For the first Teacher Feature of Block 6, we look into the English Department with Mr Brad Eve, longstanding member of the English and EAL Team here at BISL.

A keen musician as well as an expert in the English language, Mr Eve has supported many of our students over the years to master their English skills, guiding them to become proficient in the language, thus allowing them to access the curriculum fully, with confidence and fluency. Being a language enthusiast, Mr Eve also edits our Secondary Newsletter. He never misses an opportunity to have a bit of fun banter with his students, always striving to make the learning fun and engaging for all - be it in school, online or on school trips.

How did your journey as a teacher begin?

My journey as a teacher started after I met a Slovenian girl back in the late 1980s in London and fell in love. Eventually I decided to move to Slovenia, where I have lived for the past 25 years or so and am still happily married to her. I first worked here in private language schools with Slovenian students aged between about 5 or 6 to 19 and 20 years old. In 2004, the owner of one of the schools I spent most of my time working in returned to the UK and somehow I ended up becoming the owner of that school. I had had a number of friends working at BISL since it opened in 2008 and when I was asked to help out by teaching some EAL to a few students back in 2013, I decided to accept the invitation and joined the team here at BISL. I enjoyed the variety of working with so many new nationalities and happily, I still do so to this day.

Why did you decide to specialise in English?

I specialised in English as it combines a lot of my passions. I am a keen musician who loves writing my own songs, and discovering just how English really works on many levels has improved my songwriting. Also, I have always enjoyed reading classic literature and to get to work with them as well as with new and exciting modern literature. It all seems even more exciting from the perspective of being the teacher as you can watch others get the same experiences. By digging deeper into the English language, this has also helped me relate to concepts involved in learning other foreign languages and although I know I sound quite clumsy, I do attempt to speak them when I get the chance as I feel it brings me closer to the local community when I can participate in conversations.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

As part of both the English and the EAL team, I get to see firsthand the progress made by students as they adapt to the challenges of studying in the English language. I have seen many students struggle with studying all day in English when they arrive and growing into confident and successful students who achieve great results in exams only a few years later. To work with them and to follow their whole journey to the end is really a wonderful privilege. There are usually at least one or two unexpected but pleasant moments in a classroom almost every day, so most days still have some highlights even after so many years.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

A typical day at BISL involves a number of things. Firstly, Form time where I get the chance to participate closely in the journey through the year of the form I assist with. Then there will be either an EAL lesson with an individual or small group, where we work on strengthening their confidence and competence in their English language development. This can be very enjoyable as the students who are often self-conscious about their language ability in a classroom get the chance to speak and share their ideas a lot more in these smaller groups. Then there will be my English classes with Years 7 and 8 where we will look at a number of interesting topics or continue with our literature study of the book we are currently reading. English is a great subject to teach because a lesson can be about absolutely anything at all. I also enjoy getting outside on a duty and maybe getting the occasional chance to join in with a little FourSquare, basketball or kick a football with the students.

Why is the experience of an international education important for a student?

The experience of studying at an international school is a rare and valuable one. I have seen so many students really embrace the opportunity, achieve great results and go on to wonderful careers that they may not have had the chance to had they not been part of an international setting. Being exposed to so many cultures, languages and other people's viewpoint of the world has made a great impact on a number of students who I have enjoyed working with over the years.

More from our Teacher Feature series