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From Japan to Slovakia again? I must be crazy, says our teacher Anthony.

From Japan to Slovakia again? I must be crazy, says our teacher Anthony.

A language school is not just exercises and textbooks, it is experienced and qualified teachers who have already opened the door to the world of English for many of our students. And they are not only professionals in their field, but also interesting people, world travelers and unique personalities. Get to know them better with us.

Anthony Forsyth comes from the north-east of Scotland and says that his native country has surprisingly much in common with Slovakia. How did he get from far away Japan to teach back in Slovakia and what gets on his students’ nerves the most? Read our interview.

Do you ever get homesick?

I wouldn’t even say. Of course, there are some things I miss, like our national dish – it’s something like liverwurst – and good whisky, but in the end, I didn’t leave for nothing.

How did you come to learn English?

I’ve always liked English as a subject and have always been good at it, so I’ve regularly thought of it as an option I can build a career on. But my real motivation to start teaching English to foreigners was a trip to Japan. I always wanted to go there. Going there as an English teacher was, in short, the easiest way to get.

How many years have you been teaching English?

It’s a total of 7 years, of which 2 years in Japan and 5 years in Slovakia (and 4 years in The Bridge). So my teaching career so far consists of Slovakia-Japan-Slovakia. Did I say so far? Of course, I plan to stay at The Bridge as long as they want me here. I’ll also feel free to be buried under Bastova, so that I can be found here when it’s uncovered one day during the excavations.

How did you get to The Bridge?

I worked in Japan for two years in the state school system (11-14 year olds), so when I came back to Europe, my only condition was no more children. And although I had offers from other schools, The Bridge was the only one where they promised me that I would only work with adults if I wanted to. The fact that I already knew the country and still remembered how to say “hello” and “thank you” was just a nice bonus. Of course, it took Andrea from Bridge a full three days before she suggested that I teach the children as well. ;P

Where did you work before?

When I was in Slovakia for the first time, I was teaching at a language school in Trnava, and that was a proper school for a new teacher – although a couple of times a week in the morning I would go to Bratislava to teach directors and a few high-ranking people in companies, but in the afternoon I was already going around the villages around Trnava, singing songs and colouring cards with kindergarteners. Crazy.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Payday, that’s clear. Next question? No, I’m kidding. I’ve always liked that feeling of satisfaction when you see that a student has finally “got it” and learned something new, or mastered something they couldn’t before. That and (not always, but quite often) the relationships you form with a wide variety of different people as part of the job.

What gets on your nerves the most with students?

“Jéžiš Maria, how much more do we have?” just joking. Honestly? Sometimes students think that one hour a week spent with a native speaker is enough for them to start speaking English at the same level. This expectation can be a real barrier. We don’t give homework or various assignments to torture students. But if they spent their lesson being watched by a tutor writing a biography or other exercise, they would certainly not be satisfied. The unrealistic expectation that mastering a foreign language can be done without any real effort can really annoy me sometimes.

What is your best quality and what is your worst?

Tough question. I am very honest and always say what I think. The problem is that sometimes I forget about diplomacy and can be too direct. People don’t like that sometimes. I’m quite intelligent and funny, but as you might have noticed, a bit arrogant at times. And as I mentioned before, I’m pretty sure I’m crazy in a sense. After all, I moved from Japan to Slovakia, for God’s sake..

What do you do in your free time? Do you do anything professionally?

For what it’s worth, I recently finished watching YouTube just to get more general knowledge that I can talk about with my students. Yes, I watched all of YouTube, even the conspiracy stuff. Did you know that Bill Gates wants to control us through microchips and that’s why you can’t get them anywhere anymore? Because they’re all in covid vaccines and 5G signals? It all totally makes sense, really… Whatever, to demonstrate a bit of genuine Scottish humour, just for you.

Otherwise, I’m a big geek and I love pop culture – movies, TV shows and so on. Football is also a big hobby of mine – I’ve recently started working on losing some weight and getting more fit, and hopefully one day I’ll get to play it again instead of watching it.

Do you want to improve your English? Email us at kurzy@thebridge.sk or call us on +421 948 104 916 and you might just find yourself in a lesson with Anthony and his unique sense of humour. 🙂