Get to Know: Beata Schmid

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“Find an employer who values and offers professional development and take advantage of every opportunity you can to get involved in CPD, for yourself and also training others once you have gained more expertise.”

Could you tell us something about your early career in the language teaching sector?
Having grown up bilingual, I have always loved learning languages. My language teaching career started when I was 17 and attending high school in northern Germany. Swedish was one of my native languages and I was asked to teach Swedish in that high school, for an independent study group of my peers. Even though I was completely untrained, my peers seemed to be learning something and I was hooked on teaching! I also tutored English and French while still in high school. Later, I studied Scandinavian Languages and Literatures, as well as English language and literature, but I didn’t teach again until I went to graduate school in the USA, where I majored in linguistics. There, I was also part of an exciting program launch for Swedish language and culture, which actually is still operating, many years later. I also taught German, and was finally trained in methodology and language teaching techniques. I taught a double course load through graduate school, teaching various languages, and also worked in the university’s intensive English program. With my Ph.D. in linguistics in hand, I first worked as a software linguist (yes, I worked on your original spell checkers in English, Swedish and German, now part of Microsoft Word!) and then found my way back to education at EF, where I have worked in many academic capacities, including teacher, academic director and teacher trainer.

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