United English

Gerard McIlmurray

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Gerard McIlmurray

Northern Ireland
Where are you from?

I’m from Belfast, a city in Northern Ireland.

How long have you been in Mexico?

I have been in Mexico for about 2 and a half years in total.  I went travelling in December of 2018 but returned to United English in May of 2019.

How long have you been teaching English?

I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language for almost 3 years in total.

How long have you been with UE?

I have been with UE for about 2 and a half years in total.

Have you taught anywhere else?

Yes, I spent a short time at another school in Queretaro.

What do you like about teaching at United English?

I love the fact the I am constantly meeting new students every day, and that I get to learn about where they are from in Mexico and how their careers and lives are developing while living in Queretaro, as most of our students come from all over Mexico to work in the expanding manufacturing industries.  I also love the fact that I get along really well with my co-workers who are always on-hand to offer support and advice when needed.  Probably the most important factor for me however is the fact that the school is highly organized, with plenty of support staff for scheduling classes and administrative duties, which means I can get on with my job of teaching engaging classes.

What advice can you offer to language learners?

I would say the most important advice I can offer language learners and new language learners in particular is to be patient and to not give up hope!  Language learning is a marathon not a sprint and it is important to recognize that frustration is part of the language learning process – there are NO short cuts I’m afraid, and it will take time in order to get to the level you desire.  Also, it is important to question yourself as to the motives for your language learning; are you learning because you HAVE to, or because you WANT to?  Of course, career development is a valid and important reason to begin language learning, but language learning is both faster and longer lasting if it is accompanied by an EMOTIONAL COMMITMENT as well, so try to find other reasons beyond professional development whether that be love, international politics or the opportunity to travel.  This will sustain your commitment when the going gets tough.