Can you please introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from?
Hi! My name is Marcel Curiel. I am originally from Venezuela, but I am currently living and working in Santiago, Chile.
What is your professional and educational background?
I majored in Journalism and I practiced it for a few years, but my passion has always been English Language teaching. I have been teaching for the past 18 years in general and 5 with Bridge. Furthermore, I hold a Bridge TEFL certificate (120 hours) and a few micro-credentials, such as Teaching Grammar and Intro to Teaching Business English.
How long have you been teaching languages and what inspired you to become a language teacher?
One of my most rewarding experiences and perhaps the one that made me realize my passion for language teaching is being able to witness the progress of the students and reaching of their goals. One day you receive a group of learners babbling their first words and the other they are having conversations about complex topics in fluent English. That is a valuable experience as a teacher and even more so if you were part of that process.
I also like the fact of meeting a lot of people and transmitting to them the passion for learning languages, and more specifically, English.
What languages do you speak?
I speak Spanish, as my first language, and English, as a second language. I have also taught some Spanish classes with Bridge.
What is your teaching philosophy or approach to helping students learn a new language?
I believe each student is different, and therefore we should adapt or customize materials, strategies, and whole lessons to their needs. This is part of engaging and motivating the learner to help them achieve their objectives while providing effective and memorable lessons. It is also important for the student to have opportunities to practice what they have just learned in real-life situations and build up their communicative skills as they progress in the language.
What are some of your favorite teaching tools or techniques to engage students in the learning process?
There is a combination of techniques I usually use to keep the students motivated and engaged in their learning process and reflect about it as well.
Role-plays and simulations: these activities are very effective for practicing and developing communication skills in a realistic and meaningful way. They also allow learners to experiment with different scenarios, strategies, and styles of interaction.
Project-based learning: This helps them to apply their language skills in a concrete and authentic task and to develop their critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork skills.
Feedback and reflection: I always provide learners with constructive and personalized feedback on their performance and progress, as well as opportunities for self-evaluation and peer feedback. I also encourage them to reflect on their learning goals, strengths, weaknesses, and strategies, and to set action plans for improvement.
How do you adapt your teaching style to meet the needs of different students?
As I said before, each student is different and that’s why I ask students about their preferences, challenges, and goals, and adjust my lesson planning accordingly.
During the lessons, I also allow some time so the student can have extra practice for what represents a bigger challenge. In one-on-one classes, the students set the pace of the class and how much they want to practice. In group classes, they collaborate in their learning experiences together.
I usually try to make classes fun. There are a lot of tools and games that will motivate your learners with games and interactive activities that are interesting and fun to work with. This way you can vary the way you present information, such as using visuals, audio, text, or hands-on activities, to cater to different learning styles
What motivated you to specialize in teaching Business English specifically?
I decided to specialize in teaching Business English because I have always been interested in the world of business and how both language and culture play a crucial role in it. I enjoy helping learners develop the skills and confidence they need to communicate effectively in various professional contexts, such as meetings, presentations, negotiations, and emails.
Furthermore, I also find it rewarding to tailor my lessons to the specific needs and goals of each learner, whether they want to improve their vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or cultural awareness. Teaching Business English allows me to combine my passion for language teaching with my curiosity for business topics and trends.