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Meet the Team – Lorraine Quinn

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This month it’s the turn of Lorraine Quinn, the head of our Academic team. Many of you will have corresponded and/or spoken to her to help build your programme’s academic content over the years. If you haven’t, here’s your opportunity to find out who she is, what she does and what she likes to do outside of her work life. I took some time to sit with her and ask her a few questions.

What do you do for English in Action?

I am the Academic Manager for English in Action.

Can you tell me a bit about your role?

There is a huge variety to my role as I work extensively with the local Contact Teachers who have booked a course and with the EiA teachers who will deliver it. I work closely with our Academic Coordinator, Ela, and our main role is to liaise with our schools and find out what the students are like, what level they are working at, what they would be most interested in, and what they would get the most benefit from in an English in Action week. We then suggest course contents and agree this with the CT.  We have around 35 EiA programmes in regular use but we also have a lot of specialist courses that are used less often, mostly in the vocational sector. As well as all of these, we produce a lot of tailored exam courses focusing on the specific groups we are working with. Once a course is agreed upon, we prepare the materials which will be sent out later by our Academic Administrator, Lynsey. Finally, we compile all the information gathered and provide it to our teaching teams.

In addition, I direct materials development, help with recruitment, deliver teacher training, conduct observations, and go out teaching myself – so many different things that I can’t list them all here!

What did today look like for you?

Today was a fairly standard day for me. My office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but I check my emails first thing in the morning as schools start earlier than that, especially with the time zone differences. I sometimes have an urgent request for information or a request for a phone call that day, but there was nothing this morning.

I had a Zoom call late morning for an exam course in April and it was great to find out about the students from the two Contact Teachers.  It was also nice to be able to explain all the things we can offer and to choose the best options for this shy but conscientious group!  Early afternoon, I also spoke to another school by phone. This was someone I have spoken to before and they were very happy with their programme last year and wanted the same thing this time as well. I really enjoy speaking with our CTs and it is great to build up a relationship with them over multiple courses.

The rest of the day I spent writing academic notes for our teachers and sending them out by email. I also liaised with Lynsey about the delivery status of some course materials and prepared some other things for despatch.

When did you join the company?

I joined the company in August 2013, so I’ve been here for almost ten years. I started off as Academic Coordinator before progressing to Academic Manager a few years later.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your work?

I think the best bit is getting to talk to so many interesting people!  I get to chat with local teachers from across Europe, and further afield, almost every day, so there is always something new to learn.  I love working with our teachers as well, and, of course, our close-knit head office team.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Several years ago, I took a quilting course one weekend with a friend, and since then I’ve rediscovered my love of all things crafty! I make all sorts of things for friends and family but currently, I am really enjoying making handbags. 

What music are you listening to on Spotify at the moment?

I have quite a big music collection and eclectic tastes, but I don’t use Spotify or anything similar. I tend to listen to it all on shuffle on my phone, which makes it very important to take off any Christmas music in January so I’m not listening to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in July!

What would your dream job be?

I think my dream job would be to work in a haberdashery and fabric shop – but I can’t decide if I would end up buying less fabric or more…

What’s your favourite food/drink?

No morning is complete without at least one good cup of coffee!

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