How did you get in here?

Hi. My name’s Caroline, and I work in English Language Teaching.

I never thought I’d end up here: a door opened, and I fell in.

I studied French and Russian at university and, after a year abroad that took me from studying Serbo-Croat and working in an Irish pub (classic French experience right there) to inflicting phrasal verbs upon unsuspecting Russian businessmen, I made a promise to myself: I, Caroline James, would never work in an office. And, one day, I would return to Moscow.

While a lot of my friends were throwing themselves into unpaid internships during university vacations, I was teaching a motley band of European teenagers halfway up a mountain in the Swiss Alps. When the dreaded assessment centre season rolled around in November of my final year, I watched on as everyone signed away their futures (or at least the next two years) to faceless firms in the City.

I applied to do a CELTA in Ukraine.

Fast-forward to 2015 and – after a successful couple of years teaching in Moscow, and a not-so-successful (but hey, I still have it!) MPhil in Russian Literature – here I am in Oxford, having managed to turn a series of seemingly bizarre decisions into a legitimate career.

But I do have to work in an office now.

Like many people who work in ELT publishing, I was a teacher before I was an editor – and I was a student before that. I might sit behind a desk at the moment, but I’ll always be a teacher at heart and – most importantly – I’ll never stop learning.

I’m writing this blog because I want to become more active in our ELT community. Despite our shared backgrounds, there still seems to be quite a large gap between publisher and teacher.

This blog isn’t going to be a damning exposé of the ELT publishing industry – because actually, it’s a pretty wonderful place to work. Don’t expect a ‘tell-all’ from me anytime soon…

Instead, look out for posts on my language teaching and language learning experiences, as well as my thoughts on broader trends in ELT and education. Enjoy! And – as always – please send me your feedback. I look forward to getting to know you!

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