Staff Corner – Lance Russell

Lance joined Campbell in 2015 after graduating from Campbell’s CELTA Training Course. He describes his passion for languages as his motivation to become an English teacher, and shares his favorite thing about Campbell – his students!

Tell us a bit about yourself prior to joining Campbell.

I’m originally from the United Kingdom. I moved to New Zealand when I was 15 years old. Ever since I was a child I had a huge passion for languages – I love languages and I love culture. Prior to becoming an English teacher I went to Victoria University of Wellington and I did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in German and minoring in European studies. I also did Hispanic studies and Brazilian culture studies – I love culture.

How many languages do you speak?

My German is not the best – I’m like pre-intermediate level of German. My Spanish is elementary because I don’t practice it, and my Portuguese is still quite basic.

You did your CELTA training at Campbell. Tell us about that.

The techniques that they teach you, I notice that you actually do implement. I think the best example would be watching actual teachers teaching a natural class, because you pick up quite a lot from them. One of the crucial things you learn in CELTA is to actually think about the activities – what could you do rather than sitting doing nothing and not being active, rather than just reading the textbook. And it’s really good to help you teach grammar because it teaches you to break it down, make it more interactive, which I think is great.

How’s it been so far teaching at Campbell?

There’s an eclectic mix of students at Campbell from different cultural backgrounds – that’s what makes it so fun. It’s not just one culture that is coming here to learn, it’s lots of different cultures. Not only is that good to teach but I think it’s also really crucial for the students. They can’t rely on speaking their own language. They have to think creatively – what am I trying to say, I don’t know this word, how else can I say it – and they actually have to use English‎.

Tell us one thing that the students don’t know about you.

I’m actually a spy. I’m just kidding. I don’t know – I’m very open. Most of the students are friends with me on Facebook so they know everything about me.