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Plenary speaker Evan Frendo

Plenary Speaker Evan Frendo

Evan Frendo is a freelance trainer, teacher trainer and author based in Berlin, who has been active in business English and ESP since 1993, mostly in the corporate sector.

Nowadays a lot of his work is in different parts of Europe and Asia, so he travels a fair amount, either to run courses, speak at conferences, or to work as a consultant. One of his current projects is in South Korea, where he is part of a research team investigating communication in the maritime industry. He is also a visiting professor at two universities in China.

When he is not travelling he is usually at home developing business English and ESP materials for various clients; increasingly these courses are designed to be delivered online. He has also written three methodology books: How to Teach Business English (Pearson), New Ways in Teaching Business English (TESOL) (co-edited with Clarice Chan), and How to write Corporate Training Materials (ELTT2W). Evan has a diploma in Teaching English for Business from London Guildhall University, and a master’s degree in ESP from Aston University.

On a personal note Evan is married to Christine, who is also an English teacher. They have three children, two of whom are at universities at the other end of Germany. Evan enjoys the relative peace and quiet this has brought.

We asked our plenary speakers seven questions. Here are Evan's answers.

1.      What are you working on right now?

As a freelancer I always have different projects bubbling away, things like in-company courses, materials writing, preparing conference talks, teacher training, and  consulting. One project which is taking up a large amount of time is an ESP project in South Korea, where I am part of a team researching maritime communication. We are working with a large corpus of spoken data, and using it to inform the design of new communication systems which will allow the automatic transfer of data between ship and shore, eventually replacing human interactions with machine-based interactions.

2.      What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Early in my career I took on a management role. I felt very important. A senior manager advised me to immediately take two weeks leave, forget about all the problems and challenges, and appreciate that the department could go on successfully without me. His message? None of us are that important.

3.      What is the biggest challenge for you at the moment professionally?

Persuading HR / training managers that e-learning technologies are still very limited.

4.      What do you consider to be the most urgent need in education today?

I work in corporate training mostly. I would say there is a burning need for teachers in schools and universities to understand more about the globalized world of work that their students will be entering. It frightens me sometimes to see how unaware a lot of teachers are.

5.      What does it mean for you to live in the present? (How do you interpret the "POWER OF NOW"?)

Enjoy life every day. Appreciate that what happened in the past is over, and what happens in the future may never be.

6.      What sources do you use to recharge your energy?

I go for long walks with my wife almost every day.

7.       What’s on your desk now?

My Chinese homework.

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