Meet our English teacher Felicity!
Who are you (tell us about yourself)?
I’m Felicity and I come from Britain. I’ve been in Norway for just over a year and a half now and I teach English as a foreign language.
Why did you become a language teacher?
I have always loved the English language. When I was a girl I would read book after book after book. I wrote little stories and English was always my favourite subject at school.
I swore I would NEVER be a teacher because my parents had both been teachers and I wanted to be different.
After university (where I studied English Language and Linguistics) I had a couple of different jobs which were not fulfilling but while I worked I was surrounded by non-native speakers of English.
I was continually asked questions about English by my colleagues and I was more than willing to help - in fact, I enjoyed it. One day I was holding a meeting with the staff and I stood with papers in my hand and presented a few ideas.
One of the French girls made a comment that I looked like I was their teacher. In that second I knew I had to go for it and teach English as a Foreign Language (I realised I didn’t have to be one of those primary or high school teachers).
I quit my job and I started taking my teaching qualification the next month. The month after that I had my first teaching job in London and the rest is history…...
What do you like about your job?
First and foremost I love being able to work with my favourite subject - English.
I also love the huge number and variety of people that I come across. I have had the privilege of meeting people from all over the planet and of all different backgrounds; not only meeting them but getting to know them too. Teachers learn a great deal about other cultures and life in general through their students.
This is something that I value a great deal in my job. The international environment of any language school is endlessly fascinating.
I also love the travel aspect of my job. I’m very lucky to be able to go to almost any country in the world and teach English.
Three suggestions for Norwegians wanting to improve their English?
1st. Have more confidence in your ability and your accent - a lot of Norwegians seem to want to avoid opening their mouths for fear of sounding Norwegian.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a Norwegian accent and shedding those doubts goes a long way to increasing fluency.
2nd. Don’t rely totally on the English you learnt at school. English is (and always has been) a rapidly evolving language and school English is not enough to get by in a lot of situations.
The business environment, in particular, is where your English can fall short. Keep refreshing English skills whenever and wherever possible.
3rd. Speak and listen to native speakers of English as much as possible. If you feel shy just remember that we hear English spoken by non-natives almost everyday so it’s certainly not new for us even if it is for you :-).
How is the expat life in Oslo?
It’s certainly a challenge but then living in a foreign country is always a challenge. What I like about it is that Oslo is a small city so it doesn’t take too long to get to know people after you’ve made the first leap.
The size also means that settling into the rhythm of the city doesn’t take long either.
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors then you’re in the right place. I particularly like, and recommend, swimming in the fjord in summer.