B-Speak! in Bangkok!

B-Speak! In Bangkok

by Ellie Kates

Nan and her B-Speak! instructor, Ellie – in Bangkok

About nine months ago, I met and started teaching TOEFL prep classes to Nan, a Bangkok native with entrepreneurial dreams and a heart set on bettering her country. Although we started off simply—going through test-taking strategies and practicing vocabulary—we quickly learned we had a lot more to talk about.

One of my favorite things about being a B-Speak! teacher is the connection I’m able to make with each of my students. Everyone has a different story, a different set of goals and a different set of challenges to overcome. Learning about one another, sharing experiences, and giving advice make each lesson special and every course and set of coaching sessions, unique. I often find that I have a lot in common with my students—though we often come from different sides of the world. This was certainly the case with Nan.

Nan plans to get her MBA in the United States, but she’s already embarked on an entrepreneurial journey in Thailand. She’s a jewelry designer, product and brand consultant, and businesswoman who plans to both start her own company and provide help and support to Thai artisans and designers. When I heard about Nan’s professional background and aspirations, I couldn’t believe it. I, too, am an entrepreneur, brand consultant and jewelry designer! Though I spend some of the year in Thailand, where my husband plays soccer, I got my start in Rwanda. There I worked with and started my own social enterprises, specifically geared to help artisans better their lives with new skill development and business training. After chatting with Nan about our common ground and common goals, I was able to incorporate material into our lessons that not only made test prep more fun—it also made the lessons more relevant to Nan’s own life.

One of Nan’s jewelry creations.

Ellie’s design









We’ve continued working together on both GRE and TOEFL test prep, but our lessons now always include conversations about how to make our passions and business ideas achievable. We’ve developed a friendship and were even able to meet for an in-person lesson in Bangkok (picture).

I’m very grateful that B-Speak! allows its teachers to tailor courses to meet individual student needs and desires; I know my students are grateful too. If you or someone you know is interested in our uniquely personalized language instruction and business coaching, simply click this link to learn more.