There’s more soul in Seoul and more Kraft in Kassel than what you may think…
A truly global citizen, Gail was born in Seoul, South Korea. She completed her college education in sunny San Diego where she received her teaching qualifications, then headed back to South Korea for a few years before relocating to Germany in 2004 for love.
To Kassel as it happens, where she took a German course and after six months started working as a language trainer. Gail notes that up until now, she hasn’t taught Korean, “Probably because the demand is not so high in Kassel,” she muses.
A truly polished language trainer, Gail has been in the language industry for over 15 years and has seen it all. A teacher comes and goes, another class, another room. And yet there are language companies and language companies. What is the NATIVES difference? “I like the dynamics, that the people are very friendly and there is always a good team spirit, that people like to help each other out. They are a fun crowd to hang out with yet they take their job seriously”. For Gail, the most important thing has been “getting to know so many cultures and perspectives”.
Gail laments that one of the downsides, however, to working in such a multicultural environment is that she does not get to improve her German, “I’m always speaking English!”.
Having lived more than half her life outside of South Korea, Gail has a specific view of how language at its heart is “transferred“. Language transfer is more of a transfer of knowledge in the way people think, their different perspectives, even the logic behind a language or the psychology of a language.
Gail feels that the main cultural difference between native German and English speakers is straightforwardness: “Germans, I would say, are straightforward and a lot of people misinterpret this as being rude. If they have a question, then they ask you, because they want to know something. They don’t beat around the bush”. She also notes that unlike in the Anglo culture, Germans do not readily lavish praise or dish out compliments. She was really surprised when a student recently gave her detailed positive written feedback on her training style: “That doesn’t happy very often!” laughs Gail.
This article was written by guest author, Petra Zlatevska.