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Penelope Maxwell

A background in acting, accents, French, classical music and Renaissance Art led Penelope to study Italian, English and Art History at Auckland University. A love of travel, people and story-telling led her to a Post-Graduate Diploma in Media Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North.

Teaching was in her genes and began with teaching drama to children, then teaching English as a Foreign Language in Taiwan for 8 months, beginning an odyssey around the world. She qualified as a ski instructor in Europe and ended her OE with a season in Italy.

Back in Auckland, after a stint in Queenstown, she qualified as an ESOL Teacher and this became her career. Love took her back to Europe where she was based in Glasgow working as a lecturer in ESOL and in developing curriculum. She started teaching Italian at night classes there too. Holidays and summers were spent exploring Italy and working on a private annual Opera Festival in Tuscany. Higher ESOL Teaching qualifications were gained in England and a journalism course at Glasgow University.

An intensive British experience working with large numbers of refugee background people and developing community courses led Penelope to work at MCLaSS in Wellington as an ESOL teacher, Employment Facilitator and as an English Assessment Specialist and Advisor. She has also worked with English Language Partners as a Home Tutor and a trainer of Home Tutors.

She has been teaching Italian classes for adults, and occasionally for high school students, at Wellington High School for 10 years, and specialises in empowering and motivating students to speak confidently in their new language.

Her interests and experiences are broad, ranging from all things Italian to costume, film, catering, events, and the great outdoors. She loves developing new, relevant courses to match the current needs of the ever-changing Wellington population.


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