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‘After several years of teaching English to corporate clients, my friend and business partner Evis Katana and I founded our own language school.’
Gaiane started teaching English while still in high school, which helps her relate to the teenagers she teaches today. Her English journey started when she was six years old and she recently set up her own English school in Italy.
I’ve been teaching English all my life! I was born in Kyiv and went to a school that specialised in English. When I was six years old my parents hired a personal tutor, who had been living in the USA for many years, so I developed a real American-English pronunciation.
Looking back my career started quite easily. It all began while I was still in high school. I started in a small way teaching one student at a time, and then through word of mouth I ended up having whole families doing the lessons.
I want my school to be successful, and I’m already thinking about its future. I think I’d like to open a school just for children.
This was challenging and interesting for me, as I found members of the same family could have such different reasons and motivations to learn English. There could be a father who needed business English, children who wanted the basic things, more intermediate levels for teenagers, and perhaps a mother who needed English to travel.
I was also juggling different jobs around this time and working as a guide giving tours in English of the historic churches in the centre of Kyiv. It was a fantastic experience and I had the chance to meet people from all over the world.
Despite doing different jobs, I was very set on pursuing my career in teaching English, so took a Master’s degree in Psychology and American-English Language and Literature.
After graduation, I travelled a bit across Europe. I did a teaching course in Britain, but it was only when I came back to Ukraine and started working for an educational corporation that I laid the foundation for my future career.
My boss and I opened a new department for our business clients. They were all foreign companies that had just opened their offices in Kyiv and needed specific courses in business English. This opened the door to lots of other fantastic opportunities that involved teaching, interpreting, and travelling to Italy on a regular basis for work.
Italy is where I met my husband, who is Italian, and where I eventually settled down. After several years of teaching corporate clients, my friend and business partner Evis Katana and I founded our own language school in Novara. This project had been on my mind for a while, and by the end of university I was already planning to open my own school.
It’s early days and it has not been a smooth process, probably because of Covid and other factors, but I’m now teaching and running the school that I dreamed of. We have students from 12 years old and upwards and we find there is a lot of demand for English lessons from Italian students.
I noticed that there has been a new trend developing in recent years. When people retire in Italy, they want to learn some basic English phrases for conversation. So here I am, teaching English and offering courses to nearly all age groups!
I want my school to be successful, and I’m already thinking about its future. I think I’d like to open a school just for children. This is because people in Novara keep asking me, ‘What about the kids?’ I think this is something that’s important to focus on because as I’ve learned myself, the earlier you start learning the better you get.
About Gaiane Abramian Chernova
Gaiane has taken TKT and CELTA from Cambridge. In 2021 she co-founded an English school in Novara, Italy, called E'n'G English 4every1.
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