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Gail Johnson

Vote for the Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist 2015 - Gail
IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist - Gail Johnson
702 votes
Gail Johnson
Occupation: Teacher
Age: 56
Home Country: United Kingdom

Inspired by her daughter’s IVHQ trip to Tanzania, Gail applied for this scholarship with the desire to contribute her 30+ years of experience as a teacher and social worker through teaching English in Tanzania. “I want to visit a country that I have never visited before, one that is completely outside my comfort zone and that will challenge me and provide me with enriching experiences. I want to learn in depth about a culture and to contribute my skills and knowledge to the benefit of the community in which I am placed,” shares Gail. Having worked extensively in multicultural environments, Gail has authored three published-books exploring African-Caribbean settlement in Gloucestershire, as well as African and Caribbean culture and customs.

Why are you passionate about teaching English abroad?

I have been a teacher for almost 30 years, teaching across all phases from Preschool to Adult Education, initially teaching English in secondary school. I decided to become a teacher after studying for a Preparatory Certificate in TEFL and teaching English to mainly Italian and Spanish waiters! I had always intended to continue my studies and to travel abroad teaching English. However, marriage and children meant that my plans did not materialise. I absolutely love to travel, but that too has not been as extensive as I had hoped, due to family commitments and financial restrictions. It was going to be part of my retirement plan!

What experience/skills can you apply to teaching English abroad?

I have always worked within multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-faith communities. I was trained as a teacher of English and History and, as I mentioned earlier, I gained a Preparatory Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language many years ago, which was a challenge I really enjoyed. I currently work in London in Children’s Centres with children and adults who speak a variety of languages, some of whom have very little English, and I work with practitioners to ensure they have access to services on offer. I am also patient, approachable, creative and enthusiastic.

Why do you believe you will be effective in teaching English abroad?

I am excited about having the opportunity to study for a recognised TEFL qualification online, and will take great advantage of all I learn, to extend the skills I already possess. I believe I possess all of the necessary skills to make a positive contribution to any setting I am placed within. I build positive relationships very quickly, can adapt to most situations, am patient and work with integrity. I enjoy studying the cultures of those I engage with and utilise all I can to make the learning experience relevant and respectful.

What are you looking to gain from the experience?

I am looking to visit a country that I have never visited before, one that is completely outside my comfort zone and that will challenge me and provide me with enriching experiences. I want to learn in depth about a culture and to contribute my skills and knowledge to the benefit of the community in which I am placed. I want to explore the surrounding environment and soak up the atmosphere, and make new friends!

IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist - Hannah PittsPrevious Volunteer Hannah Pitts
IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist - Alexia SchroederNext Volunteer Alexis Schroeder

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