Kaplan Teacher Spotlight: Telford Wallace
Bilingual jobseekers are in higher demand than ever before, so when you choose to learn English for your career it’s important to ensure you gain practical business expertise alongside language skills. This is where teachers like Telford Wallace come in.
Today, Telford is one of the most beloved teachers at our London Leicester Square English school, specializing in Intensive Business English. Take a look at his journey from record shop manager to English teacher, and discover all the ways he prepares his students for the modern world of business.
An impending sense of wanderlust
Telford was enchanted with the idea of travel and multiculturalism at quite a young age. This acted as a driving force in his later years.
“When I was a boy growing up in Scotland, I used to draw maps of foreign countries as a hobby, so other countries always fascinated me.”
After studying civil engineering in Manchester, he moved to London and started managing local record shops. He spent the subsequent years organizing the openings of record stores around the UK and running big projects in a number of department stores. But something was still missing. Though he had built a successful career in the retail sector, Telford was craving something more magnanimous.
“I left during the financial crisis and wanted to do a job that helped people more. Since I loved the English language and enjoyed meeting people from around the world, teaching English to international students seemed the obvious choice! I’ve been teaching for nine years now.”
An Intensive English environment
Students who choose to take study on our intensive track want to learn English quickly, so a course like Intensive Business English is designed to challenge and stimulate.
“Students need to work hard to keep up with the volume of new vocabulary as well as the new ideas they encounter. The atmosphere in the class is professional, but relaxed. There is a lot of class discussion that gives students the opportunity to practice using the language they learn. The focus on error correction is higher than the average class too.”
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Practical business expertise
For Telford, teaching Intensive Business English is all about creating an authentic learning environment that allows students to engage in real-life business scenarios. Using the expertise gained from 25 years in retail, he crafts hands-on lessons designed to teach students how to effectively communicate in a real business environment.
“We teach a wide range of commonly-used business vocabulary, all in an authentic context. I use a lot of credible materials from business publications such as the Economist and the BBC news as well as company website and reports.”
During lessons, students role-play salary negotiations and meetings. They create company strategies, write emails and craft risk reports. They even prepare customer service surveys based on local stores they have visited.
“I love helping people to communicate in English. We give them the confidence to talk about a wide range of business topics. I probably take a greater interest in business than the average business English teacher.”
Have you studied with Telford in London? Or maybe you have another teacher you’d like to highlight from your own #KalpanExperience. Share your stories with us on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.