day, and to use this vocabulary in conversation to ensure those words are fixed in your memory.

I studied for a year in Mexico and I used to go some days without speaking English at all. I think it really helped me to develop fluency and to build my vocabulary, to the point where speaking Spanish felt very natural.

Embassy Brighton (4)

What should a student know about the staff at your centre?

The key to their hearts is… biscuits!! :) (I’m pretty sure this was true is Melbourne, as well)

What do you think are the favourite foods to try in your city?

Obviously, anyone visiting Brighton should try fish and chips. I would recommend buying it from a takeaway shop near the sea front and eating it on the beach. Just watch out for seagulls!

Brighton is also famous for vegetarian food and there are some great ‘veggie’ cafes in the North Laine area.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t forget to bring your swimming costume for a swim in the sea… It’s a bit chilly at first but you soon get used to it – a magnificent feeling on a summer’s day!

 To learn more about studying English in exciting Brighton, United Kingdom, contact us today

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Embassy English promises that students will reach their English speaking goals; ensuring a better career, education and LIFE as a global citizen. Students from around the world and of all English speaking levels take classes, experience culture and put their lessons to use at Embassy English Study Centres in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.
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