GLOBE TROTTER: Justin Turner in Colombia in the Andes where he is teaching English after working as a civil engineer in Brisbane.
GLOBE TROTTER: Justin Turner in Colombia in the Andes where he is teaching English after working as a civil engineer in Brisbane. Shayla Bulloch

Road to Rome: Former Rocky student's journey helping others

VISITING family in Italy three years ago triggered Justin Turner's love of languages and a journey helping others around the world.

Currently perched 2500m above sea-level in Columbia, he was on the first leg of his career teaching English in foreign countries.

After graduating from Rockhampton's The Cathedral College in 2011 Justin went on to achieve first-class honours in his civil engineering degree before deciding to peruse courses in languages.

"I developed an interest in learning Italian after visits to my maternal second-cousins in Italy in 2015 and 2017 with my father who used to teach at the Girls Grammar when I started at TCC,” he said.

"I realised that Spanish is a similar language but with a much greater number of people in the world speaking it as a first language.”

Justin taught himself to speak both Italian and Spanish before enrolling in language classes in Brisbane to sharpen his skills prior to his move overseas.

The 24-year-old enjoyed the variety of work in Pasto, Columbia saying no day was the same.

"Some days I teach English in the context of the students playing soccer; other days I have a session on Australian slang,” he said.

"Once I had a joint class with the other teacher of English who is from the United States, and the students tried to guess what we were saying when each of us pronounced the same word with our differing accents.”

Justin said his most interesting class was teaching fellow English teachers who had not gained any knowledge in their schooling years.

"They are keen to learn,” he said.

"The government has ordered that every child studies English for two-hours weekly for 10 years but, as for anything compulsory at school, very few school-students seem to gain any working-knowledge of English.”

After spending a month in South America, Justin said he planned to love to Italy to pursue his career further.



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