Sylvain from France, living in Mexico

:grinning:Bonjour les ami‧es ! :grinning:

My name is Sylvain and I grew up in Switzerland :switzerland: until I was ten and then in the south of France :fr:. I studied literature, linguistics and English starting in a lovely town called Aix-en-Provence and then I graduated in Paris and in Lyon with a Master degree in Teaching French as a foreign language :man_student:. As part of the Erasmus exchange programme, I studied a year in Brighton UK :uk:, one of my best experience abroad, very much similar with the intercultural experience Cédric Klapisch shows in the movie :film_projector: L’auberge Espagnole.
I also lived 2 years in India :india: in Hyderabad where I participated in the design of an e-learning university project. Living in India with a European background was quite a shock at the beginning but it soon became such a nurturing experience :star_struck:. I even managed to learn a few Hindi expressions that I still remember after so many years like “thik hey” (ok), “djaldi” (quick). I’m not sure of the spelling though :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Teaching and relating with others is my great passion :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:. I started teaching when I freshly began University and I haven’t stopped since then. I’m 43, currently living in Mexico, in a city called Cuernavaca, the very one where Malcolm Lowry’s novel Under the Volcano takes place. If you know that novel, don’t worry, my daily life is far from the dark atmosphere that smoulders in it :wink:. Actually, Cuernavaca is a really nice place to live in. It is known as the City of Eternal Spring, guess why? Because it’s never cold and never hot. If the weather can influence someone’s mood sometimes, here you cannot have any reasons to be moody. Shiny weather :sun_behind_small_cloud:, shiny mood :sun_with_face: !

Cuernavaca is located at the hub of many volcanoes :volcano: that I enjoy climbing (the active one apart obviously :exploding_head:). Hiking and mountaineering are among my dearest hobbies. I go to the mountains with friends, with my family and with my students. Each time I climb a mountain, I feel the experience as a metaphor of life: you have to be prepared, ready to face the unexpected and when it’s getting harder, you have to be resourceful, resilient and trustful with your companions, and at the end when finally reaching the summit, you experience a pure feeling of satisfaction, the same that when you achieve great deeds at work, in personal life or in relationships :star_struck:


A photo I took of the active volcano Popocatepetl starting a day work. What a fantastic view, isn’t it?

I also like doing sport in general: I play football :soccer: and volleyball :volleyball:, but also handball :man_playing_handball:, badminton :badminton: and tennis. When I was in France I loved doing rock climbing :person_climbing:, horse riding :horse_racing: and snowboarding :snowboarder:.
I like dancing Salsa :dancer:. In my stay in India I had the weirdest idea :crazy_face: to offer the student on the campus a salsa workshop. It was quite a bold cross-cultural project: a French guy teaching salsa to Indian people in a country where men and women where not used to public physical contact. Quite a challenge indeed but I won’t forget the way my students enjoyed that new experience :heart_eyes:!

I’ve always liked cinema, literature, especially thrillers and SF novels. In musique :headphones:, I’ve got quite eclectic tastes: I love listening opera when I’m working; electronic and techno musique while doing the housework; but also Slam and pop musique in different languages.

I love to play cards and board games. Ultimately, I’ve been playing a lot Catan. My favourite with my students is the Werewolf :wolf: role play.

I’ve been working in Cuernavaca as a French teacher for the past 14 years; the first 7 years in the cultural center Alliance Française teaching mostly to adults, and for the past 7 years in a Swiss School teaching to 12-19 years old students. I’m working with an international team of colleagues where you can hear in the same hour Spanish, French, English, German, Italian and even Chinese. Languages, cultural identities and interactions is what I like exploring with my colleagues and students. I love my job, I enjoy that with each new group, with each new person, it’s a new adventure starting again even though the language itself does not change much. In my class, I often use games and role play as a learning dynamic. I procure making the students feel confident and, most important, that they enjoy their learning.
I’ll be happy to know you and help you master French language!

French is my first language. I speak fluently Spanish and English. I have also learnt german as a kid and later at school, and a bit of russian when I was teenager.

:de: Ich kann noch gut Deutsch verstehen, viel besser als ich kann Deutsch sprechen oder schreiben. Ich verstehe auch ein bisschen Schweizerdeutsch. Ich war mehrmals in Deutschland und Schweiz und könnte zimlich gut kommunizieren, aber ich habe lange nicht geübt. Deshalb bin ich sehr froh dass ich wieder mit die Sprache verbinden kann und dir kennenzulernen.

:mexico: Querid@s amig@s que hablan español. Empecé aprender español cuando vivía en la India. A lo mejor no suena como el lugar idóneo, pero tuve una maestra indio fenomenal y conocí a muchas personas de América central y del sur que me dieron ganas venir por aquí. Así es que llegué a México. Me encantaría poder conocerte y acompañarte en el aprendizaje del francés.

:fr: Cher‧ère ami‧e qui veut apprendre le français, je serai enchanté de pouvoir te connaître. Le français est une langue merveilleuse forgée dans l’histoire et au croisement d’autres langues. Comme toutes les langues, elle vit et évolue, c’est pourquoi elle peut paraître parfois si irrégulière. Apprendre le français représente un défi certes, mais surtout un véritable plaisir tant pour l’enseignant‧e que pour l’apprenant‧e. Je serai enchanté de pouvoir t’accompagner pour relever ce défi et pour partager ce plaisir avec toi ! :speaking_head: :footprints: :ok_hand:

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Wow this is such a great profile @SylvainG!! Thank you for taking the time to write all this, I’m sure the students will enjoy reading it because it gives a lot of info about you! :star_struck:
I can totally relate with your Erasmus experience, mine was in Sheffield… ten years ago!
Hiking in your region must be amazing!! I just got back from holidays in Auvergne where I’ve also been climbing volcanoes (but way less active/dangerous than your volcanoes I guess! :yum:) and I experienced that satisfaction feeling you’re talking about! :mountain: :hiking_boot:
Bienvenue dans la communauté, je suis certaine que tu vas t’y plaire !

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Merci @Amandine pour le message de bienvenue :smiley:
Woua we’re part of the Erasmus generations. I was in Brighton 20 years ago :astonished:. That program changed thousands of lives ! What a best way to open to other cultures and build cross-national friendships !
You lived in Scotland as well, didn’t you ? Where about ? Did you have the opportunity to climb Ben Nevis ?
I did a tour once in Scotland. Nature is so wild and beautiful there. Just loved it :heart_eyes:

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Welcome, Sylvain! :grinning:
What an interesting introduction! Hope you enjoy tutoring here at Chatterbug!

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Hola @SylvainG :happyllama: ¡Bienvenido a nuestra comunidad!

I imagine living in India must be very different from other countries, and to start leaning Spanish there, :open_mouth: what an adventure!

I love Catan too :raised_hands:, but I don’t know Werewolf role play, what is it about?

Disfruta tus lecciones y te deseo un bonito día :sun_with_face:.

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Hello @27sp.sandra !
Thanks for your welcoming words :smiley:
¡Que gusto poder convivir en español en la comunidad!

Sandra, maybe you kwow the Werewolf game by it’s french name “Les Loups-Garous de Thiercelieux”. Does that name ring a bell ?

It’s about a village getting attacked at night by :wolf:Werewolves :wolf: who are pretending in the day being innocent citizens :innocent:. It’s a fantastic game to make the students talk and convince others about who’s who in the game. I love it and it’s so much fun :joy:

Maybe one day we can organise a live session :wink:

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:astonished: I had no idea! It sounds very cool :blush:. I’ll have to try it someday.

Por supuesto :raised_hands:.

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Hey @SylvainG! Oui, I spent a year in Edinburgh (right after my Erasmus because I didn’t want to go back to France héhé)!
Sadly I didn’t get the chance to climb Ben Nevis but I had many nice walks around lakes (loch), old castles and small islands! You’re right: Scotland is a wild and beautiful country!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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:star_struck: Wouaa @Amandine ! I totally understand what you must have felt. I didn’t want to leave GB neither after my year there. One year, it feels too short to know the country and immerse oneself in the culture and the language. I just spent a few days in Edinburgh, but I was amazed by the atmosphere in it. It is the kind of town you would enjoy living in. I’m sure you had a great year there ! :grinning:

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Hi @SylvainG! Wow! What a great introduction! It was super interesting reading about all your interests! It must’ve been a super challenge trying to teach Salsa to students who don’t know the style, and have different customs when it comes to dancing. :dancer:

Welcome to the Chatterbug team, and I wish you the best of luck! :blush:

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Hello @ChereeKr ! Thanks for your message.
I can see you like dancing as well. :dancer: :man_dancing: You’re right, there’s lots of different dancing styles there, and I could learn a few Bollywood moves there :joy: It was so funny !
But when I came back to France and enjoyed my new moves in parties, my friends were not so amazed though :flushed: :crazy_face: :rofl:

Super interesting @SylvainG ! :smiley:

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Salut @Camille.TerRa,
Je vois que tu es une véritable globe-trotteuse toi :star_struck:
La Nouvelle-Zélande, la terre de Lords of the rings, fascinant n’est-ce pas ?
Et Cooks Islands, ça a l’air d’être un lieu paradisiaque :wink: