Updated: Jun 12, 2021

Two, four, six, oh, one!

Can I conceal myself forevermore?

Conceal myself? Why? Am I a spy, a secret agent? And what's 24601?

Could that be a code name? Like 007. Of course, many of you will know who 007 is, - the secret agent working for MI6, the British Intelligence Service. His code number 007 means he has a licence to kill!

He always introduces himself by saying,

"My name's Bond, James Bond."

So, maybe I could introduce myself the same way ...

"My name's Ellis, Steve Ellis."


Licenced to ....?

I know! I still haven't explained the significance of 24601. I'm afraid you'll have to read on to the end to find out! And as for 'conceal myself for evermore.' Again, all will be revealed!.

So, there you are! I've broken my cover. My boss, 'M' will be livid. Probably dismiss me from the service! Now I'll be unemployed! Out on the dole! I'll have to find another job, But what job?

I know! I'll become an English teacher! I'll help people learn English. I'll exchange my licence to kill to be ...

Licenced to Thrill

Well, maybe that's putting it a bit strongly. Maybe a licence to enthuse, to motivate, to help and encourage students to learn English effectively and to enjoy doing so. The thrill will be mine!


And now to exchange fantasy for reality, and a change of tense from future .to past and present. - teaching and teacher training is what I have been doing for the past 20 years or so. I haven't had the same kind of hair-raising escapades as James Bond, and certainly not the fast cars, but like him, I've been around a bit. I mean around the world, although I could mean that we've both been around a bit in the sense that we're knocking on! There you are - a couple of idioms/phrasal verbs/ colloquial expressions for you to learn. To have 'been around a bit' suggests having had experience of life: 'knocking on a bit, means getting older!


NOTE: In some of my posts, when I use words and expressions that I think some learners will be unfamiliar with, I will be putting links to the page 'Vocab and Idioms from the Blog' where you can find explanations.


I've led an interesting life. When I was at school, unlike many of my friends, I never wanted to be a teacher. I thought it would be too humdrum - boring, in other words. So I opted for a few years of military service and served as an officer in the Royal Marine Commandos.

I enjoyed it - well, after training anyway!

It certainly gave me confidence.

I then spent years in a business environment in marketing, sales and general management. Initially, it was fun, especially the marketing aspects which appealed to my creative side.

It certainly enabled me to travel around the world and at the time I got job satisfaction from the responsibility. It's helped me, as a teacher, relate to those in business who need a good command of English for their job and career.

But, I don't feel any nostalgia for my business days.


I attended university as a mature student. I enjoyed academic life and the opportunity to develop my critical thinking skills and attained a First Class Honours BSc Degree.

Subsequently, I felt no desire to go back into business management. Instead, I chose to teach English as a Foreign or Second Language and I have never regretted that choice - the opportunity to help people learn English, my native language and a language I love, for all its richness and diversity. My years as a teacher and teacher trainer, in Turkey, Italy, Malaysia, Thailand and the UK have given me far more job satisfaction, motivation, enjoyment and fulfilment than business management ever did. It's the relationships, the people that have made it so. It's the pleasure of interaction with the students, young and old, whom I've taught and the teachers whom I've trained and mentored.

On the final day of each Thai Teacher Training project, we combined the classes to have a sing-song. This one was particularly amusing because, amongst other songs, we sang 'Hey Jude' which includes the chorus 'Na, na, na' etc. and there was a teacher called Na!

With many of the students and teachers, I became friends - and hose friendships still continue, even at a distance.

I miss the personal, day-to-day, classroom contact - the enthusiasm, the laughter, the achievement, the satisfaction on both sides But, I decided it was time to return to the UK and to be closer to my own family, my two grown-up daughters and son - and my grandchildren (Joe, and Millie, and a new baby due in June!) to see them growing up. m


So, here I am! Starting a new chapter in my life which I know is going to be exciting, becau