Come in London - Azerbaijan calling

Hello everyone from chilly Baku. If you’re not sure where Baku is, it’s the capital of Azerbaijan. If you’re not sure where that is, perhaps it’s time you bought an atlas! This month I'm teaching out here and to be honest, before I came, I wasn’t quite sure where Baku was either.

For the record, it’s about as far east in Europe as you can go, sharing borders with Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran.  It’s a fascinating place, and I’ll write more about why in future posts, but for the time being perhaps it’s best if I explain why I’m here.

As some of you may know, I’ve been teaching at the London School of English for nearly three years and in that time I’ve taught several IELTS courses. About a month ago, our courses director, Pete, asked me if I’d like to teach another IELTS course. "Of course" I said. "In Azerbaijan" said Pete. "Oh" I said, "let me think about it". After I’d slept on it (and hit the internet) I agreed to go, feeling that it was a great opportunity to visit somewhere well off the beaten track.

So here I am. I’ve been here for five days and taught for four of them. It’s been fascinating so far, and a real eye-opener. I’m teaching three IELTS groups a day for one month, in preparation for their exam on May 8th. The students are really switched on and keen to learn about the exam and Britain in general. I haven’t had much of a chance to explore the city yet, but I plan to have a good look around this weekend. I’ll let you know how I get on.


  • chilly - (adj.) quite cold, often after rainfall
  • for the record - (fixed expression) officially
  • for the time being - (adv. phr.) until something happens at a later time
  • to sleep on something - (idiom) to wait a day or two before making an important decision
  • to hit the internet - (idiom) to use the internet a lot in a short period of time. You can also hit the books (revise a lot in a short time) or hit the shops (do a lot of shopping)
  • off the beaten track - (idiom) an unusual or uncommon place for tourists to visit
  • eye-opener - (n.) a very interesting or educational experience
  • to be switched on - (idiom) to be intelligent and able to learn things quickly
  • to get on - (phr. v.) to make progress

Written by Andy, from The London School of English

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