Behind the Scenes


As far as I know, nobody has ever written a story from the viewpoint of an in-company language coach. This is strange because we operate in a wide variety of fields and are privy to a surprising number of personal confidences and company machinations. On the other hand we are very discreet. Our work depends on an atmosphere of trust and in all my decades (!) of working in the field, I have never been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Like many other service providers, we remain an “invisible” force, with no real power over anyone, and yet with a surprising amount of influence.

This blog is for anyone who would like to read about business from the point of view of two such (fictional) professionals.

It’s also for people who want to improve their business English painlessly.

Speakeasy and Writewell is written in bite-sized portions and incorporates the sort of vocabulary that is often needed, but easily forgotten. I’ve thrown in a handful of idioms for the more ambitious. Future chapters will be theme based, but I hope you won’t notice.

Let me know what you think of it by sending me a comment.

And don’t worry, any resemblance to persons or companies living or dead is entirely unintentional!

Peace and love,


2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes

  1. Annet says:

    Hi Helen, Very creative! I would be interested in knowing how well L2 learners respond to your “tongue-in-cheek” humor! Lots of rich material here.
    Last fall I started a pilot ESL course series on-site at Google here in Mountain View, CA with mostly B2-level Chinese trainees. Though I was required to provide a text book, I don’t use it much and I am developing this curriculum and its lessons from scratch. It has proven very popular and I’m looking to connect with other business ESL course developers who work as independent contractors. Thanks for the great blog which I look forward to following!

    Liked by 1 person

    • helenwaldron says:

      Hi Annet,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You can contact me directly via

      As regards humour, my own learners know me, of course, and know what to expect. German learners are used to irony in English learning. I did wonder if other cultures would “get it”, but decided that blogging is a chance to just “do what you do,” so went ahead like this.

      I’d love to hear what your Chinese learners think.

      Good luck with your Google course. Customisation is the only way to go in-company, as the main stakeholders are (um) company ones (the learners, their roles, the company culture etc) not academic ones (exams, educational boards, publishers etc.). Good job we trainers are so creative and free-thinking, eh? You’ll have to keep me informed on how it all goes.

      And thanks for the kind words and for following my blog, of course :-).

      All the best,


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Helen Waldron

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Teachers as Workers

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