Interview with ELTABBer of the month: Christopher Chandler

Name: Christopher Chandler

Birth country: UK

Job title: Business English Trainer at

Have you ever worked in a different field?

I’ve done all sorts of things in the UK. I’ve worked as a Client Project Manager (as part of a team) building a hospital in South Wales, bid for and utilised European funding to restore two dilapidated listed buildings, run grants programmes, worked in Community Development, worked in Field Marketing visiting supermarkets across London and the South of England…lots of different things (I’m older than you might think!)

Why did you join ELTABB?

The vast majority of English teachers and trainers in Berlin are freelance, so the best professional development decision you can make is to join ELTABB, particularly if you are new to Berlin or have just completed your CELTA – otherwise, you could feel lonely and isolated. I like the fact that ELTABB strives to create a sense of community. The revival of the regular Stammtisch this year is a great example.

You’re the Treasurer for ELTABB, why did you volunteer for this role?

As a freelance trainer, it’s important to develop a sense of self-awareness about how you operate financially, and being the Treasurer for ELTABB has certainly sharpened this. It’s a role where members may not realise how much you do (I recently spent several hours working out a way of paying for the renewal for the Ning – our internal forum). However, it’s a critical role – handling ELTABB’s financial matters means that the buck stops with you. The good news is that we are very likely to spend within our budget this year, so I am pleased about that.

What advice would you give your 15-year old self?

You may be surprised and confused as to how you managed to get an A in German but it will come in useful later on in life!

Tell us about a class or student who you had a big impact on.

I recently helped a small company win some business with an English client. I was instrumental in helping them cultivate a relationship with the client via email. I then trained them with the phrases, small talk and general tone necessary to present a pitch to the company. My business experience in the UK was definitely helpful in terms of overcoming intercultural obstacles. For example, building up trust through small talk, working on first-name terms and the paradox of being self-effacing yet at the same time not too modest!

Eltabber of the month is somebody who is active in ELTABB, attends and participates in workshops, brings new ideas to the Ning discussion board and promotes ELTABB to friends and colleagues. Bearing this in mind, do you have any nominations for January’s Eltabber of the month?

Justin from AllonBoard – he’s built up a language school in Berlin and has been a great help to ELTABB. It would be interesting to read about his experiences.
You can contact Christopher at

Don’t miss the next month’s ELTABBer of the month, Justin! If you have any question suggestions, please email me at by December 10th 2016.

Questions and editing by Mandy Welfare.