www.colles.cc is . . . . .

  • a notice board to promote and inform about schedules and locations for language tuition in the south of Tenerife. English here / Spanish here
  • an interactive forum for consultation by language students. Forum here
  • a platform to discuss language and language teaching. Language and understanding lubricates the friction that is the inevitable consequence when different cultures rub together. Forum here
  • a website in the south of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Blog here / Tenerife here

 

 

Who is colles.cc?  . . . That'll be me, Christopher Colles and my IT crowd. Teacher in Tenerife South

    I’ve been teaching languages in Tenerife for 25 years. And on this fair island I have taught lawyers, scientists, accountants, doctors, policemen, pilots, teachers, company executives, CEO’s, entrepreneurs, politicians, administrators, winemakers,  chefs, waiters and hotel staff . . . . . and a few children.

    I have taught English or Spanish to people from Britain, Spain, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Scandinavia, Romania, Azerbaijan, India and most of the countries in South America. I have taught in businesses, companies big and small from IKEA, CCC Dorada and world famous hotel chains to the individualistic self-employed.

    I have worked in language academies and for the government. For 15 years I regularly taught occupational training courses (FPO) which were funded by the EU. And currently I still teach government training courses in the larger companies through the “tripartite funding” system. But most interestingly, for several years I ran courses for the Ministry of Education (C.E.P. Centro Del Profesorado), these were refresher courses for the teachers in the public schools. This was most gratifying and challenging . . . teaching the teachers. When the pupils themselves are linguists you have to be on the ball. I still have language teachers amongst my regular private students.

 

                                                    

     So where did I come from? Born and bred in West Sussex, I grew up in a forest, a child of the beech woods north of the Downs. I spent the 70’s in Sussex, the 80’s in London and then moved to Tenerife for the 90's. . . . and I’m still here.

    I started out studying Maths and Physics, but I had to follow my heart and changed to reading English Literature and British Social and Economic History, which was much more my thing. Although I started teaching in London, most of my teacher training was done here in Santa Cruz de Tenerife where I did several courses in didactic methodology to get the certificates required to be qualified to teach some of the official courses mentioned above.

    I first set foot in Tenerife when I was a young lad in the 1970’s to visit my grandfather who had retired from the Schools Inspectorate to emigrate to Franco’s Spain, a different Spain. He lived in Los Realejos in the north of the island. I remember having gofio with milk and sugar for breakfast and liking it so much that I packed my suitcase with kilos of the stuff when I went back home. I reckon I was the only schoolboy in England who went off to school after a bowl of gofio everyday. I wonder if this is enough to qualify as an honorary Canarian.

    My grandfather didn’t stay very long. He and his wife retired to their dream home perched on a cliff with spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean but found themselves to be the only Britons in a complex full of Germans. Having lived through WW1 as a young man and brought up a family struggling through the hardships and tribulations WW2, he found this irony rather hard to reconcile. So they moved and built a villa in the foothills of Mount Mongo in Alicante. And that is where I spent many happy childhood holidays.

                                                Claude Monet - Waterloo Bridge 1903

    But in later life I was drawn back to the Canary Islands, after a decade in the great bustling metropolis that is London town. Ah! London town – I lived, loved and learned in London. Life in London is singular, unlike life anywhere else. There are many great capitals, but London stands unique in it's idiosyncracies, the capital of the island and a capital of the world, you can usually find what you are looking for in London. Samuel Pepys, Samuel Johnson,  Charles Dickens or Virginia Woolf have had a thing or two to say about it over their repective centuries, and it’s still there bubbling away, a twenty first century city. I could go back to London; I wouldn’t mind the weather. I was there in the late 20th century and never got tired of it - ". . . for there is in London all that life can afford" said Johnson. Such treasures!

 

“You are now
In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow
At once deaf and loud, and on the shore
vomits up its wrecks, and still howls for more
Yet in its depth what treasures!"
P.B. Shelley

    

     Not tired of London, but ready for a change. So having come from the tranquility of the lush green beech woods of Sussex to the chaotic hubbub of the capital city, the contrast would be no less extreme when I moved to a desert on the southern tip of a volcanic rock protruding from the Atlantic ocean – Now this was an unusual place! . . . . to be continued.

                                             Euphorbia canariensis - Tenerife south

 

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