How long have we known each other?

Erm...good question! I..I can't remember now.

'cos (because) we started at the same time here, didn't we?

Yeah...It must have been years ago, then, I suppose.

'97, was it?

Possibly, yeah.

September ' yeah, we've know each other about 16 years...

16 years...quite a long time, no?

It has been a long time.

Time has flown by, hasn't it?

It certainly has. What's's the best thing about being a teacher?

The best thing about being a teacher? Good question. Erm...I think...well, for me the best thing about being a teacher is being able to work with people, and being able to work with interesting people who want to learn about our culture, and..erm..and...erm...being able to help them with their learning. That's er...

Do you think we should include culture as we' we're teaching, or..or just teach the language?, obviously..erm..language and culture are...are intrinsic, if that's the right word, and...erm...they come...they go together. So..erm..I think culture's very import...a very important part of language teaching and language learning.
It'''s being with nice people...and...and helping them learn. I mean, I...I used to love learning myself, and I still do. And so it's nice to be able to help other people do the same.

We've both been teaching for years, do you still get the satisfaction that you did at the beginning when you teach something that works and the can see at the end of the lesson that the students have learned something. Do you get that...that sense of achievement? I still do, when...on the rare occasions that my lessons work! Do you get that, or over the years has it...?

No, I think teaching never becomes boring, as long as you evolve and keep trying out new things, then...erm...then that same sense of satisfaction continues all the time. And...erm...and I do try and evolve and try and do new things, so...

I think that's important.
What advice would you give Spanish speakers who are trying to learn English?

Erm...well, they have to...obviously just studying in the class isn't enough, erm...a lot of...a large part of learning a language is what you do out of the class.

That's exactly what Martin said!

And..erm... I always say one...and..erm..obviously watching videos is fantastic, watching the television English is fantastic, and..erm....but a lot of people think that that's enough and then they fo..and then they...they think that...and then they don't do enough reading, for example. And I think..erm..reading newspapers or magazines on the internet is very important, but also very important is novels, I think...erm..graded novels if you're...if you're, y'know a lower level, or up to inter..upper intermediate to First Certificate level. And..erm..reading novels on a very regular basis, so you're having a pleasurable experience with reading. Erm...I think is essential.

Do you think we're fighting a losing battle in some respects, because with the video age and instant..erm..access to multi-media...Do you think reading is something that we...that students aren't doing as much and we have to push that more?

It is something that students aren't doing as much, but I don't think we're fighting a losing battle. I think the that we are surrounded by all the time, the more people tend to reject that technology as well, and...and...and look for other things to do that are not related to technology. And so...erm...reading fo.....books is one of those things that people can do. Obviously, now with the...with the...with the iBook and the might say that that's technology related, is, but it's still reading. So, no I don't think we're fighting a losing battle, I think, y'know, reading has its place and will always have its place.

I..I'm pleased to hear you say that. That's very encouraging. you have any favourite apps that you use on your phone, on your iPad that you want to share?

Well, erm...I...I when I first got my phone I downloaded a lot of apps and...but then now I've had my phone for two years now and...and now I hardly use any of them at all...I find...


....I find most of them are boring and..and have a very short kind of lifespan. app which I continue to use and have used about a year now not Scrabble, it's called Word Feud where you can play Scrabble with other friends, and...and I continue to use that all the time.

Do you play Scrabble, the board game, still or has this replaced what you used to do with...

Well I...I never played Scrabble really, so I wouldn't say it's replaced. It's just added an extra dimension to my life, I suppose...if you could say that. It's...Itr's a nice thing to do, you can do it can do it when you're sitting on the bus, or if you're waiting for something to happen you can take your phone out and...and make a word.

Do you think it''s a way to improve vocabulary? Should students be looking at that?

Well, absolutely. I think...erm...students could..erm...they could...theycould set up a game with each other and...and play in English, and then that's a good way of practicing English, definitely, yes.

That's a good tip. How''s technology affected the way you teach? There seems to be this constant push of..., we have to use more technology in the classroom...How do you think it's affected the way we do our jobs?

Well, obviously in this school we has been kind of pushed on us to a certain extent with computers and the electronic white board, and...erm...I don't think it's been particularly negative. People can choose how much or how little to use it. And...erm...So, in...on the whole I's helped us..erm..for example, teaching, one of the main things, probably one of the main differences is..erm..for example listenings. Before we had to use a tape recorder, and..erm...

You had to cue it up.... had to cue it up before the lesson and find...and find the right place, and then...and then when it got to the end you had to rewind it exactly to the same place again, and that would take time.

....and hope the tape hadn't got stretched!

...exactly, yeah. Whereas, now press a button and...and it plays and you can repeat again, and it almost seems too easy!

It does! And you can slow it down if they have problems understanding the normal speed of it.

That's right, and another thing which I...which I use a lot now is Google images, for example, and...erm...

What do you use those for?

Well, if a piece of vocabulary comes up in the class that's difficult to explain, then you can often type it in to Google images and...and suddenly you have a lot of images. For example, somebody asked me the other is 'household goods'? And..erm..I didn't really know how to explain it properly, so I typed it into Google images and .....

Oh that's a good....that's a good idea.

...and then we had lots of that's...

I use Google sometimes, there might be a preposition they ask me about, a dependant preposition, and they say is it 'for' or is it 'to', is it....? So, I type the word...erm...the two possibilities or three possibilities in Google and you see how...number...the number of hits that come up for it...the most popular preposition will be the one that's most used.

Ok, that's a good idea.

I use that quite a lot, especially for prepositions.

Ok. So you use it as a kind of corpus?

Exactly, exactly. Written English, of course, it wouldn't be spoken.

How has technology affected the way students learn?

Well, I teaching process, for example, as you were saying...the...erm...students can bring their iPads into the classroom, and that's great, as notebooks. And also I as a teacher, I use an iPad to take notes about my students, as well.

Do you do that in the classroom?


During the lesson?

Yes, and I...and I find's far more efficient and more comfortable than...erm...using a pen and paper.

But that doesn't go up on the IWB, though?

It could do. I have...I have done it with Dropbox, I have uploaded the file to Dropbox and then showed the file on....

In real time in the classroom?

Yes. And...erm...but also if I just have a few lines which I've written down, like for example if I'm listening to students teaching, then...erm...I will take notes on the iPad and then just use that as a..and then copy what I've written onto the IWB. And it's just more comfortable and easier to read...and....and also I have that information for the next time I want, y'know, if I want to recap on something at a later date.

Wh...what note-taking app do you use? Do you use the iPad note-book?

It's called iWrite, iWriter. It's a very simple program but it's very good.

What do you like.....Do you like it's simplicity?

Yeah, and the typewriter has..erm..different things, for example you don't have to use the magnifying glass put the cursor in different places, you have arrows to move the cursor around. And it's the only app on the iPad which does that.

How is it different to iWord? iWord's a word processing...

Well, you have to...the's just very, very simple...


...and it's designed for writing, it's got no gimmicks, and it's...erm...and it's exactly what you need for note-taking.

I shall try it.

Ok. good. And...erm..the other thing, of course, for students...erm...How has technology helped students learn? Well, start with they've they, if they want listening...have listening practice, they can just go to the BBC website and...and there's thousands of videos they can listen to, and...erm...which is a fantastic resource for practising their English, and...and just the huge amount of stuff that's on the Internet, all written in English, with visuals and sound...erm...and also a lot of actually the language learning related websites as well, which...where they can practise their vocabulary and their grammar and things like that.
And...and also with their little smart phones they can use apps, like flashcard apps, learn vocabulary. Erm...I have one called Mental Case, which is a little bit expensive but very good.

Jonathan, if you had 6,000 euros to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

Erm...ok, what would I buy? depends, if it was 6,000 euros..erm...the first thing that came into my mind was a roof for my van. A lift-up roof so that...erm...I could drive my van....

For your camper-van....

Yeah, my camper van so I that I could go camping and I wouldn't have to pitch a tent every time I go to a campsite. could just push the roof up and...and sleep upstairs.

Ok. thank you very much.

That's ok.

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