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 Shannon Meredith, English Teacher and Student Services Manager at Embassy San Francisco, to learn more about her passion for teaching and why the USA is great for international students.
I moved to San Francisco about a year ago after spending five years teaching English in South Korea. I began working with Embassy English as soon as I arrived in San Francisco. I started as a teacher and recently moved to Student Services.
I love working at Embassy because even though I’m there to teach and help our students, they teach me something new about their country, culture, or language almost every day.
My favorite part of working at Embassy is planning and implementing our daily activities. Since I only moved to San Francisco a year ago there are many famous spots I have yet to visit.
These activities are a great way for students to meet each other outside of their individual classes and see what they have in common with one another. I love leading groups of students to one of these poplar spots so we can all share a new experience together.
In planning the monthly activity calendars I also found a way to incorporate one of my main hobbies into Embassy’s activities. As a baker I love trying out new recipes and sharing my creations with others. I decided to have a bake sale at Embassy to raise money for earthquake victims in Nepal.
The students were eager to help me make the bake sale a success and it was no problem selling all of the goodies I brought in. It’s wonderful to have so many students who are committed to helping us succeed just as much as we are committed to helping them.
Helping students reach their goals and improve their knowledge and abilities is the reason I became a teacher. At Embassy I encourage students to pursue different outlets to help express themselves and their ideas in English. Several of my students write daily journal entries to better their writing ability and learn how to express their ideas in English. Through these daily journal entries I have been able to identify common grammar mistakes and give the students tips on how to express their ideas more clearly.
For my long term students I have them compare their first entries with their later ones. They are amazed at the difference in their own writing over the course of just a few months. The ability to go back at look at their previous work and see the progress they’ve made over time is a great confidence boost for students who have trouble identifying their own progress with English.
The most important thing students should know about learning English and living in San Francisco is they’re going to be confused and make multiple mistakes every single day, and that’s exactly how it should be. The only way our students learn is by making mistakes and correcting these mistakes.
When I first moved to South Korea I felt like I couldn’t do the simplest things, like navigating the subway or ordering in a restaurant. I was confused every day about how life worked there and it was incredibly frustrating. Since I’ve experienced this feeling first-hand I can relate to my students and how they feel trying to adjust to our culture and our city which is vastly different from their own.
As a final note I would like to share my favorite word in English. It’s a word I learned while studying psychology in university. The word is acquiesce; it means to agree or comply without protest or argument. It’s my favorite word for a few reasons, first of which being it is easy to misspell and I often misspelled it in university. Secondly, it sounds lovely when it’s spoken. Lastly, it’s my favorite word because it’s a common thing for our students to do when they are learning English in a foreign country.
Students tend to follow their teachers and not question what they are taught or what they are told while living and studying here. I always tell my students not to acquiesce but to question me when they feel something isn’t right. I may be a teacher but I’m not perfect and I make mistakes sometimes. I always praise my students when they catch a mistake I’ve made because it shows they’re questioning what they’re being told and working hard to find the correct answer.
Please join us in Embassy San Francisco and remember to speak English, make an effort, don’t worry, be happy, and don’t acquiesce!
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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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