Hi, I’m Chia Suan, but most people call me Chia.
I am a communication skills and intercultural skills trainer, a Business English specialist and an EFL teacher trainer based in York. I was teaching General English, Business English and exam classes in London from 2003 – 2012, working mainly at International House London, but I moved to Munich in 2012 and started working freelance, dealing with in-company corporate training, and intensive teacher training and intercultural training workshops and seminars. I moved back to the UK in late 2013 and continued freelancing as a communications and intercultural trainer, alongside more projects writing materials for ELT-related publications .
Aside from my original Bachelor degree in Communication Studies (Broadcast and Electronic Media) and my CELTA and DELTA qualifications, I also have a LCCI Cert TEB in teaching Business English, and a MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from King’s College London where my dissertation focused on politeness in intercultural communication and ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) scenarios.
I am interested in teaching approaches and methodologies, especially in Dogme and coursebook-less classrooms, ELF and Sociolinguistics, and am fascinated with the interplay between culture, communication, language and thought. As a result, I find myself writing a lot about these topics in blogs and journals (see below). In addition to being the regular blogger of ETprofessional.com (the official website of ELT journal ETp), I also am involved in materials development of language teaching resources and consultancy for training organisations.
Aside from communications training and and teacher training e.g. running CELTA and CERT IBET courses, I spend a lot of my time blogging, tweeting (@chiasuan), and Skyping. I have spoken at several conferences (see below) about Dogme and unplugged teaching, using technology with Dogme, ELF, politeness and pragmatics, intercultural awareness, Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and drama in classrooms.
Almost nothing excites me more than having a passionate discussion about language and communication. In my free time, I am an avid DVD collector and like wasting my time staring at my 500-600 DVD collection arranged in alphabetical order.
|Conferences||“A Coursebook-less Classroom”, English UK Business Trainers’ Conference 2009
“International English – An Alternative Model to ELF”, IATEFL BESIG Poznan 2009; English UK Business Trainers’ Conference 2010.
“Improvised Principled Eclecticism – a Dogme research project”, IATEFL Harrogate 2010.
“Systemic Functional Grammar – Why have most Business English teachers never heard of it?”, IATEFL BESIG Bielefeld 2010.
“Systemic Functional Grammar – Can SFG resolve those myths pedagogic grammar perpetuates?”, IATEFL Brighton 2011.
“Intelligibility or Impressions? – Requests in ELF scenarios”, IATEFL BESIG Dubrovnik 2011.
“My Conversion into ELF”, IH DOS Conference Plenary Speech 2012.
“My Journey with ELF”, IATEFL Glasgow 2012 BESIG Pre-Conference Event Opening Presentation.
“Constructing Politeness in ELF Service Encounters – Lessons for the language classroom”, ELF 5, Istanbul, May 2012.
“Myths and Controversies in Business English Teaching”, BESIG Paris Summer Symposium, June 2012.
“Creating the Right Impression – the politeness and pragmatics of ELF“, ETAS ZUG SIG Day, Switzerland, Sept 2012.
“Paying Lip Service to Applied Linguistics“, Closing Plenary for the English UK Teachers’ Conference, Nov 2012.
“(Mis)-Applied Linguistics“, Closing Plenary for TESOL France conference, Nov 2012.
“Devil’s Kitchen: cooking up food for thought”, IATEFL Liverpool 2013.
“Failure Fest”, IATEFL Liverpool 2013.
“English as a Lingua Franca”, MELTA Workshop, April 2013.
“Controversies in ELT”, Opening Plenary for TESOL France Strasbourg Spring Day.
“Top tips for using mini-white boards in the Business English classroom”, BESIG Prague, Nov 2013.
“Creating the right impression: the politeness and pragmatics of ELF”, ETp Live!, June 2014.
|Online presentations||“The Politeness and Pragmatics of ELF”, IATEFL BESIG Online Workshop, Feb 2012
.“Plugging in the Unplugged Classroom”, 5thVirtual Round Table, April 2012.
“A trip down memory lane of methodology”, British Council webinar, Nov 2012.
“Where do I go from here?”, English House Corporate, Oct 2013.
“ELT: How far have we really come?”, 4C in ELT, April 2014.
|Publications||‘Politeness and Pragmatics in NNS Interactions’, IATEFL Global Issues Special Interest Group Newsletter, 28, 47-49‘Business English Drama’, with Phil Wade. IATEFL Business Issues SIG Newsletter, Issue 81.
‘Politeness and Pragmatics in NNS Interactions’, IH Journal, Issue 32.
Book review: ‘Teaching the Pronunciation of ELF’, IH Journal, Issue 32.
‘Politeness, Pragmatics and ELF’, ETAS Journal, Vol. 29 No. 3 Summer, 2012.
Why I Changed My Mind About ELF – A Literature Review for the Practitioner, Language Issues, Vol. 23. No. 1, 2012.
What does a CELTA tutor do?, English Teaching Professional, Issue 82, Oct 2012.
Ten things that teachers should never forget, Teaching Times, Fall Issue, Nov 2012.
Head-to-Head on ‘Are English Exams useful?’, Business Spotlight, Jan-Feb, 1/2013.
‘My trainees’ 10 (+1) maxims of teaching’, IH Journal, Issue 33.
“Death by Idioms”, Humanising Language Teaching, Dec 2013.
“11 things students say that break my heart – Part 1”, Teaching Times, Issue 68.
“11 things students say that break my heart – Part 2”, Teaching Times, Issue 67.
Writing and Speaking Supplements, IELTS Dictionary, Collins, 2013.
Contributor, New Ways of Teaching Business English, TESOL Press, 2014.
Regular blogger for http://www.etprofessional.com (official website for ELT Journal ETp)