It is with great pleasure that I say hello to you, and I do hope you have been staying safe and out of the wind as winter wraps itself around this beautiful city. Though having spent the previous six years living in Milan, I do prefer the winter here than further north!
I’ve been in this city now for about 3 months, and though I’ve spent several short periods of time living in Marseilles in the past—I was actually married here, in 2013—it’s only been this time that I’ve really been discovering the beauty of the city and surrounds. The sea! The calanques! The range of opportunity for getting outside and enjoying the nature is amazing, and I plan to make the most of it during my time here, which I hope is for a long time to come. As an Australian, spending time outdoors and in nature is a big part of my life, and as I jog along the coastline, hike through the parks, or throw a fishing line in the water I can see that it is the same for the people of Marseilles.
My path to Marseille has taken 43 years to achieve and has had some interesting stops along the way. I spent my 20s in the Australian Army, where I was a member of the Royal Australian Engineers corps. In that capacity I completed 2 tours of Iraq, in 2006 and 2007. I left just before I turned 30, and after a 6-month stay in Biarritz I headed back to Australia to complete a university degree in French and classical languages. I spent several years working for a casino and hotel group as their customer feedback coordinator. After that I spent some time working for a major subcontractor for an Australian national project to upgrade the country’s internet infrastructure. During this time, I also completed the CELTA course to teach English. After a short stint teaching in Australia, I moved to Italy in 2014 to join my wife, who had moved there to complete her PhD in neuroscience, and began teaching fulltime. In Italy I first spent a number of months in Genoa, and then we moved to Milan where my wife completed her studies. After another year of teaching, I also began working on didactic projects, where I was responsible for creating tests and programmes, and training teachers and staff. During these years I’ve developed a strong affinity for methodology, test design, and especially for spoken fluency. As someone who has studied several languages, I have a lot of personal experience with the struggle and uncertainty that comes with learning a language, and I do my best to use that knowledge when teaching and creating lessons and programmes. I like to focus on the things that block us when we speak—as you will know, there is a lot of language knowledge in your head, but it’s difficult to find the words quickly when you speak —and work on removing them.
So, it is with that experience, and that focus on really improving your spoken fluency, that I have come to Marseilles, to ELC. I’m incredibly fortunate to be involved with English Language Consulting, and to be able to benefit from the experience and positivity of Amy and all the team. I do hope that I get a chance to meet you and say hello, if I haven’t already. And if you see someone fishing or hiking that looks like the guy in the photograph, don’t hesitate to stop me and share your favourite nature locations!