Staff Member Spotlight: Steve Patten

Title
Head Trainer

Photos

What is your favorite travel memory?

Getting lost in Tokyo! I boarded the wrong train and ended up at a rural station where no one spoke English. Luckily, I was rescued by a Japanese family who, although they spoke little English, befriended me and took me for a meal.

We became great friends and are still in contact today. I plan to visit them in 2020 when I attend the next Summer Olympics.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Absolutely. Being a member of the Via Lingua family is a wonderfully creative, supportive and challenging experience.

Working collaboratively with colleagues continually provides me with new ideas and approaches. The positive and critical feedback from both fellow instructors and trainee teachers has never ceased to stimulate me to improve and grow.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Many students remain in contact with Via Lingua via our alumni association so we frequently hear of their progress in the field of TEFL.

The best story is of the trainee teacher who, after teaching for several years post qualification, continued her studies with one of our partner universities. Receiving study credits in recognition of her Via Lingua qualification, she not only went on to complete her MA TESOL, but also to secure a teaching and research post at a leading US university.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose the Via Lingua CTEFL program.

This is such a great way to both access the world of language teaching and immerse oneself in a new culture. The course provides a perfect balance between theory and practice.

Skills and knowledge introduced in the training sessions are applied in the classroom, where trainee teachers work with authentic second language learners. In addition, living and studying in a culture different from one's own is both a challenging and rewarding experience, one which lasts a lifetime.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Via Lingua is unique in the field of TEFL training programs because it offers a holistic approach that provides opportunities for trainee teachers to:

  • study and work alongside experienced TEFL teachers;
  • apply theoretical knowledge when working with multiple levels of authentic second language learners (a minimum of 10 hours practical experience);
  • engage in guided research projects and activities;
  • immerse themselves in the culture of the host country and learn a foreign language;
  • further develop existing skills and talents;
  • develop skills and qualities associated with life-long learning.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe that there are three key factors involved here, all of which are fundamental to the way Via Lingua has designed its business model: invest in the professional development of employees (the training staff), invest in identifying the needs of clients (the trainee teachers), and invest in research and development (language acquisition, training programs, and training materials).