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.
For me, learning is as constant and vital a process as breathing.
Courses & workshops
UX Writing Fundamentals
UX Writers Collective ~ online with tutor support
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 Iberia, Barcelona ~ 4-week face-to-face
- 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.
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!