An Interview with Sue Lyon-Jones | Brad Patterson’s Interview Challenge

Sue Lyon - Jones

I was very fortunate to connect with Sue over a year ago on Twitter. I always love her positive tweets and the work she does on her website with amazing ELT material: 

I was even more fortunate to meet her in person at TESOL France  last November! I will never forget her smile when she first saw me and the big hug we gave each other, as if we had known each other forever!

And boy, can she sing…after the first day at TESOL France she sang Let’s Stay Together by Al Green – gorgeous voice!

Over to Sue now!

1. If your students were to describe you with 3 adjectives, what would they be?

Enthusiastic, friendly and helpful, would be my guess… or at least, I’d like to think so!

2. What would we find in your fridge right now?

Fresh pesto and egg linguine pasta … lots of vegetables: potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, celery, yams, carrots, onions, cabbage, beansprouts, tomatoes, beetroot & salad stuff, herbs and spices (parsley, coriander, basil, garlic, chillies and ginger) curry paste, chutney, soya milk and fruit juice.

One or two guilty pleasures as well – dark chocolate, premium lager (his) & alcoholic ginger beer (mine) along with a forgotten lemon at the back of the fridge that looks poised to mutate into something else if it’s left there much longer, and which I probably should bin to put it out of its misery!

A banned substance (marmite!) an eye mask, and an eyebrow pencil just hanging around chilling, waiting to be sharpened 🙂
(Vicky’s comment: I sure did like the chocolate part!)

3. If you weren’t an educator, what might your profession be?

I drifted into teaching by accident after taking a temporary job as a stop-gap between writing jobs for a few weeks, which ended up lasting a couple of years! If it hadn’t been for that I’d probably have carried on trying to make a living as a full-time writer.

4. What do you find most difficult about the teaching profession, or What has been your most difficult class as a teacher?

I tend to approach things in terms of being challenging rather than difficult really, which is probably a good job because the classes I teach tend to be either mixed levels or full of low level beginners – sometimes a combination of both!

I can’t recall ever teaching a group of students that gave me much in the way of grief to be honest, though I have taught one or two students who have had their moments, shall we say 😉

5) What was the last book/movie you read/saw, and what have you seen/read way too many times?

I’m very busy with work these days so I tend to listen to audiobooks more often than not rather than read. I’ve just finished listening to Joseph Campbell’s “Hero With a Thousand Faces” for the umpteenth time. It’s a book about comparative mythology and if you haven’t read it yet and are interested in storytelling, it’s definitely one to add to your Christmas wish list!

(Vicky’s comment: Will do – reading is one of my favourite topics!)

The last movie I saw was The Matrix, which kills two birds with one stone very neatly to finish things off, as it falls into the category of a movie that I’ve seen way too many times as well 🙂

Many many thanks to Sue for this interview! I loved learning more about you.

Sue, Anita, Shelly, Vicky and Katerina in Paris - we were all so thrilled to meet each other!

35 thoughts on “An Interview with Sue Lyon-Jones | Brad Patterson’s Interview Challenge

  1. That’s # 3 of the PLN among us that was watched Matrix one too many times.

    I LOVED the fridge response… i almost started feelin chilly because I was felt like I was there! The mutating lemon… 😉

    Thanks 2 both of you for keeping this rolling. Since no one opted for it, I’ve finally swooped down and chosen Ozge for a 2nd interview. I thought she would’ve been the first to go ! Lucky me gets the story first-hand !

    So much fun. Whoop whoop bisous to you both, and see you in November ! !!!!! ! ! ! !

    1. Hi Brad!

      Thanks for the idea for the challenge. Whooohooo!!! A second interview! Excellent : )

      I really appreciate Sue as an educator and person and when she accepted to do it, I was very happy! Thanks Sue and thanks Brad!

      See you both in November, Vicky

    1. Hi Naomi!

      I pick a up lot of the audiobooks I listen to from charity shops, but you can also buy them online at Amazon, and Librivox is a great site for picking up free audio versions of classic books that are in the public domain as well.

      Sue 🙂

  2. Hi Vicky and Sue, that’s one full fridge, and lucky you to have not had classes that make you cringe when you think about them. I’ve certainly got some. Thanks Vicky, see you in France.

    1. Hi David,

      I’ve had lessons that make me cringe when I think about them, (like the time I prepared a powerpoint on countable and uncountable nuns!) but that’s a different story best saved for another time… 😉

      See you in France, too!

    1. thank you so much Marisa 🙂

      It was wonderful meeting you face to face and It’s been so nice to have the opportunity to catch up with you again this year… (((virtual hugs))) till we meet again the next time!

      Sue 🙂

  3. Hi Sue,
    you certainly are enthusiastic and friendly and helpful – but also more than that – you share and you care! I have learned so much from you over the past two years and so have my students. Thank you:-)
    Thank you Vicky for this great interview 🙂

    1. Thank you, Arjana!

      It was great to finally get to meet you at ISTEK, and I’ve learnt a lot from you since we first connected on twitter a couple of years back, as well 🙂

      Look forward to meeting you again sometime soon… at TESOL Paris, maybe, if you are going?

      Sue 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this, Vicky! It was great to meet you in Paris, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with you again in Paris this November!

    Thank you all so much for the kind words as well! 🙂

    I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know you over the past year or two, along with so many other wonderful educators from around the world – here’s to many more tweetups and meetups, both online and face to face!

  5. Oh gosh, I just love this challenge more and more! Fantastic to learn more about you Sue and thank you for fantastic interview Vicky!
    You both are amazing!
    btw, yey, just to second Brad’s note…another lover of the Matrix movie! That’s fun to know that.
    Anyway, I do hope more and more people will join this challenge!


    1. Thanks Vladka! Always cool to meet another Matrix buff.

      Lots of other films I’ve watched way to much as well – Blade Runner, Casablanca, Die Hard, Little Shop of Horrors, and Amelie among them (which IIRC, was one of someone else’s picks? – I’m losing track 🙂

      Hope to see you at TESOL France in November!

      1. Hi Vladka!

        You are super sweet and thanks for your comment! I am happy to have Sue on the blog : ) I love this challenge as well, it is great!

        Hi Sue,

        I am a biiiiig fan of Amelie ; )

  6. Hi folks 🙂 great to read you all.
    I can’t believe the chance I’ve had to meet you all this year.
    Looking forward to the next occasion (Paris here we come!)

      1. Hi Elizabeth!

        One of the nicest people with a super smile, that is what you are : ) Thank you for reading and commenting – see you a Paris!!!


  7. Hi Sue & Vicky,

    Like Brad, I love your fridge response. I think it begs the question: Have you used it as a platform for a lesson? If you haven’t, you should! What do the contents of your fridge say about you? + language component =)

    I look forward to doing some serious karaoke with you sometime, Sue.

    1. Cheers Tyson, & great idea to do a lesson about the contents of people’s fridges!

      Serious karaoke? Am always up for a bit of that – I look forward to it, too!


  8. Hi Sue and Vicky

    Loved reading this fab interview, Vicky. Many thanks. I had the great pleasure of meeting Sue in Brighton and it felt as if I had known you – Sue, a long time as soon as we got chatting. Lovely, down-to-earth and very approachable are 3 adjectives that immediately came to mind!

    Vicky – I’d love to meet you one day!!

    Cheers to Brad for instigating such a fun challenge 🙂

  9. Thanks, Janet! It was a pleasure to meet you in Brighton too, & I felt like I’d known you for ages as well… love the way that connecting on social media first does that!

    Look forward to meeting you again, too 🙂


    1. Ciao Janet!

      Mille grazie for your comment – as we mentioned yesterday on Twitter, I would love to meet you in person! Perhaps in Abruzzo, Zug, somewhere, some day, I hope soon!

      Thank you so much,

  10. Hi Vicky and Sue,

    I really like the idea of listening books for when doing the housework!
    I’m going to try that.
    @Sue , If you’re in Spain next year for TESOL Spain I expect to hear the singing voice!!
    Sure we can find a Karaoke bar…….
    @Vicky looking forward to meeting you one day…..

    Thanks guys,


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