How long have you been teaching at GV Maroochydore and what did you do before you worked here?

I started teaching at GV about 1 month ago.  I moved to Australia 3 months ago with my husband.  He is going to the University of the Sunshine Coast to obtain his Graduate Diploma in (Secondary) Education.  We are both Canadian, but met while we were living in Seoul, South Korea.  I started teaching ESL in South Korea in 2006.  We moved to Taiwan in 2009 to teach ESL as well, before our time in Australia.

Do you speak another language and what was your biggest challenge when learning it?

I can speak some FrenchI studied it in school for 6 years.  Other than my limited French, I can also speak a little bit of Korean and a tiny bit of Chinese.  I can read Korean which makes it a little easier to learn than Chinese.  I don’t think I could ever learn to read Chinese!  It is so complex!

Which class are you teaching at the moment?

I’m teaching Elementary right now.  I’m really enjoying it.  The students are great!

Please tell us about a student in your class who you feel has made outstanding progress…

Oh, how can I pick one!  Everyone has progressed and is doing fantastic!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at GV Maroochydore?

Definitely getting to know my students! 

 If you weren’t a teacher, what job do you think you would be doing now?

I’m a teacher!  I learned that a long time ago!  I couldn’t do anything  else.  But I hope to teach Kindergarten or Grade 1 for the long-term in the future.  My Master’s degree is in Elementary Education.

What do you like most about living on the Sunshine Coast?

There is tons to do!  The beaches are amazing, but so is the hinterland! But, I can say, holding a koala at the Australia Zoo was a dream come true!

What is your favourite cafe, restaurant, shop or place in Maroochydore?

Probably the local Fitness Centre.  Other than love being at home with my husband, I spend a lot of time taking yoga, pilates, tai chi, pump, and zumba classes.

Some more study tips on how to improve your English (Part 2)

Hi Guys,

I hope you found the previous tips on Speaking and Listening useful and have put them to good use.

This is part two where I’ll concentrate on Reading and Writing.


As with listening, it’s a good idea to find the answers to: ‘who, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘why’. Take notes.

Skim the text to get the main idea before you read it slower the second time for specific information.

Look for signal words that may show contrasting ideas or explanations and pay attention to pronouns as they often refer to the subject of the text.

 When reading the newspaper or magazine articles look at the headlines and photos to try and guess what the article will be about. Use any prior knowledge you may already know about the topic, it will certainly make things easier for you.

Don’t worry about the words you don’t understand, try to guess so that you don’t stop reading every so often. Break the word down and see if it is derived from another. Look at its function; is it a verb, a noun, an adverb or an adjective? Finally, look up the words you don’t know when you have finished reading and see if you were correct.  It’s a great way to learn vocabulary and it will build your confidence.

 Most importantly find something that interests you to read, it’s the best way to keep reading. It doesn’t have to be educational; it could be based on a hobby or general interest.


Make sure you use what you have learned in class. Write letters and post cards to your friends and family (even if you don’t send them). Keep a learning journal or even a travel journey in English.  Write ‘to do’ lists, text and email your friends in English. Keep in touch with the friends you make at GV by sending emails and leaving comments on our blog. Fill in questionnaires and forms, there are so many different ways to improve your writing.

That’s about it, unless you would like to add some of your own tips, please feel free to post a comment. As I said, it’s a good way to practise your writing.

Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake, so keep trying and use English as much as possible!

Patty Thomas.

Academic Manager.

GV Sunshine Coast .


For this week only Tribal Travel are giving all studnets a FREE 3 day 2 night tour along the Noosa Everglades, when you spend over $100.

This trip will appeal to those wanting a brief change from city life, a chance to experience a beautiful and pristine Australian nature setting first hand, and the freedom to explore by canoe and on foot, while following a recommended itinerary to keep the days active, full and interesting…. See Kayley on Thursday lunch, or you can always email her: kayley@tribaltravelaustralia.com.au