An Occupational Therapist (OT) by training, 51Talk teacher Trina Grace has always had an innate passion for caring for and teaching people. As one of 51Talk’s highly regarded teachers, she applies the student-centered approach, teaching based on the interest and needs of the student. “Making the student the center of attention uses the student’s interests to enable better retention of information, unlike the traditional method of teaching where they are forced to sit still and listen in a classroom,” says Trina Grace. “Rewarding the students at the same time is good reinforcement to boost their confidence. These rewards can range from allowing them to sing, teaching me Chinese or simply just sharing anything they want.” This technique is what makes her an effective 51Talk teacher. “Making my students the center of attention and providing a fun learning environment has really helped them develop and learn faster.”
Joe, one of her students, is a testament of how this kind of style can be helpful. He started barely speaking a word of English and found it hard to be motivated during lessons. Trina Grace gave Joe the option of choosing his reward if he did well. He chose to teach her Chinese as his reward. This made him want to learn more as it gave him the chance to also play the role of the teacher at the end of every lesson. After months of being under her wing, Joe has become a confident speaker and has also been able to teach Trina Grace many Chinese phrases and words.
Because of Trina Grace’s accomplishments as a teacher, she has represented 51Talk on many fronts. On June 10, 2016, she represented the more than 7,000 51Talk home-based online English teachers at the company’s Initial Public Offering (NYSE: COE) in New York City, USA. She was also a speaker for the e-educators’ conference held in Bacolod last July and 51talk’s recent press conference held in Crowne Plaza. These experiences have further boosted Trina Grace’s confidence. To help further professionalize occupational therapy in the Philippines and develop herself more, she sees herself pursuing a master’s degree and applying more student-centered techniques in her lessons with 51Talk.
Trina Grace looks forward to sharing her knowhow in future 51Talk teacher gatherings online or offline. “Sharing my many experiences to the 51Talk community and learning from the other teachers has greatly developed me as a person.”