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Meet Sonja

Hi Vance

I'm an ESL teacher from Darwin in the tropical far north of Australia and was born in Holland. I like to teach Academic English or IELTS preparation classes but at the moment I'm finishing a fully online Masters of Applied Linguistics using Webct. I'd really like to teach online in the future. I

have 4 great kids from 5 to 15 years of age and I enjoy bike riding and Asian cooking.I also used to be an Indonesian teacher and am deeply interested in cross cultural studies.

I'm not sure if I should be posting this to you here as I'm not a student. I've applied to be a volunteer teacher -once I learn a few tricks of the trade-

Regards from Sonja

Sonja has made a kind offer to Writing for Webheads students:

If there are any students in the group who are preparing to sit the IELTS exam and would like me to look at their Task 1 or Task 2 writing practice I would be very happy to help. As I've mentioned I'm an IELTS examiner and have taught Academic English and IELTS preparation classes, particularly writing classes. All students have to do is send me their writing and I promise I will give them some feedback.

regards from Sonja

On Nov 27 Sonja writes ...

I would love to have the opportunity to meet with different classes as you describe as I'm intrigued how an experienced online teacher manages a class online.I would very much like to learn about online community building too though at the moment I feel somewhat overwhelmed by taking the first few steps. ... Do you know I am a grandmother too? I have a granddaughter who is 4 years old and a grandson who is 3, both adorable. I am a 'second wife' so apart from my own 4 children I am priviledged to have 2 wonderful grown up step sons about the same age as your children. We have had an interesting journey over the years growing together as a 'blended family', it hasn't always been easy but the rewards have been great. ... I'd love to post some of my family photos on my web site too.

My advice on being a step mum is just be patient and don't give up. It takes a long time to build trust especially because kids sometimes feel they are betraying their 'real' mum' by being too friendly with the step mum. My experience was like that as my kids 'real' mum didn't want them to have a relationship with me at all. As they grow older, kids sort things out for themselves. I think the most important thing is never ever say bad things against their mum no matter how crazy she is because the kids will hate you for it. Another thing is always welcome them but expect nothing. For years my step sons treated me like I was a piece of furniture in the house, something that was always there but not worth worrying about too much! Now finally they are showing interest and caring too. Its been a long hard road but I always tried to remember that my kids are their half-brothers and sisters-that's their family and you can't ever take that away. Its especially hard in our family because my husand's first wife-was a Darwin Aboriginal lady and their kids are very dark skinned while mine are blonde and fair. Even so they share so many similarities, the older they get the more in common they have. The funny thing is they can see it too.

Sonja writes about her travels in response to Gloria, Nov 28, 2002

From Sonja's email Nov 29, 2002

Yes I agree its frustrating when you don't have time to go on with your studies but being a member of this community will surely help you too. There are so many opportunities for practising English. Today I went to 'tapped in' and met Sus there, we were hoping you'd come and join us but decided it must have been too early in the morning for you! I felt much better about visiting 'tapped in' this time even though there's still so much i don't understand. i was very pleased to learn how to put a photo icon up. Sus showed me first and then BJ gave me a few more hints. It also enjoyed chatting to Dafne. I met Tony Ry there too and he invited us to visit his office. It was fun to try moving around the place and look at things in the office. I was hoping to meet some more webheads but no luck this time. Maybe on Sunday.

Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 17:37:54 +0700
From: ykresno
Subject: Hi Gloria and other Webheads

Hi Gloria and Sonja

It is nice to enjoy your conversation. I am a webhead student, and I live in Indonesia. Some parts of your conversation mention Indonesia as your second language.

Another webheads who want to know the situation in Indonesia recently, feel free to ask me.

Yos Kresno
Department of Emergency Medicine
RSUEL Hospital

Sonja's travels in December 2002 - Jan 2003

This is where I am going on my family camping trip:- the first stop will be Mataranka Hot Springs to say goobye to the pandanus palms and billabongs of the Northern Territory Then its a long long drive through Tennant Creek, Mt Isa and Charters Towers to Townsville. The best thing about this part of the drive is the wondeful emptiness and stillness of the land, very relaxing after the busyness of city life. Then its up the north Queensland coast to visit friends in Mission Beach famous for its Cassowary birds and tropical rainforest Vance would love this area because its a part of the Great barrier Reef, famous for its wonderful diving and snorkelling opportunites.After that we will start headng down the coast, stopping over in Mackay to go fishing with my Godson and his grandmother who is an Indonesian fisherwoman from Sabu Island. Then its a Brisane Xmas with....

After that we head down to Corindi/ RedRock area in Northern NSW for a one week big family reunion. Coriindi is on the edge of the Yuraygiir national Park and is a wonderful natural estuarine enviornment with a wild surfiing and fishing beach and a strong indigeneonous heritage. From there we go to Broken Head reserve near the famous Bryron bay. Bryon Bay has great surfing waves and is also one of the centres of the alternative 'new age'culture in Australia. There will be a few side trips into the mountains and waterfalls of the hinterland to go bushwalking and then we do the long drive back to Darwin again where hopefully the rainy season will have arrived. And that will be our camping trip-

I can't wait until Monday comes. I love the feeling of leaving all my worries and cares behind even if it is only temporarily!

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Last updated: December 20, 2002