Ten things you do not know about your native speaker Tim Chadwick – Interview taken by Vanja-Rina and Petina from 9B (December 2007)
Q:How long have you been living here and why did you choose to come exactly to Bulgaria?
A: I arrived on September 1st. Actually the reason I came to Bulgaria is that my wife is the manager of the Teaching Centre and Country Exams Manager at the British Council, Bulgaria, and we move every three or four years with this job. We had a lot of choices of countries, but chose Bulgaria because we like this part of Europe, my home is in a village in Greece – so quite close by, and also I wanted to be back in Europe so I can visit family more easily. I’ve lived in St Petersburg and Slovakia before, had worked briefly in Budapest, visited Bucharest but had never made it to Bulgaria and had always wanted to.
Q:What were you doing before you moved here?
A: I was living and working in the Middle East in Bahrain in the education department of a medical university, teaching trainee doctors. Before that I worked for the British Council, Cambridge University, the German Ministry of Education and the IELTS group in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. I’ve been lucky enough to work quite in a lot of different countries and done some interesting work.
Q: Do you like working with teenagers and why did you choose this profession?
A: Yes. I find teenagers inspiring. I enjoy their energy, intelligence, fresh perspectives and the mix of maturity and vulnerability. How I became a teacher is a long story. But a long time ago, I had a Greek girlfriend, Christina, who I met while I was a student at Nice University in France. I wanted to be with her, and so trained to be an English teacher so I could get a job in Athens and realized that I loved this kind of work – maybe not the most academic reason!
Q: What is the most important thing for a foreigner to learn English?
A: Reading. Students who read a lot make the best learners. Films and music can be good too. The important thing is to try to learn English through a medium that genuinely interests you. A friend of mine learnt his basis in Spanish by reading the football reports in the local paper on the bus on his way into Madrid each morning.
Q: Tell us a little secret about yourself?
A: I only have big secrets.
Q: What book do you think everyone should read at last once in their life?
A: I think everyone should read some poetry by William Blake. It’s over 200 years old but could have been written yesterday – Try ‘The Songs of Innocence and Experience’ and ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’.
Q: Who is the person you admire most and why?
A: I can’t think of one person in particular. But I admire artists, especially writers. The more you understand about art as you get older, the more you understand what phenomenal courage it takes to create art. Oh, and Wayne Rooney.
Q: What do you thing everyone should do before they turn twenty?
A: Travel without their parents to an unusual place.
Q: Did you use to be a bad boy?
A: I didn’t think so, but everyone around me thought I was.
Q: What are the things you like and hate most about Bulgaria? What would you change?
A: I like the atmosphere of the place. I also find Sofia beautiful, but Bulgarian people seem surprised when I say that. I love long-distance and marathon running, but am constantly chased by dogs, so I think someone should think about what to do with these street dogs.