My English teaching career began in 1999 while I was living in New York City, and working as a professional dancer. I taught English when I was between dance jobs, to classes of foreigners from 25 different countries at Zoni Language Centers.
Then, during the same year while working as a dancer on Holland America Cruise Lines in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, I also taught English to the crew members aboard the MS Ryndam.
When I decided to take a break from dancing as a full-time career in 2004, I moved to Italy and began teaching English to adults in Vicenza, near Venice. This was the beginning of a long, wonderful journey which led to my becoming a permanent resident of Italy.
Teaching English to Italian adults was such a fulfilling experience that I officially made this my second career. I stayed in Vicenza for the greater part of six years in Italy. For three and a half years I ran my own school, called Creative Education Solutions. The school had 75 regular students year-round, 200 other people who attended social events in English language, 3 teachers who worked for me and 2 part-time administrative staff. It was a source of great fun and pride for me and many of my students became good friends for life. The following pictures are of me teaching group classes and running social events at my school.
My role was "Teaching Director" for Carrot Global in Seoul from 2012 to 2013, through whom I conducted training at SAMSUNG, HYUNDAI, EBAY, SK, KOREAN AIR, ASIANA AIRLINES, TUPPERWARE, DAELIM and GREEN CROSS.
There were five core workshops that I was in charge of: Presentation Skills, Cross-Cultural Training, Negotiation Skills, Business Writing Skills, and Meeting Skills. I also lectured on and taught Hofstede’s Five Dimensions, Business Manners, Confucianism, business in Italy, India and the USA, Conference Calls, Business Emails, and other topics.
All workshops were tailored to meet the company’s specific needs and requests. For example, at times there were executives from companies travelling to other countries to expand their company's business in another market. The programs I designed and taught for them included presentation skills, business English, culture-specific training, and Spanish language. All workshops were multimedia, interactive presentations in which the students completed practical activities that allowed them to apply their newly-learned skills.
In India, I worked for none other than MICROSOFT Global Technical Service Center in Bangalore, as a Culture and Communication Specialist from 2011-2012. I was in charge of a team of 30 engineers in the Developer Support cluster. My duties included monitoring their written and spoken communication for problem areas, then providing remedial 1-to-1 coaching and group training on cross-cultural communication, writing skills, presentation skills, customer service skills, and other topics.
While I was at Microsoft, I got trained to deliver cross-cultural training using various cultural comparison models designed by cultural anthropologists and other professionals in the field. Please write to me if you want more details. I also edited professional documents, technical blogs, and other communication. In addition, I worked closely with the managers of my teams to produce needed materials and resources for the engineers.
I was also on a team that revised linguistic parameters used to rate and score written and spoken communication between software engineers and Microsoft customers. All in all, it was a very productive and interesting year that changed my life and shaped my career.
Cheryl Lynn Obal