My Experience Teaching English Abroad in Indonesia and Russia

By: Annie Chen

One day in my Business English lesson, an adult student asked me, “Miss, what’s the difference between a mugger, carjacker, smuggler, burglar, kidnapper, thief, pickpocket and robber?”After what seemed like the longest pause of my career, with an awkward blank grin on my face, I spat out the best answer I could come up with off the top of my head. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop trying to pinpoint the finer distinctions between those, and pondering WHY I didn’t know how to explain it. It was really quite simple – most people don’t have to be so acutely aware of their own language since it is learned passively. For many teachers that I’ve met, a huge challenge in entering the TEFL world was learning the meta-language and rules to English grammar since we picked it up inherently. Language awareness as well as cultural awareness have become the two largest factors in my learning experience abroad.

Moscow, Russia English Teaching Q and A with Annie Chen


What is your citizenship?        

United States

What city and state are you from?      

Los Angeles, CA

How old are you?       


What is your education level and background?             

Bachelor's Degree

Have you traveled abroad in the past?

Some international travel with friends, family, business, etc.

If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?        

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Belgium, Germany, France.