Helping Finns continue their business success in English while marketing, selling, and expressing themselves both professionally and socially.
"It is my contention that since every individual Finn in business already holds his or her own techniques of how to communicate effectively in Finnish—much of it coming from how he or she lives his or her own normal life both in and out of business, the differing situations, places, and people he or she encounters each and every day in Finnish (sometimes having to be direct, wordy, or something in the middle)—then in reality what Finns need are not ambiguous theoretical discussions about cross-cultural communication and "silent Finns" from English Consultants, this mass of conflicting and fallacious messages. Simply, Finns in business need training in how to use the English language (the actual study of the written and spoken language itself) from English Teachers, so that they can decide for themselves as individuals the best way to handle the English discourse that is before them, to gain the necessary self-assurance to reveal their own individually honed discourse models with influence and self-confidence in English."
Phillip Clifford, March 2011
To prepare myself for a professional English teaching career in Finland, from 1990 to 1999 I combined the study of Social Anthropology (Dalhousie University and Memorial University) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Atlantic Overseas Teaching Institute) in Canada to give myself the necessary academic background to teach English to Finns as individuals in diverse social groups (minus the stereotypes).
For these very same reasons I currently study Anthropology at Helsinki University.
During these same nine years in Canada, to finance my academic studies and research, I taught English to recent immigrants and fellow Haligonians (the latter through literacy programs), revised English for my university colleagues, as well as marketed for the QEII Health Sciences Centre, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Symphony Nova Scotia, and became a successful direct salesman for Unique Advertising.
This professional ensemble has served me well since I arrived to live here in Finland permanently in 1999, allowing me to support my students as they progress in their English language studies, and through their contacts and networks, secure their trust as I coordinate and revise their Finnish to English translations.
"What I often hear from my students is quite puzzling—"I don't know how to small talk, teach me to small talk"—simply because these very same students small talk with their Finnish colleagues on a daily basis. It's quite odd really, that despite their strong English skills they seem to lack the ability to carry their natural communication styles from Finnish into English, as if English is more than just the sum of its grammatical parts. I've come to understand that what they are actually lacking is the self-confidence to use the English skills they possess.
A few of the concrete steps for building self-confidence in English include working on structures like collocations (words that 'go together'), correctly using phrasal nouns and verbs, and becoming familiar with English verb forms. I want my students to gain an effective communication style, and feel comfortable and confident whenever they speak English"
Chris Keith, March 2011
I've been working as a professional English teacher and Reviser in Finland since 2006. My background is in the physical sciences with plenty of time in the laboratory and field.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). While studying I worked for UCSB's biology field research laboratories and for the university's cultural education and student affair offices. After completing my degree at UCSB, I continued work in the laboratories before becoming an independent environmental consultant for private and municipal clients in Southern California.
During my undergraduate studies I spent an exchange year at Lund University, Sweden and became interested in the Nordic way of life. Personal reasons brought me back to Scandinavia six years later and in the autumn of 2005 I became a permanent resident of Finland and enrolled at Lund University to start a degree in international environmental science.
I've found that my education and work experience in the laboratory and in the field are invaluable resources for my students and clients. Most of my private sector students and clients come from the biotech, pharmaceutical, and technology industries, all industries where Finnish education and research talent shines.