Nice to meet you, and thanks for visiting my blog! Here’s a potted biography in case you’re wondering who writes this stuff:
I grew up in the UK, and have worked around the world: teaching in Borneo, Paraguay, Czech Republic, Crimea and the UK, training in the United States, Canada, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malta, France and online, plus other work in Germany. I am currently the Director of Studies at International House Bydgoszcz in Poland, until September 2021. I’ll be freelancing from October 2021 so please do get in touch if you’d like to work with me.
I am passionate about teaching, and am constantly trying to develop professionally. To that end, I am a member of Twitter (@sandymillin) and actively participate in online professional development. I have attended local conferences in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the UK, and international conferences including TESOL France (2011) and Innovate ELT (2016), where I particularly enjoy presenting. I also regularly attend and present at events online, including as a plenary speaker for KOTESOL. I am a member of IATEFL and have attended their annual conferences since 2012. I was a member of the IATEFL Membership and Marketing Committee for a couple of years, and curated the IATEFL blog from its inception until August 2018. I participated in a well-received panel discussion for IATEFL a couple of months after the shift to online teaching during the COVID pandemic in 2020.
From 2007 to 2008 I did my CELTA (Certificate in English Teaching to Adults) part-time at Durham University Language Centre during my final year of university. I then went through a phase of collecting extra teaching certificates at the start of my career:
- IH BET (Business English Certificate, 2008-2009)
- IHCYL (Young Learners Certificate, 2009-2010)
- IH CAM (Certificate in Advanced Methodology, 2010-2011)
- IH COLT (Certificate in Online Tutoring, Oct-Nov 2011)
- Delta (Sept 2012-Dec 2013)
I started my MA in Professional Development in Language Education through NILE in 2019, and have so far completed the Trainer Development module. I plan to complete the Materials Development module in 2021, and my dissertation in 2022.
From 2008 to 2011 I worked at International House Brno as an EFL teacher September-June and for Kaplan / WELS International Centres (formerly owned by IH) at their Ardingly Centre in the UK for a few weeks each July and August. I was at International House Newcastle July 2011-August 2013, and moved to International House Sevastopol in September 2013. I stayed there until my visa ran out in August 2014, then worked as a CELTA tutor in Leeds, San Diego and Vancouver, Chiang Mai, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Sevastopol, before starting as Director of Studies at IH Bydgoszcz, Poland. In my time in Poland, I’ve continued to be a jobbing CELTA tutor during the summer, working in Milan, Malta, Strasbourg and fully online.
As well as CELTA tutoring and working as a DoS, I also do some materials writing, and have published an ebook of speaking activities through the round, which is called Richer Speaking. I’ve also self-published two books of my own, ELT Playbook 1 (for new teachers) and ELT Playbook Teacher Training (for teacher trainers!)
In my free time, I enjoy reading, Bookcrossing (@sandyundead), Postcrossing, listening to podcasts, films and travelling. I also like taking photographs, and am one of the curators for eltpics, a photo-sharing initiative for teachers. However, my main addiction is learning languages. In addition to English, I currently speak French, German, Spanish (all around C1) and my Polish is around B2. I know a very little Modern Greek, Bahasa Malay, Thai and Mandarin, and have forgotten most of my Czech and Russian, thanks to Polish.
Please note: all views expressed on this blog are my own.