TEACHER CASE STUDIES
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Years of experience: 4
“"As a student, the biggest plus point with Listen & Learn would be having a completely student-centred learning experience, where you can work with your language teacher to enjoy uniquely customized lessons as per your needs, whenever and wherever you want them"”
Listen & Learn: Hi Sharif, it’s great to talk to you about your teaching experiences with Listen & Learn. Can you start by telling us the language you teach and something about your working history?
Sharif: Yes, absolutely. I chose to become a teacher because I have always wanted to have a meaningful impact on people by helping them to learn necessary skills to succeed in their goals. By helping others, we can grow together as a strong community. In addition, seeing learners make progress along the way is truly satisfying as a teacher. While I have been an online Bengali teacher at Listen & Learn since 2019, I started as an online English teacher in 2016, teaching students from all around the world, including Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Poland, China, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. I got my TEFL certification in April 2016 and Teaching Business English course certification in June 2017.
Listen & Learn: And when did you make the switch to teaching your native Bengali?
Sharif: In 2017, I was extensively searching for companies who offered online Bengali lessons to students and hired native Bengali teachers because I was interested in teaching my mother tongue. To my dismay, I found that almost all the language training companies I found did not offer online Bengali courses. When I was about to give up, I found Listen & Learn: the only company that offered online Bengali courses. I didn't waste any time in emailing Listen & Learn to apply. It has been a great opportunity because I always wanted to help others learn my language. Besides teaching English and Bengali online, I am also working as a full-time IB PYP assistant teacher at a brick and mortar international school in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Listen & Learn: That’s great you were able to find us, and we are so pleased you did! And has it been worth it?
Sharif: Definitely. Listen & Learn provides full flexibility to teachers about the lesson content, which means teachers can customise every lesson as per the unique needs of each learner. Also, the company checks in regularly with teachers about how the lessons are going and is very reliable at paying teachers on time.
Listen & Learn: How do your students like to describe you? What can future students expect from your lessons?
Sharif: According to my previous students, I am friendly, kind and patient as a teacher. I like to be flexible with lesson scheduling, but expect my students to finish any assigned activities or tasks on time. With beginner students, I tend to talk a bit more than them in class just to help them get used to hearing the language. However, I provide ample opportunities for my students to speak up more than me in class and I like to explain things using real-life examples and references. I like my students to know that I am patient and do not mind repeating things over and over if it helps them to understand something. One of my goals as a teacher is to make sure my students can grasp the lesson content by teaching at a pace that works for them. I also try to incorporate different language-based activities into my classes to keep my students engaged from time to time.
Listen & Learn: And what do you want from your students?
Sharif: A learner should be intrinsically motivated to actually learn the language and not give up. Learning a new language takes time, a lot of patience and even more practice. A student should also be committed to learn with the right focus, show interest in the learning process and give his/her input or feedback on how to make the language learning more effective.
Listen & Learn: So, having worked with us and our clients for a while now, would you recommend Listen & Learn to prospective students?
Sharif: Listen & Learn has the most language courses on offer. If you are a student who wants to learn any language of the world, there is a high chance that Listen & Learn can offer your desired language course to you. The learning modes also cater to any type of learner, be it someone who prefers the flexibility of learning remotely online from the comfort of their homes or someone who wants direct face-to-face guidance. As a student, the biggest plus point with Listen & Learn would be having a completely student-centered learning experience, where you can work with your language teacher to enjoy uniquely customized lessons as per your needs, whenever and wherever you want them.
Listen & Learn: Thanks so much, Sharif. Let’s end with a fun fact or two about Bengali, if you please?
Sharif: Bengali is the seventh-most widely spoken language in the world. Unlike many European languages, Bengali has no gender for objects or inanimate things, However, there is one exception, which is the river. As rivers flow continuously like life, a river is considered to have life in Bengali language and, as such, it has gender attached to it. A male river is called "nod" and a female river is called "nodi" in Bengali. Ironically, however, pronouns in Bengali are gender-neutral, you can use one pronoun to refer to both "he" and "she".