Linguistics has fascinated Mona and allows us to gain insights into how the mind functions throughout time. As a teacher of the Romanian language as a foreign language, Mona is extremely passionate about her average student and the difficulty that they usually encounter.
After university, Mona soon found out that she was made for teaching. She started teaching at the University of Bucharest and felt increasingly confident as the years went on.
Mona will advise you in this interview on how to know if teaching is the path you should find yourself on. Over her 18 years’ wealth of experience, she has observed the Romanian schooling system’s evolution. She stimulates your imagination with her vision for a restructured reformation within the system that private schools may provide.
After writing “Learn Romanian” textbooks, Mona found her writing highly successful and distributed widely. She changed the face of her teacher training program, “another remarkable milestone.”
Some suggest that teaching is natural and yet others that it develops over time and training. Mona suggested both in this interview. Find out about how skills you earn writing you learn to apply teaching in this intriguing interview.
[…] I strongly support women’s initiatives: I strongly believe that women can do amazing things if they support each other and if they excel in what they are doing.
What has been the most inspirational part of your studies in linguistics and has this been easy to apply in teaching?
Linguistics is a fascinating field that helps us understand how languages function and how they change through time. I decided to study linguistics because it helped me maintain mental organization and provided me with a lot of discipline.
In terms of instructing international students in Romanian, a linguistics expertise can be very useful in offering the correct explanations and creating efficient lessons. Knowing Romanian grammar and how it compares to other languages will help teachers foresee and address typical difficulties that students can encounter when learning the language.
While knowing morphology and syntax is undoubtedly very important in teaching a foreign language, second language acquisition was to me the most inspirational field of study. The study of the physiological changes in the brain that take place during the acquisition of a second language provides an inspirational perspective on the capacity of the human brain for language learning.
When did you choose to go into teaching and how would you advise others to find out if this is their passion?
After leaving University, I had no idea that I wanted to work as a teacher.
I pursued my goal of becoming a television journalist while simultaneously attending television and radio school (I later was a TV moderator for a short period of time). When I started teaching a few classes at the University of Bucharest I was 22 years old, and realized I was made for teaching.
The students went to the secretary of the University after the first lesson and said, “The linguistics teaching assistant is the best instructor we’ve ever had.” After that, I started to feel more confident, so I kept going on this path.
It can take some time to discover your passion for teaching, but with the right attitude, you can decide if this is the right path for you. If you are kind and understanding, enjoy teamwork, and are driven by the goal, you might become a wonderful teacher.
If you naturally want to share your knowledge and enjoy seeing others grow, teaching may be a good fit for you. Consider tutoring someone in your neighborhood/family and asking them for their honest feedback to determine whether teaching is your path.
Over your 18 years’ experience, how would you say you have seen the Romanian schooling system evolve?
We have no affiliations with schools for children; instead, we only work with adults as students. However, in my opinion, the conventional Romanian system needs considerable reform and restructuring. At present, private schools in Romania, as opposed to public schools, provide a new perspective, a fresh vision, and a higher standard of instruction from which public schools might draw inspiration.
In comparison to the private system, the public Romanian educational system has not advanced enough. Efficiency, reality, results, and students’ satisfaction are what drive private schools.
What would you single out as the most impactful progress you have initiated at Rolang School in your capacity as managing director and how did it affect your students?
Writing a book was a brilliant milestone.
After many years of teaching, I wrote the “Learn Romanian” textbooks and developed them in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. My publications were distributed throughout Europe, the USA, Asia, Australia, and Canada, and the textbook format was very well-liked.
Our students appreciated knowing what they needed to study at each level. This year will see the publication of the books “Romanian Verbs” and “Essentials of Romanian Grammar and Vocabulary”.
The fact that our school became the first language center in Romania to provide the highly regarded EUROLTA (European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults) teacher-training program is another remarkable milestone.
We provide teachers with training and support as they advance their teaching abilities this year. Sharing our knowledge is essential for mutual benefit and I am grateful for this new opportunity.
Is teaching a natural skill or can you teach it?
Both. Although it can come easily, teaching is a talent that can be developed over time. While some individuals may need to put in more work to develop their teaching skills, for others it may come naturally to connect with students.
Regardless of innate aptitude, teaching is a profession that demands ongoing study, excellent organization, empathy, and subject-matter understanding. These skills can all be acquired through instruction, training, and practice.
Additionally, experience is crucial. Experienced teachers have created strategies for inspiring and energizing students to achieve their language learning objectives. It is a challenging job with many facets. However, I advise people who want to become teachers to only do so if they have the necessary skills.
How has being a writer helped you in the creative process while writing teaching materials?
Being a writer can be a great benefit when it comes to developing instructional materials. Here are some ways that writing was beneficial to me:
- Acquiring the ability to design an effective structure:
writing instructional materials that are easy for students to comprehend and follow requires a logical framework with ideas presented in an accessible order.
- Learning to express complicated ideas clearly and concisely:
the creation of educational materials that must explain complex concepts in a way that students can grasp is an important ability a good writer holds.
- Paying closer attention to details:
Detail-oriented writing demands careful attention to every little element, from appropriate grammar and spelling to formatting and layout. When designing training materials, which must be free of errors and aesthetically pleasing in order to be effective, the same level of attention to detail is crucial.
What is the chief obstacle that new learners of the Romanian language face? How have you helped your international students overcome this obstacle?
As with learning any language, there may be difficulties for new Romanian speakers. However, there are a few typical challenges that many students face, such as:
Romanian has a system of vowels that can be challenging for non-native speakers. Certain sounds, like “ă” and “â,” can be particularly difficult to pronounce, just because these vowels do not exist in the students’ native language.
The rules for verb conjugations, noun plurals, and adjective agreement in Romanian can be complex.
- Idioms and Phrases:
Romanian contains a lot of expressions that foreign speakers may find challenging to comprehend. Learning these phrases and when and how to apply them properly takes some time.
Overall, with well-structured lessons, a good teacher, patience, effort, and practice, new speakers can get over these difficulties and master the Romanian language in a short time. Students feel motivated to overcome these obstacles because they simply find Romanian interesting and intriguing. Romanian is a Romance language, similar in complexity to French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Who is your favourite author? Why this author?
I enjoy reading, so it’s difficult to pick just one author. However, I would recommend Brian Tracy’s “Leadership,” Tom Hopkins’ “How to master the art of selling,” and Mirela Sula “Don’t let your mind go.” I enjoy reading about business and sales because these books teach me topics that are not covered in school; the authors talk from experience, not from another book, which is also crucial.
What is the best advice you have received in 2023? How can our reader apply it?
Tom Hopkins mentioned something that I agree with: “Never settle for ‘just getting the job done.’ Excel!” It can be interpreted by our readers as sound advice for performing their duties not just competently, but flawlessly. I value those people who feel an obligation to accomplish their jobs well. They can expand their passion into a business if they learn how to do something flawlessly.
And I strongly support women’s initiatives: I strongly believe that women can do amazing things if they support each other and if they excel in what they are doing.