by Nina


Who´s behind the blog?

Posted by Nina Hanakova |


I have recently answered several interesting questions in my first online interview. However it´s in Czech so here is a little more about me, a few snapshots from my life, in English. I am hoping this will bring me closer to you. 

Thanks for reading my blog, being a FB fan and a friend. I really appreciate everyone´s activity and reactions to my work.

In a language school, 2006
I have always worked as a self-employed teacher, both with adults and children, for privately-owned language schools (focusing on adults) and a state school (children 10-15). While teaching privately, one-to-one courses alongside the schools, I slowly started setting up my own small groups.

In spring 2010 I decided to take a break from my f2f teaching. My daughter was born and after 5 years of full-time freelance EFL teaching I was sensing a kind of burn-out coming my way. This time of contemplation opened a whole new world to me, a world where coursebooks don´t make sense and where I finally feel like I found my "Element".

With my daughter, Oct 2011
For the past 4,5 years I have been working solely in my private classroom in the centre of Brno where I can fit up to 6 students. I believe 5-7 people in a group is the perfect number for any type of learning. Recently I have decided to work with women only.

I´d never dared to dream of such fantastic students and such enjoyable work. Do not be mistaken, neither is easy to find. I spend a lot of time on making sure we are the right match for each other and whether they are fit for my non-traditional learning environment. But it pays off. Building an enthusiastic, coursebook-free community of female learners feels good!

And how do I do what I do? Juggling family life and career is surely no piece of cake, after all I have a two-year-old. On some days I succeed better than on others, as every working mom I struggle with time management. But the best part is that none of this feels like work.

See for yourself! Last Wednesday the students cooked dinner for me...
 Cooking lesson with Matt (Kurz zážitkové angličtiny), Oct 2011
The last week of September my American colleagues Ginger, Glenn and Aron and I were invited to spend a fabulous weekend with a few of my students, about 30km outside of Brno. We had perfect Indian summer weather and I can´t imagine a more fun and relaxing place to go to.

Czech-English weekend in the countryside, Sept 2011
I enjoy being outside with my students because 1) they always welcome the change and 2) with fresh air speaking English somehow comes more naturally to all of us. Here we are in our backyard.

Working with short-stories (Summer English for Women), Aug 2011
The best part of it all is that my students actually get a chance to speak to native speakers in a very natural environment. We go to pubs, cook, go on trips, walk around Brno, sing or watch movies together. My native speaker friends and colleagues love to work with such enthusiastic students because they see what a difference they really make in their lives when they help them with their English.

Final party of Kurz zážitkové angličtiny, May 2011
I have a new hobby - making videos. I think a short video is worth a thousand words and it´s so easy to make these days so why not show others what happens in your lessons? This is a video from one of my ongoing courses - Kurz zážitkové angličtiny. I recorded it on my Android phone in the very first lesson when the students met each other for the first time, mingled, talked and had a good time. My friend Aaron joined the first part of our lesson and here you can see him speaking with Zdena.

As this term´s "Kurz zážitkové angličtiny" progresses, I´ll be surely making more of those. We´ve already had a pub lesson, a cooking lesson and next week we are going shopping! The new ladies are incredibly active and are working like crazy on their language goals.

My family

Here is to my family who puts up with my freelance work and to my courageous, hard-working students!



Anonymous said...

Great job Nina, I am your big fan :-) Your maternity leaves had had good influence for your work:-) I have said many times that your course helped me. Thanks and good luck for the future.

Your Léňa

Nina said...

Leňulko, my dear, I appreciate your words and your respect for my work. I am really glad we met and I could guide such a sweet and hard-working young lady like yourself. I also wish you all the best in the future, with your job and if you ever feel like you need to brush up your English again, you know where to find me ;-).

Your Nina

Anonymous said...

Don´t worry my dear, I need to brush up every day, but the time isn´t so much as I need. I hope that we will meet in future on one of your fantastic course and of course forever we meet like friends.
Your Léňa

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