Staff Spotlight: Introducing Sophia, Our New ESL Teacher!

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My name is Sophia and I’m an ESL teacher and administrative assistant at CLC Montreal. When I was younger, I moved around a lot. I’ve lived in different parts of the world, and I remember having to make new friends almost every year. One of the things that has always stuck with me is that people are people no matter where you are. For part of my life, I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal. The first languages I learned were French and English at school. Then I studied Arabic in middle school, Spanish in Cegep and then Chinese, Korean, and Japanese in university. I’ve always loved languages. If I had the opportunity to add more to my repertoire, I would love to improve my Chinese and Korean knowledge and master Japanese.

Some of my hobbies are listening to Korean music, watching movies, and traveling. In my free time, I like to meditate and do crafts. Actually, that’s something most people don’t know about me, I’m a very spiritual person. My passion is teaching, and it makes me happy to see my students have this new world open up to them by simply understanding a language. I discovered this passion through many different experiences, but especially through the JET programme. Since I studied Japanese, for example, it was easier for me to relate to my Japanese students who were struggling with foreign languages. Learning a different country’s language and understanding its culture has allowed me to see things from a different perspective. My goal is to use that new angle to introduce to Canadians a fresh and more advanced approach to doing certain things.

When I was in university, I majored in East Asian studies, simply out of interest. I never imagined that I would be working at CLC, but here I am! My days really vary as a teacher and administrative assistant, and I would need a short novel to describe what it’s typically like. One thing I can say is that I love teaching because I love the smiles and satisfaction of students when they’re having fun learning the language or communicating successfully.  I chose to work at CLC because it has a culture that promotes what we call in Japanese, the “Wa” (community over individual), a cultural concept in which members control personal desires in order to ensure and enforce the harmony of the group.

 My goal in life is quite simple: one good deed a day. My dream job is to be an educational psychologist as well as an interpreter, though I’m not sure I will pursue this dream. I can say that I have accomplished my goals in some ways like implementing new projects to help the Japanese people in the city I was living in. I’m thankful to CLC because it’s giving me the opportunity to get one step closer to my dream of helping and having a positive impact on people as a whole. In my eyes, that’s all success is. Success is if at least one person remembers me as a good person, and failure is if I don’t try.

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