Hi, I’m Ceri ( /keri/ for those of you who don’t know Welsh).
I live in wonderful, windy, sunny Cádiz in the south west of Andalucia, Spain. I have two kids and work needs to fit in around having fun with them. I teach (when I can), train teachers and – mainly at the moment – write teaching materials for general English adult and teenage learners and classrooms.
I’ve been working in ELT since 1986 when I started my first job in Italy. I worked there as a teacher, trainer and DOS for ten years. It was a great experience, I worked at a fantastic school (The English School o L’Aquila) where I taught an amazing range of classes and courses.
In 1996 I moved back to the UK to do an MA in TEFL at Reading University. It was an incredible experience which I shared with a great group of people and it set me off in a new direction. I worked at Christchurch College Canterbury (as it was called at the time) for a year while I was writing my dissertation, but when the plans to lecture in a teacher training college in Malaysia fell through, I decided to leave academia and head back into the world of private language schools.
This time I went to Spain as a DOS for an International House school in Madrid which is now the Hyland Language Centre. That’s where I first got involved in coursebook writing, and where I had my two children. After our second child was born I gave up my post as DOS and concentrated more on writing and working from home. This new geographical freedom meant that in 2006 we could make the decision to move south to Cádiz and bring our kids up near the beach. I grew up on a western coast and it’s been a kind of homecoming (though in a much warmer climate).
The kids are getting older and I’m now redressing the writing/teaching balance and making my way back, slowly but surely, into the classroom. Some interesting changes have taken place in the last five years or so, and it’s been great getting back into teaching with a whole brave new world of technology to explore.
I’m blogging as a way to stay in touch, stay in tune, process random thoughts and reactions and stay in love – with teaching, learning and language. On Close Up I’ll be looking at “the little things” *, hoping that every now and then the bigger picture shines through.
* a Welsh saying, from Saint David himself it seems, says that if you look after the little things (y pethau bychain) the big things will look after themselves