Sunday, March 2, 2014

Plenary Speakers: Interviews (Vicky Loras)

Please tell us a few things about yourself and your involvement in education.

My name is Vicky Loras, born in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada. I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language and Literature to students of all ages, for a total of almost seventeen years. I now live in Switzerland and I am the co-founder and owner of The Loras English Network, a school I have opened with my sister Eugenia. We teach English to students of all ages and levels, train teachers and also hold children’s educational events. 

What attracted you to the field of education? 

To be honest, I never intended on being a teacher! As long as I remember myself, I always wanted to be a lawyer. When I did my university entrance exams, we had to fill out a form which schools we wanted to enter in order of priority for us. Law school was at the top, ELT was second. I missed Law School for a fraction of a grade and fell into ELT. I did not even want to go to university then, as it was not my first choice, but I thought I would try it out and see what happens. After a few months, I fell in love with ELT! I have never looked back.    

Which are some of the most memorable highlights of your career in 

I am fortunate to say there were quite a few. One of them was the school we had in Greece – with lovely teachers and amazing students we still keep in touch with now. The fact that we can now continue this school in Switzerland.  

Which aspects of your work do you enjoy the most? 

Kids and their amazing questions and thoughts. Mainly this! I learn so much from them, I learn a lot from all of my students actually – and that is the beauty of it. I also love the fact that we can connect with other educators on social media and learn from and with each other – and this is the beauty of our profession, that we learn something new all the time.  

What are you working on now? 

I continue working on my blog. MY sister and I have also opened an online bookshop and we are thrilled, because it is all about children’s books which we love – we love talking to the people who are interested in buying them about which ones we like!  
Eugenia and I are also planning our 2nd Loras Network Workshop with amazing speakers and we are very excited! 

What are your professional plans for the future? 

I would like to finish my MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL and then pursue a PhD. I would also like to go more into educational consultation.  

What should your audience expect to learn during the plenary session at the 21st TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Northern Greece Annual International Convention? 

What really counts in education.  

What are the three words that sum up your session?  

People, dedication, learning.  

Multiculturalism in education and cultural diversity in the classroom seem to be among your areas of interest. What is the importance of understanding culture and identity in language teaching/learning process? 

I think it is an essential part of a person’s identity, and everyone needs to be tolerant towards that identity. The kids come to our classes not only to be taught the present perfect, but to be given values as well and learn how to respect each other. And they are so open and so understanding!   

Thank you very much, 

Efi Tzouri 
for TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece

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