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Embassy English 14 July 2017 - by Ray Butler, Teacher, Embassy English Auckland

Embassy Teachers: Ray Butler from Embassy Auckland

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 Ray Butler, English Teacher at Embassy Auckland, to learn more about his passion for teaching and why New Zealand is great for international students.

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Tell us about yourself!

I am originally from Dunedin (South Island) but haven’t actually lived there, spending most of my time in Auckland apart from one or two stints overseas. My mother and father taught French (Dad at university level and Mum at high school) so no prizes for guessing what my second language is. I first went to France in 1966 and then returned twice in 1973 and 1982. My last trip was teaching English in a French high school in the Paris area. Subjects at school were French, History and English but I managed to fit in three years of German which I apparently speak like a Frenchman!

 When did you start working for Embassy English?

I’ve been at Embassy for a little over twelve years now and taught most levels and had students from just about every corner of the globe or certainly all the major continents.

What is your favorite part of your job at Embassy?

I’m often asked why I like the job and why I’ve continued in this area and a simple answer would be: the people. By this I mean the students and my colleagues.

My colleagues are such an interesting mix of characters with a wide variety of life experiences and personalities and the students amaze me every day with their desire to learn and progress, teaching me as much as I teach them.

Embassy Auckland

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

To choose a story seems a little unfair as there are many that I could share but I think one that stands out is a student from Brazil (Henrique) whom I first taught some ten years ago. I met him at a function a month ago and he was so pleased to see me and that I could recall his name. He has immigrated to New Zealand and said that I had played a big part in his early Kiwi life. He told me that I used to say “Fantastic!” a lot and, when my wife and I were in Wellington for a short break, I had sent the class a postcard saying that Wellington was “Fantastic!”

What is unique about your study centre? About your city?

Here in Auckland we are maybe not the biggest Embassy centre but I think we do things in a very “Kiwi” way. Most Kiwis are happy to help visitors and will go out of their way to ensure that the visitor goes away with a positive experience of the place and the country. The city is our biggest city and it is a truly diverse, multi-cultural experience for our student body.

The influx of many nationalities has helped to enrich our city and make it much more enjoyable. For example your dining options are so much better these days: I would never have been able to try Colombian food even 25 years ago.

Tell us about a Bringing English to Life activity at your centre.

I have just returned from lunch at a Japanese restaurant with a group of students. Making yourself socially available to your students makes your job more rewarding and lets them see you as not just a teacher but someone who wants to share time with them outside of the class.

What advice would you give a student starting his or her first day in your city?

Grab a map and go for a walk! But take an umbrella just in case it rains….. Our location in the central city is full of interesting shops, architecture and real people.

Do you have any tips for success for students to reach their English speaking goals?

A common question but I would always advise students to be “adventurous” and not be put off or be worried about mistakes. Make friends with people from other countries, engage in conversation with people on the bus or in the street. Make a note of words and phrases and use them in your conversation. Most students just lack the confidence in using English and, when you hear yourself speaking, being understood and understanding you want to speak more.

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

The Auckland War Memorial and Museum : an excellent overview of New Zealand history and its people. If you leave the city without visiting it at least once, you’ve missed out.

What is your favourite word or phrase in English?

Many come to mind but how about: “It must be simple, otherwise I couldn’t do it!”

What does Embassy Life mean to you?

Taking full advantage of your time here. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so don’t waste it.

 How do you think learning English will help students to achieve their dreams and goals?

In today’s world, English is absolutely essential for better work opportunities, no matter what field you work in.

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What is the most important thing that students should know about the English language?

That it is a “marriage” of other languages with words from French, German and even Hindi. It is also quite logical at times but annoyingly illogical too.

What is your favourite memory of Embassy English?

The many students who continue to keep in touch with an email or a photo from time to time. The little notes and small gifts that are given when a student leaves. I keep them all!

What is your favourite foreign country to visit?

France without a doubt but I did also spend a month in China and I would love to go back.

Do you know any foreign languages?

French and a basic knowledge of German plus some fairly simple Mandarin.


To learn more about studying English at exciting Embassy Auckland, 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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