Meet Karina Zew, a 35-year veteran educator who has taken on the new role of BridgeEnglish Teacher Experience Manager, providing teacher support and guidance, as well as personalized professional development. Zew manages over 120 teachers all over the world who provide language training for Bridge’s corporate language training program partners. From training in updated curriculum materials to facilitating teacher mentorship to providing the monthly BridgeEnglish Teacher Connection newsletter, Zew empowers her teachers with continual support and a sense of community. Let’s get to know Karina Zew.
What is your professional and educational background and experience?
I hold a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of Portsmouth, which has equipped me with advanced knowledge and expertise in the field. With an impressive track record spanning 35 years, I have dedicated my career to teaching, training, and coordinating various educational initiatives. This extensive experience has honed my skills and deepened my understanding of effective instructional methods and strategies.
What is your title with BridgeEnglish and what do you do?
As the Teacher Experience Manager, my main responsibility is to ensure our teachers excel in their roles and receive the support they need. I assist them in resolving any classroom-related challenges they may encounter, while also overseeing a team of mentors who provide professional development guidance. Together, we offer valuable suggestions for areas of improvement to enhance their overall classroom experience. Additionally, we actively foster a sense of community and cultivate a collaborative environment to mitigate any feelings of isolation that may arise from their online work.
How does your position impact the work Bridge teachers do?
I strongly believe that my role empowers teachers by fostering a sense of belonging. By creating a supportive and cohesive team environment, teachers can trust that they have the support and guidance they need. Additionally, our comprehensive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program plays a pivotal role in motivating them to consistently strive for excellence in their teaching practices.
What do you think sets Bridge apart from other corporate language training programs?
At Bridge, we offer unparalleled support that goes above and beyond the norm. Unlike other places I’ve worked, where teachers are solely responsible for everything from planning and preparation to writing reports and completing extensive administrative duties, Bridge takes care of all these aspects.
At Bridge, everything is meticulously organized and prepared, so all teachers need to do is turn on their computers and start teaching. And if they ever feel unsure or need guidance, we even provide dedicated courses to help them navigate any challenges they may encounter.
Furthermore, working for Bridge means teachers have countless opportunities for personal and professional growth. Each teacher can develop their skills and expertise while being part of a company that values their progress and invests in their success. Whether it’s through additional training, career advancement programs, or other avenues, Bridge is committed to supporting their growth journey every step of the way.
How do the Bridge teachers impact the language training programs?
At our language training school, we pride ourselves on being teacher-powered, placing our teachers at the heart of everything we do. We recognize that our teachers are our most invaluable asset, and their qualifications, expertise, and unwavering dedication are the driving force behind our students’ progress.
Our teachers not only impart language skills but also provide vital encouragement to our students. Through their expertise and guidance, our students gain the confidence they need to excel in their language abilities, enabling them to effectively carry out their day-to-day duties in the workplace.
By nurturing a strong partnership between our teachers and students, we create an environment that fosters growth, supports learning, and inspires both personal and professional development. Together, we empower individuals to reach their full potential and achieve success in their language-learning journey and professional endeavors.
What strategies do your teachers use to improve the language learning of their students?
At our language training school, we provide our business students with the latest and most exceptional language materials available. These materials are meticulously designed to cater specifically to the unique needs and goals of our business-oriented learners. We ensure that our students have access to the most relevant and up-to-date content that aligns with the rapidly evolving business landscape.
Moreover, we continually review and update our language materials to ensure they reflect the latest industry trends, cultural nuances, and business practices. This commitment to staying current guarantees that our students receive the most relevant and valuable language training available.
To complement these materials, our teachers adopt a communicative approach in their instructional practices. This approach emphasizes active participation, meaningful interactions, and real-life language usage. Our teachers create a dynamic and engaging learning environment where students are encouraged to communicate effectively, express their ideas, and practice language skills in authentic business contexts. Their main goal is to instill confidence in our students’ ability to effectively communicate, negotiate, and succeed in their workplace endeavors.
How do you ensure Bridge teachers are trained in the most up-to-date teaching strategies?
At our language training school, we prioritize the professional development of our teachers. We offer a comprehensive range of CPD opportunities, including our extensive collection of Micro-Credential courses and TEFL courses. These specialized programs empower our teachers to expand their knowledge, refine their teaching techniques, and stay abreast of the latest educational practices.
In addition to our CPD offerings, we conduct regular class observations to ensure the highest quality of instruction. Through these observations, we gather valuable insights that allow us to provide concrete examples of how teachers can enhance their classes. We believe in offering personalized advice and guidance to each teacher, tailored to their specific needs and areas for improvement, resulting in an enriched learning experience for our students.
Interested in learning how to support your language learners? Read Support English Language Learners in the Workplace to Maximize Program Effectiveness.