About the Author
I’m Gill Johnson and I’ve been a teacher and trainer of EFL for over twenty years. My first job, post CELTA, at the age of 22, was in a prison, where I taught English to foreign inmates. It was a baptism of fire and I certainly learned to be creative and think on my feet there!
Later, I joined IH Hastings, where I became interested in humanistic methodology and trained as a CELTA trainer. You may think these two things are diametrically opposed, but they’re not!
In 1994 I started working for Pilgrims (thanks to Simon Marshall). It was here that I really began to develop as a teacher and trainer. It was also where I met and began working with Mario Rinvolucri and in fact, many of the authors on this website. I shared with Mario my lifelong interest in culture and the influence it wields on our lives. We exchanged stories, experiences and the dialogue began to take shape, culminating in our new book, Culture in Our Classrooms.
Apart from writing with Mario, I work in an international boarding school, near Hastings, where I teach French and English and manage a busy languages dept. In my holidays I’m either to be found working on Pilgrims’ teacher training programmes, or somewhere on the other side of the planet, running CELTA courses and teacher training workshops. I enjoy speaking at conferences and when I’m not doing any of these things, I like to relax at home, entertaining guests, or spending time with my very patient husband, ‘hanging out’ with my (now grown-up) children, reading, chatting and chuckling with friends…. or sleeping!
Teaching language through cultural content
Gill's Recent Blog Posts
Hi All It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. Many of the international students in my school have been doing foreign language oral exams, which I have had to administer. Rules for externally assessed examinations in the UK, like GCSE and A levels are quite strict and perhaps a little inflexible. Some of my [...]
Hello Everyone In a week of election fever (that is if one can imagine us getting feverish about politics) here in the UK, I thought I would offer you an exercise which shows the backgrounds of two politicians who are busy campaigning for our votes. You may have heard that our present Prime Minister has [...]
I know some of you have been looking forward to reading Mario’s blog and you might be a little surprised to be hearing from me. Don’t worry, we have simply swapped blog spots and you will be hearing from Mario very soon. So how did I get interested in culture? Well, my family is descended from a mixture of UK and Russian/Polish characters who didn’t always understand each other, I grew up with lots of friends from India and Pakistan, in a town where the National Front (an extreme right wing political party) was based and saw the havoc it wreaked. I’ve travelled a lot (and yes, I’ve made enough cultural faux pas to fill a book) worked in lots of different contexts and I am constantly fascinated by how our culture(s) define the way we lead our lives.