St. Laurent Adult Education Centre’s Mr. Nick is Teaching English in a Fun Way
Common Core Basic English (CCBE) teacher Nick Galanogeorgos, affectionately known as “Mr. Nick,” has created a truly fun way to help his students learn English at the St. Laurent Adult Education Centre.
Just over a year ago Mr. Nick was teaching an English class at the High School of Montreal Adult Education Centre when the pandemic hit. After class on March 12, 2020 they called it a day and went home for the last time. After that, everything changed. He was teaching a small Adult CCBE group at the time and decided it would be a great idea to keep his class going by meeting them on Zoom once or twice a week in the evenings. It was nothing formal, just some chitchat and small talk to keep up with some conversation practice. Knowing they could still gather and hang out with their classmates and teacher during those frightening times, gave them all a sense of comfort and unity. This was particularly the case for those students who were here alone, new to the country and away from families and friends.
Mr. Nick joined the staff of the St. Laurent Adult Education Centre last August.
“Over the past 18 years, my students had always tried to persuade me to launch a YouTube channel with my lessons, but I was never really able to make time for it,” Mr. Nick says. “Well, COVID figured that out for me. While others picked up the guitar or started painting, I picked up my phone and started recording.”
In January 2021, it was time to finally listen to his students, so Mr. Nick recorded his first video and posted it on his classroom’s Facebook page. The lighting wasn't great, and the audio needed some help, but it was a start. He began shooting and incorporating some of these videos into his lessons and the reactions of students was very positive. “I had lots of help and encouragement from my wife, my kids and of course my amazing students,” he explains. “My colleagues and students over the years know that I love using sitcoms like ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ for listening, vocabulary and comprehension lessons, so it was only fitting that I would name the channel, ‘Everybody Loves English.’ Creating these videos is also quite challenging and time consuming. It's still a work in progress and he is always open to new suggestions and ideas.”
For now, Mr. Nick has two playlists on the page, but he is working on adding a few more. There's one with everyday idioms and another with videos on popular events and holidays. In class, students often want to share their culture and who they are with Mr. Nick and their classmates. “Unfortunately, they can’t always explain their holidays or traditions in English,” he says. “By recording these holiday videos, I wanted to give them the confidence and comfort to talk about who they are and where they are from. Sharing creates a sense of belonging and acceptance which is vital in any classroom setting.”
Although the videos are mainly aimed at intermediate CCBE students, Mr. Nick has also received some great feedback from elementary school teachers who tell him that they, along with their students, really loved the videos. He will continue adding new content and he hopes that sharing this resource with his students and colleagues will be helpful to anyone that needs it.
You can visit the YouTube page and subscribe to get notified every time a new video is posted https://www.youtube.com/c/EverybodyLovesEnglish or search for "Everybody Loves English"