About me

When I first heard where I was appointed to work I was so ... relieved. This is the "beauty" of this job, you don't get to choose where you work. They did ask me for my geographical preferences but they could have literally sent me anywhere.

I am always looking for partner schools to set up international projects such as student video sharing, Skype conversations or any new ideas that you would come up with. So if you are interested you can leave a comment below or contact me via the Facebook page of my blog (I also have a etwinning profile).

So, high school and university level students in the geographical area that I had asked for was pretty much ... a miracle.

Then I had a first meeting with the head of school and I slowly started to realise the size of the challenge ahead of me.

This school is a technical and vocational high school where I mainly teach technical English in a land-based engineering two-year degree called BTS Technique et service en matériel agricole (BTS TSMA). I also teach a few hours in STI2D (Science et technologie de l'industrie et du développement durable).

And while there are a few textbooks for STI2D lessons, I quickly came to understand that there were no textbooks on how to teach 'farm machinery English'. Through my hours of research on the web, I did come across a few pdfs on how tractor mechanics work often written before 1980 and some primary school lesson plans on the farm, so nothing of much help! 

This means I have to create each and every activity, worksheet, lesson plan I want to teach, which is both very stimulating and time-consuming. I spend a lot of time looking for topics, videos and texts that I could use in my lessons. Then when it comes to farm machinery jargon, I sometimes have to study what the words mean in French. For example, I had never heard of a three point hitch and it was not very clear to me what a hydraulic system was before I found a Rachel Gingell video and decided to do a listening activity on 'how to easily fix tractor hydraulics'  

This is why I came up with the idea of this blog. I am a sharing type of teacher. I like the idea that what I do can benefit not just the students that I teach, but also other teachers and therefore other students that I have not even met.


Subsequent to working in mapping (a very short two-month contract), I promptly came to realise that it was not my thing (too little human contact among other things). I took a CELTA course in London and started a language teaching career. I have taught English, Spanish and French as a foreign language in France (Chambre de commerce de Lille), Moscow (International House) and London. 

For three years, in London, I was a University Lecturer at Birkbeck, City and Westminster University, as well as a language teacher at International House.

At present, I am a qualified English teacher in a French high school.

I own two MAs: one in Geography and another in English Studies, as well as a BA in Applied Foreign Languages (French and Spanish).

Cécile Sohier


  1. HI, i'm impressed by your blog. Interresting, well done, simple but complete. I will often come back and will propose you to look at another web site in english of course!
    But next time, because i'll have more time.
    Odile ( management teacher in Normandy )

  2. Thank you Odile! I am happy that you find it interesting. I look forward to visiting your blog...