1) What do you love most about leading the EAL department?
Well, all teachers at international schools are EAL teachers as we all have students in our classes who are second or even third language learners. So I find I’m not only helping our English Language teaching specialists be the best that they can be but subject teachers also which is really quite rewarding. Also seeing the great progress our students make over the years, both in primary and secondary is inspiring.
2) What is your educational background, both academically and career wise?
Schooled in Hampshire UK and university in Manchester and then I did a masters level English language teaching qualification. I spent my first three years teaching in Japan followed by three years in the Middle East and then 11 years teaching international students in public schools in the South West of England.
3) What has been the most memorable experience to date in your career?
Being in the close retinue of a senior Saudi Prince and helping him with his English for 18 months. It was a fascinating experience; seeing how billionaires live, travelling in motorcades in capital cities in the Middle East, flying in private jets [including his private Boeing 747!] and living in his palaces!
And now for some light-hearted questions
4) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Anguilla, which is a small British Overseas Territory [BOT] in the West Indies. It has great food, lovely people and the best white/pink beaches anywhere – including Asia.
5) If you could get a selfie with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I don’t ‘do’ selfies but if you forced me to give an answer perhaps my children as their infectious smiles would take away from how I would spoil the photo.
6) If you weren’t a teacher, what alternative career path do you think you would have taken and why?
Before taking my first teaching position I had an interview lined up to work on a famous sports TV channel. So if I hadn't declined to attend I may be presenting TV sports programmes. [Note the mixed conditional EAL students]
7) If you could choose one actor to star as you in a film, who would you choose and why?
I once met Mel Gibson when I was working Down Under and have always liked his films. I also once knocked on Sean Connery's door by mistake. So as I have a [very] tenuous relationship with these two actors perhaps they would be good to star as me in a film.
8) What’s your favourite restaurant in Shanghai?
Lost Heaven ….of course. Isn’t it everyone’s?
9) What 3 things could you not live without in Shanghai?
My wife and two children.
10) Have you got anything exciting planned for the summer break?
We are going to Tibet this summer if we get all the paperwork in order. Should be a breathless experience!
Thank you for your time Mr Carson.
Mr Carson has also written an article this week on how parents can prepare their children for the upcoming Cambridge English Exams due to take place on June 11.
Ryan Kealey, Marketing and Events Manager