Our Teacher Trainers

Brian Engquist - Pearson Teacher TrainerMy name is Brian Engquist –  Chicago-area native, long time resident of Spain, English teacher and trainer and cycling nut.

Before starting to work exclusively for Pearson in September 2011 I spent practically the entirety of my adult life teaching English, mainly to adults and teens, and doing teacher training in and around Madrid.

Since then my work has given me the opportunity to travel to just about every corner of Spain and Portugal and see for myself the hard work, excitement and innovation that teachers and students are putting into learning English.  Because while a lot of what I do involves sharing something with others, be it through training for teachers or cultural talks for students, the most fulfilling part comes from learning from the vast experience of so many of the people I have been fortunate enough to meet.

Still somewhat of a newbie to the whole tech teaching scene (I didn’t even have a Facebook account or smart phone before working for Pearson!) I’ve been on a very steep learning curve since then.  But if I were forced to define my attitude to technology applied to teaching I would have to say that it is a mix of child-like amazement and a healthy dose of common sense scepticism.

Or to put it another way, if I don’t see the “why” behind using a tool, no matter how flashy it is, it tends to leave me flat.  Because as a language teacher the most important letter for me in ICT is the C – communication!

Elena Merino - Pearson Teacher TrainerMy name is Elena Merino. I am an English teacher and I work as a Teacher Trainer for Pearson. I lived one year in Ireland and three years in the USA, where I felt in love with the English language.

Teaching has always been my major activity. I have twelve years’ experience in teaching English and Spanish for adults and teenagers, mainly, but also young learners and immigrants.

PhD in Linguistic Communication and Multilingual Mediation, I have become engaged by research. My focus is discourse analysis, that is, how people express what they feel or think about their learning and teaching. I’m concerned about meaningful real-world tasks that get students to communicate, in other words, how can teachers facilitate learning and engage students in the English classroom?

What do I do for fun? Well, teaching is fun to me but in my free time I love travelling, reading, hiking and hanging out with friends or just watching a movie under a warm blanket in winter and practicing outdoor activities in summer.

Michael Brand - Pearson Teacher TrainerHi, my name’s Michael Brand and I work as a teacher trainer for Pearson in ELT. I’ve had a passion for languages from a young age and studied French and German at university, before doing a PGCE to become a teacher.

Having taught French and German in England for two years I set sail for sunnier climes and have been in Spain for six years now. In that time I have taught English to a broad spectrum of children, from beginners in the first year of primary school to C2 level with 18 year-olds in secondary education and everything in between.

With the growth in importance of English in Spain and an evolving educational system I think it’s a very exciting time to be a teacher trainer and it’s great to be able to pass on what I’ve learned and continue to learn myself.

When I’m not teaching or training I can be found on my bike, travelling to the four corners of the peninsula and indeed the globe, or eating a well-earned chuletón de Ávila to get my strength back.

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