It has now been one week since the UCT English Language Centre welcomed Monica Boshoff as the new Director of Studies (aka Programme Coordinator). Monica will be here for all student and teacher needs and requests, but let’s find out a little more about Monica first.
1. Tell us a bit about you and your background
I am a born and bred Capetonian and live outside the city very close to where all those iconic postcard photos are taken of Table Mountain (Blouberg) with my two children (a son, 7 years old and daughter, 5 years old). I love where I live because I am an outdoors person and love being in nature. I usually spend my weekends and free time outside hiking and camping.
2. Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the EFL industry
Well, I have a real passion for education – not only English language teaching, but I am also very interested in ongoing research in the best ways to educate our children, including alternative progressive education.
I have been working in teaching and teacher-training and educational management for about 12 years now. It all started when I was in my mid-twenties in London and was getting tired and frustrated with the food and beverage industry I was in. So, I decided that I wanted to travel, and because I always had an interest in teaching I did my CELTA course in London with the idea of teaching while travelling. But, then things changed and I decided to come back home to complete my degree in English, French and Linguistics.
At the same time as I was completing my studies, I was also teaching in language schools in Cape Town and I enjoyed this so much I decided to pursue a serious career in the EFL industry. I also did some examining for the British Council (IELTS) and Cambridge ESOL (CAE, FCE, CPE, etc.) and began working in teacher-training and academic management. I then pursued further studies and did my Masters in Linguistics: Specialisation Second Language Acquisition. Since then I have been working mostly in academic management.
3. What do you think is the best thing about the EFL industry, as a whole?
That it’s so open to change and development and of course, because you get to meet so many people from so many different countries and cultural backgrounds.
4. What do you think is going to be the most interesting thing about working as the DOS at ELC?
The teachers at ELC are exceptionally qualified and experienced. More so than the average teachers at other schools. So I suspect one of the most interesting things is going to be how to keep the teachers challenged, constantly seeking further development and inspired. I look very forward to working with a group of such professionals.
I also look exceptionally forward to being a part of growing the ELC brand to be the top English language school in Cape Town. The University of Cape Town is already the top university in Africa, so it follows that ELC should be the top language school.
5. What do you think will be the most challenging thing about working at ELC?
While I have lots of experience in the EFL private sector and I can transfer these skills, doing this in a university environment with university administrative systems is going to be new to me.
6. What do you think will be very different here from where you were in your last job?
There will certainly be greater opportunities to pursue professional development amongst teachers and work on developing the brand of ELC.
7. Random questions:
a) What is the last book you read?
I don’t have much personal time for reading as a professional working mother, but the last book was ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
b) If you were an animal what would you be?
c) Chocolate or vanilla?
d) Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
Both, actually. Hahaha!
e) You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what colour would you be and why?
Pink with glitter in it!
f) If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Flying! For sure
And for those of you who knew Juliette, the previous Director of Studies, don’t worry – she is not going anywhere. Juliette will be devoting her time to growing our TEFL unit within ELC and focussing on positioning ELC’s TEFL course as the top one in South Africa. We will be interviewing Juliette on her plans in a blog soon. Watch this Space!