by Julia Khait
The first thing that needs to be said about Nancy is that she is one of the most optimistic persons I’ve ever met. She has such a great feeling of happiness and gratitude for everything that has happened in her life, that it is really worth adopting !
Nancy has had a very rich experience in the educational sphere. She is a teacher herself: she has taught Language Arts at all levels of public school and in courses at Monmouth College. She has also worked as an Administrator of Curriculum and Instruction, helping teachers in working out their own courses, finding textbooks, etc. As a training teacher, she has visited a lot of countries, including Argentina, China and Russia, among others. There she had a wonderful opportunity to exchange her teaching experience with other teachers from the different countries.
After her retirement, Nancy stated two main goals to achieve. The first one was to immerse herself in another culture. As an English teacher she spent a year in Prague working for a language company. She worked with pilots and air traffic controllers advancing their English, as English is the international language in all the communications between pilots and air traffic control officers all over the world. The same work she did in Georgia and Ukraine. So, when you will go somewhere by plane, think about it, maybe it is that very pilot that Nancy has taught!
The second goal was to speak at least one more language. She decided to study French because she loved its sound. For this purpose, she took one course of French, however, she considers herself more self-taught. She also went to live in France and made a lot of French friends. Practicing French with native speakers helped her to improve her language, as well as helped her French friends improve their English. Nancy and her new French friends spent half of their conversation time speaking French, and the other half of the time speaking English. However, her main advice for everybody who studies foreign languages is to find their own learning style.
The most important thing that Nancy has learned during her life is that basically, we all are the same and that it is possible to understand each other and our differences. People from different parts of the same country are different from each other as well. Nancy grew up in Boston where people are more conservative and reserved. It might sound curious, but for her was even harder to adjust to New Jersey than to Prague!
Nancy moved to Princeton in 2004, and since then she has been a tutor at the English Conversation Group. She finds it really amazing to talk to people from the four corners of the earth. More than that, it gives her a lot of energy and keeps her young!