Last month, I posted The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers.
I’ve since interviewed the people behind each of those sites, and will be publishing them over the next few weeks. Last week I published my interview with David Deubelbeiss, the founder of EFL Classroom 2.0
Today, we’ll hear from Michelle Henry from Ressources Pour Le College En Anglais:
LF: Can you share a little about yourself — where you teach and how and why you initially became interested in English language education?
I taught in high schools and had classes with adults. Now I have been retired since 2007.
From the start I had very good results at school, I considered language as a game. I got correspondents and could go to England every year.
At first I wanted to be a doctor, like my father, but he refused, saying that it was too difficult for a woman. I have always wanted to help people. So I turned to what I had always liked: English, and decided to become a teacher to try and convince my students it was a rich, interesting and useful language.
LF: When and why did you begin sharing online resources for English Language Learners and teachers?
Fourteen years ago, teachers began to receive help with computers and work with WORD. We discovered the internet and how to link it with WORD. I started a list of useful links for me and my students and began to write webquests.
Then I was noticed by an inspector who liked what I was doing. He appreciated my first webquest about The White House. He asked me to work for the Regional Education Authority of Nancy-Metz, find links for high school teachers and create webquests (in addition to teaching). So I created a site and wanted it to be welcoming with pictures, varied and helpful for learners and teachers. I also created a site for primary teachers with a colleague.
Since my retirement, I have kept my site for which I received the European Language Label in 2010. It was thus recognized as an effective and reliable tool for teachers and students.
LF: How do you find all the great resources you share on your site?
I am a member of several lists of teachers on the internet, so I can see what they are interested in and I look for corresponding links and create worksheets.
I have also subscribed to sites I appreciate for their seriousness, their ideas and efficacy.
Some teachers send me their creations: worksheets, interactive activities and games, webquests, etc.
I am interested in lots of domains and want to keep up-to-date with the news, so I spend a lot of time every day looking for interesting and motivating links. I try to put myself in the students’ shoes and wonder what they will like, what will touch them and encourage them to deepen and talk about a subject.
I wish the sites will lead to thoughts, communications and debates. I hope that the teachers will feel like creating a lesson, using videos and podcasts and talking about a subject with their students.
LF: What are your future plans — for yourself and for your site?
This work is a passion and I can’t stop looking for new ideas. As long as I can help, I will continue.
I have created a second site: the presentation will be clearer and the pages will be smaller for the browsing to be more pleasant.
LF: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like to say?
I receive lots of encouraging mails from around the world and I appreciate the teachers’ comments. They tell me I save them a lot of time.
I also thank you for choosing my site among The Best Three Sites On the Web for ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers. It is great to have such enthusiastic support.
LF: Thanks, Michelle!