Where teachers meet and learn



A star splash of words taken from Vaud members’ workshop reviews

ETAS Vaud region is coordinated by 2 volunteers; Ruth Benvegnen and Lucy Kottsieper, both passionate teachers and trainers who have been in the EFL business for a great many years.  They met when they taught young learners together and have jointly organised many projects and events since.   Here is some bio about them both:

Ruth originally comes from Twickenham in the South of England but ended up living in Switzerland in 1987 after falling for the country and its people.  She started teaching English to children and teens in 1995 and ran her own English language school for young learners around the Lausanne area for 17 years.   When the state school system brought in its new curriculum including English at primary level, she joined the project development team at Lausanne's Haute Ecole Pédagogique and helped set up and teach the new modules for English didactics for primary level, both for pre-service teacher trainees and in-service teachers.  She also teaches English to university students at Lausanne University and spent several years heading the team of trainers who were responsible for bringing the Vaud state school teachers’ professional English level up to B2.   

Although she has over 20 years' experience in EFL, 15 years' experience as a teacher trainer and a Masters in teaching English to young learners, she never seems to lose her interest and enthusiasm for the profession.  Always on the lookout for new ideas, workshops, literature, exchanges, etc., she is a passionate believer in ETAS, both on a national and a local level.  ETAS offers professionals a space to exchange ideas and views, find support from others, and feel encouraged to take one step further (or one step back!).   Ruth has been a member since 1997 when she went to her first conference and she felt like she’d found an oasis of water after walking around the desert for a while.   Being the coordinator for ETAS Vaud is a way of putting something back into the association that has given her so much over the years. 

Although she grew up in the UK, Lucy left to live in Germany in her early twenties.  After a couple of years working there, she spent ca. 20 years as a trailing spouse, moving between Germany and Switzerland, the US and Asia before settling in Switzerland in 2008. En route she completed her CELTA course and taught business English and young learners in Germany.  Since being settled back in Switzerland she started teaching young learners at Ruth’s language school.  During this time Lucy joined ETAS and was delighted to be able to get her teeth into teaching and learning, knowing that she wouldn’t be moving off to another destination soon.  Lucy has since worked in teaching and training, and currently teaches English and German to middle and high school students at an international school in Lausanne. 

Lucy also works with Ruth at the Haute Ecole Pédagogique and helps teach English didactics for primary level pre-service teacher trainees as well as observing in-service teachers introducing English to children at the younger ages of 11-12 in the Vaud schools.

Attending ETAS conferences and professional days and having a chance to meet, talk to and network with these professionals certainly boosted her interest and enthusiasm for teaching English, inspiring her to go further and take a masters in teaching English to young learners.  Not only does she enjoy the exchange of views on matters such as methodology that ETAS events provide, but also the constant challenge to reflect on her teaching practices and to keep trying new ideas in the classroom to suit her learners.  It is with pleasure that Lucy joined Ruth as coordinator for Vaud as a way of staying on the pulse of ETAS and to keep up the constant chatter of teacher talk!


Vaud currently has a membership of circa 50 members.  These members range from trainee to experienced teachers, teacher trainers and school owners from both the private and public sectors.  Vaud holds a minimum of two workshops a year and tries to cater to the broad range of interests that members hold such as teaching young learners, corporate and business English, coaching individuals for exams etc. Suggestions are always welcome!

Upcoming events

Saturday 11th November 2017 - Using Literature to Teach English, Graham Workman

Graham Workman’s seminar will take place on a Saturday morning at the Continental Hotel opposite Lausanne station.  The first half of the seminar will provide four different ways of exploiting poems so they can be used for vocabulary development, creative writing and practice with the rhythm and sounds of English.  The second half will present and practise three ways of getting learners to discuss short stories.  Participants will be provided with copies of short stories to read before the seminar and numerous further resources will be provided on the day.  Lucy and Ruth are looking forward to seeing you there!  Send an email to vaud@e-tas.ch to sign up. 


Selection of past workshops and events

  • Learner-tainment at Christmas by Mary Schnueriger
  • Dyslexia in the EFL classroom with Marie Delaney and Sally Farley
  • Internet-based language teaching by Thomas Strasser
  • Engaging young learners with content, language and learning skills by Jane Maria Harding da Rosa
  • How web 2.0 can flip your classroom by Antoinette Dapples
  • Brain friendly learning and teaching by Mark Fletcher
  • In the Swing, it’s nearly spring, hands on activities for young learners by C. Borne and J. Johnstone
  • Making the most of the Internet and blended Learning by John Potts
  • Teaching through song, by Carole Nicoll
  • Teaching Business English with film extracts by Graham workman
  • Motivating material for teenagers by Graham workman
  • Fun activities for teaching English at Primary level by Graham Workman
  • Teaching teenagers, what on earth makes them tick? by H. Puchta
  • Something to do on Mondays by Mary Schnueriger
  • Teaching phonetic symbols by Linda Walsh
  • 2011 ETAS Annual General Meeting and weekend conference, HEIG, Yverdon

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