I’m a lifelong learner with a solid formal education (BA Hons American Studies, University of Sheffield 2001, first class honours) and an interest in almost everything.

I learn from things I do and observe. Then I add to this with courses, workshops, reading, listening, and discussion.

For me, learning is as constant and vital a process as breathing.

Courses & workshops

UX Writing Fundamentals

UX Writers Collective ~ online with tutor support
January–June 2021

  • Motivation: To update my writing skills for the digital age.
  • Growth: A deep understanding of the processes used and the thinking behind the content design of user-centred digital products.
  • Use: I know how to use my words to craft effective user experiences, giving personality to apps or websites that both guides users and supports brand voice.

Introduction to Web Accessibility

W3Cx ~ online
April–May 2021

  • Motivation: Because there should be no barriers online; the possibilities offered by the internet must be available to everyone.
  • Growth: It has opened my eyes to all the different ways people interact with the web.
  • Use: My approach to writing for digital products is inclusive of all possible users, and I will be a champion of accessibility when working with designers and developers.

Foundations of Deep Culture Learning

Japan Intercultural Institute ~ 2-day workshop
February 2020 

  • Motivation: To explore, with one of the leading thinkers in the field, how the mind deals with language and cultural contrasts.
  • Growth: Deeper insights into how cultural background affects our thinking and what happens psychologically when we are faced with different and unfamiliar cultures.
  • Use: It has given depth to my language teaching, and increased self-knowledge.

Training & Facilitation Bootcamp

Indiálogo, Barcelona ~ 5-day workshop
April/May 2019

  • Motivation: To enhance my teaching skills with theory and techniques from training and facilitation.
  • Growth: Theory and practice of workshop design, plus lots of reflection on how to facilitate group learning. I was also introduced to intercultural communication.
  • Use: I have used some of the approaches when designing my lessons, transforming me from language teacher to learning facilitator.

TEFL Certification

TEFL Iberia, Barcelona ~ 4-week face-to-face
November 2016

  • Motivation: To learn how to teach my native language.
  • Growth: How to explain English to a language learner. I learned theories of teaching and learning, and observed practice gave me valuable feedback on my teaching technique.
  • Use: The training was a solid foundation for teaching English professionally. It gave me a deeper awareness of English and language learning in general. 

Postgraduate Diploma Counselling & Psychotherapy

Leeds Beckett University, UK ~ part-time

  • Motivation: To become a qualified psychotherapist.
  • Growth: Theory in psychology, human relations, and talking therapies. Reflective practice of person-centred counselling, using the three pillars of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. Self-analysis and introspection.
  • Use: I didn’t finish the course, but everything I learned has infused my life since: self-knowledge and acceptance means I interact with the world without fear or judgement.

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Life experience

Alison Geldart Editorial Ltd

After being made redundant from an events marketing job, I leapt into the unknown and set up on my own. Over a decade, I built a solid reputation as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. Running my own business developed my self-reliance and adaptability, and I learnt about the importance of building and maintaining connections. Keeping everything very organized enabled me to manage multiple projects for a collection of different clients, as well as keep on top of the administration involved in running a company.

Magic Lantern Film Club

A yearning to be more involved with where I lived and do something different was the spark behind Magic Lantern. I met Mel, we met Jen, we all loved cinema and had ideas. We started with a few screenings on borrowed equipment, found an audience, grew a following, inspired each other and created a pop-up cinema!

For 5 years we held a film screening (legally and on increasingly better equipment) every month, more or less, in different venues and with extra activities related to the film. I learnt about working with the community, finding spontaneous solutions, taking advantage of serendipity, and – most of all – the value of collaboration. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first screening, we made a Google map that catalogues all our events.

Moving to a different country

In my experience, people are kind and welcoming to an émigré like me in a place like Barcelona. Nevertheless, it wasn’t easy to start again in a different culture, and have to do everything in a foreign language. Simple activities like going to the hairdresser or dentist become a daunting challenge. But it’s really humbling. Discovering that there are other ways of navigating life’s everyday needs is eye-opening. I’ve learnt that I am resilient and resourceful, and also that you take yourself with you wherever you end up!