Hello from snowy Switzerland

Published on 8th February, 2010 in Global Bloggers by Amy Jost

AMY_JOSTHello from snowy Switzerland. My name’s Amy Jost and in the months of February and March, while most people here spend their free time watching the winter Olympics, skiing, snowshoeing or snowboarding, I’ll be your first global blogger. I’m not much of a winter sports fan, so that suits me (and I hope you) just fine.

Here’s a little information about me, my background, my interests, where I teach and my students.

I’m an American married to a German and mother of a multi-lingual 15 year old. My educational background is in Linguistics and I am a graduate from Indiana University. For any Americans out there, you’d call me a ‘Hoosier’, a native from the state of Indiana. Indiana and its cornfields are a long way from Switzerland, but I didn’t come directly here from the Midwest. I made two teaching and residency stops: first to Ueda, Japan, and then to Bavaria, Germany.

My studies, work and travels have helped me to understand the joys and the pitfalls of learning languages. I speak German, understand Swiss German (more on that below), spoke Japanese many moons ago, and pretend to speak Spanish and Italian whenever I can.

Switzerland is a small, rich country steeped in traditions of independence and neutrality with a unique political and linguistic landscape. It’s a fascinating place to live and to teach in. You have probably heard of Swiss cheeses, chocolates, banks, watches, mountains, and Roger Federer, but did you know there are 4 official languages recognized here? French, German, Italian and Romansch? My students, who generally speak at least one of those four languages and have the cultural perspective those languages bring, often share their opinions about local and global politics and the world around them in class which leads to lively debates, which I thoroughly enjoy.

My students consist primarily of adults who work in firms, where I give in-house lessons, and I teach them generally once a week for an hour or 90 minutes. They are eager to learn general or business English, many of them aiming to take an exam to certify their level of ability. I try to be empathetic to my students and am known to pitch the lesson plan and play games or have discussions if the need arises. Every day I learn something from my students in this fulfilling job! They are a delight to work with and the reason I am still teaching after 26 years.

Lifelong learning, whether it be languages, sports, or music is something I believe and participate in daily. Now it’s time for me to learn a new skill, blogging. It’s a real honor to be working on this project for Global and I hope we all learn from each other during my months at the helm. Please feel free to share your comments with me. Let the games begin!

25 Comments

  • Unfortunately the sound didn’t seem to work so I couldn’t hear Lindsay or Amy. But it was nice to see your smiling faces!

    Cindy Hauert on 8 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy, love to see you blog. Very interesting! I am looking forward to see you at the lake for a nice swim…
    Monique

    Monique Weber on 9 February, 2010
  • Brilliant start! Congrats! Can’t wait for the next one!

    Sophsters on 9 February, 2010
  • Hello Amy ! yes !I think you are the best representation for global !Congrats and keep up the hard work !.It’s so fun to see you speaking after many years …so refreshing !.
    Good Luck !Cheers!Denice.

    Denice Lazzara on 9 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy, Congratulations on becoming the first Global Blogger. This great. Well done. I will be following avidly. Hope you are well. love sophie. xx

    Sophie Lidgate on 9 February, 2010
  • Hello, ladies! Thank you for stopping by and for the encouragement. It’s nice to know I’m not alone out here. Stay tuned for more blogs. And I hope to see all of you soon here in Switzerland, or abroad.

    Amy Jost on 9 February, 2010
  • Very nice presentation ! Good luck Amy !

    Régis on 9 February, 2010
  • Amy : you just are incredible .
    You forgot to mention how your spoken French is excellent too!
    Congratulations! This blog is a “petit bijou” just like you!
    Françoise.

    Françoise on 10 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy, you are not alone! I’m a Hoosier too! (grew up in West Lafayette and Purdue grad.)teaching in Lugano. Best wishes!

    Emanuel Colella on 11 February, 2010
  • This is great, Amy! If your first blog is any indication, this will be a fun, entertaining and learning adventure for all your readers. Best of luck and have fun! I’ll be staying tuned….

    Diane on 11 February, 2010
  • Thanks again to all of you. Cindy, sorry about the sound. It seems to be working for most people. Francoise, my French was overlooked while writing. Thanks for the compliment. Regis, see you in class!

    Amy Jost on 11 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy. Wow! Great start to a successful blogging career. You look marvelous! I visited a lot of pages, but was unable to view the videocast (perhaps this is just a U.S. issue?). Love, Ardy

    Aunt Ardy Weisshaar on 11 February, 2010
  • Great video and wonderful start to your blogging career. With your international background and your involvement in ETAS and IATEFL, you are the ideal global spokeswoman from Switzerland. Go Amy!

    Alison Taylor on 12 February, 2010
  • Hey Amy
    I’ll be sure to pass this on to my students here and friends in the US who might also be interested about life/teaching/swimming:-) in der Schweiz. Got the sound and video!

    Elizabth Ulrich on 13 February, 2010
  • Hi, Ardy, Alison and Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by and your encouraging comments. Sorry about the sound, Ardy! More posts soon…

    Amy Jost on 13 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy, Good luck to Lindsay and you and everybody associated with Global. I really like the bit about the Trabant which I think is in the Pre-Int book. Best, Hugh B

    Hugh Butland on 14 February, 2010
  • Hi lass, Good job! I’m looking forward to comparing your engineers with my Kazakhstanis! Will see you at IATEFL. I think that we have bit more snow in Riga now than you do by the looks of it. Best Silvija

    Best Silvija

    Silvija Andernovics on 15 February, 2010
  • Hi, Hugh! Yes, the Trabant story is in the Pre-Intermediate book, which we’re currently using. It’s a great discussion starter. Silvija, thanks for checking in!

    Amy Jost on 16 February, 2010
  • Hi Amy
    Thanks for representing Switzerland 😉 You’re doing an excellent job. Keep up your great “Hoosier” spirit. Best, Claudia

    Claudia Kälin on 18 February, 2010
  • Hi, Claudia! It takes one (person with a Hoosier spirit) to know one. Hope to see you soon.

    Amy Jost on 20 February, 2010
  • You go, girl! I’m looking forward to reading more. Congrats on what is sure to be the start of your internet stardom.

    Dana on 27 February, 2010
  • Excellent presentation! I am admire your skills. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Best, Olga.

    Olga(RUSSIA) on 2 March, 2010
  • Hello, Dana and Olga. Thanks for dropping by and your encouraging comments. Please look at the Global Bloggers for more posts from me. I hope you enjoy them!

    Amy Jost on 3 March, 2010
  • Hi Amy,
    Congrats. on the first Global Blogger. You look wonderful, so pretty and healthy. Each time I think of you my mind fills with great memories of our trips to your homes.You were the best tour guide, dinner entertainer, historian, and to put up with the Arlt’s is not an easy task. Love You, Melanie

    Jim and Melanie Arlt on 28 March, 2010
  • Hi, Melanie! It’s good to hear from you. You Arlts are a great clan and I’m lucky to have your genes, or your husband’s genes, at least. Take care!

    Amy Jost on 29 March, 2010