Teacher Interview: James Pearce, Business English extraordinaire

  1. Where exactly are you from?

I would say that I am from Vancouver, even though I wasn’t born in there. I was born in Marquette, Michigan in USA and lived there until I left to go to university. After graduating I moved to Vancouver and have mostly lived the city since, so I consider it my home. Many people who have made the choice to live in Vancouver feel the same way.

Business Program Graduation

Business Program Graduation

  1. How long have you been a teacher? At CSLI?

I began to teach at CSLI in May, 2015 just after returning from five years living in Fortaleza, Brazil.

  1. Do you have a specialty class (ex: business English, phonetics)?

I teach CSLI’s Business English course four times a year.

  1. Please explain about your specialty class.

Business English is a four-week diploma course for advanced-level students. In the course, students learn how to write an effective resume and how to succeed in job interviews. They also study how businesses work by going on field trips and observing daily operations. Students also have the opportunity to create a fantasy company in groups, then try to convince “investors” to invest in their company.

  1. What is your favorite class to teach at CSLI and how does this class help students?

Besides the business course, which I really enjoy every time I teach it, teaching new students in their first week at CSLI is something I always find rewarding. New students are often nervous and lack confidence in their ability to speak English, and it’s amazing to watch a new student begin to relax, to become more confident, to find new friends far from home, and to begin to feel that they will be able to master English.

  1. What is your favorite CSLI monthly graduation and why?

Many of the monthly graduation parties are lots of fun, but I have to say the one I enjoy the most is the yearly Halloween Party at the end of October. Here in Canada kids grow up with the holiday, and love dressing up with the holiday, and love dressing up as their favourite super hero or Disney princess, but for many CSLI students, our party is their introduction to Halloween – and they love it! (And I enjoy seeing all the creative costumes as well.)

  1. Have you taught at other ESL schools?

I have taught at one other school in Vancouver. I also lived and taught English for one year in the country of Malta, in Europe, and for five years in Brazil, where I had many private students and also taught English to Brazilian Customs officers.

  1. How does teaching at CSLI different from teaching at other ESLI school?

This question is very easy to answer, as so many schools only focus on their students’ academic needs, and ignore the important cultural and social component of the students’ Canadian experience.

  1. Best teaching moment?

It’s impossible to choose one teaching moment as the best. There are so many great moments that it would be unfair to choose one as better than all the others.

  1. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?

If I weren’t teaching at CSLI, I would be retired! And if I didn’t enjoy CSLI so much, I would also be retired. But I’m fortunate enough to have a job here, so there are no thoughts of retirement on my part.

  1. When you have a brake time, what do you do?

When I have a break, like on my daily walk from my home to CSLI and back, I enjoy being outside, observing how beautiful Vancouver is, and listening to music or an interesting podcast on my headphones.

  1. What is your favourite thing to do in Vancouver?

In a city that has so many things to do, there is no “best thing” that I could choose. American or farmers markets, sharing food with my friends, and sharing Vancouver with my family.

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