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Gill grew up in Shropshire and has a degree in English and French from the University of Lancaster. After two years in Nigeria as a volunteer teacher, and finding it hard to settle in the damper climes of her native land, she packed her bags in 1987 and headed south to Aix-en-Provence where she worked in a bookshop and learnt to speak French with a funny accent.
She now lives in Grenoble with her three daughters, working with dyslexic French children and teaching English to anyone who will pay her.
Gill has been a regular feature writer for an English regional magazine and is an enthusiastic blogger. In her spare time, she likes to read, walk in the mountains and sample as many of the local cheeses as she possibly can.
Nathalie grew up in the south west of France and became a Primary school teacher in Bordeaux. A few years later, she left education to become an IT correspondent in Paris and met an English man in Cordoba. Following her heart she moved to the south of England 20 years ago, and started teaching French and German in secondary schools. She soon developed an interest (and passion) for teaching children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and worked in special education settings for a few years.
In parallel, from 1991 she was developing language courses and producing funny resources for young learners within a language company in the UK. In 2004 she discovered how she could be a storyteller through animations and games. Now she spends most of her time playing with vectors and timelines in order to create activities that will reach children and hold their attention whilst they are absorbing the rhythm and structure of learning through having fun with language.
Sarah was born near London and has a degree in Arabic & Islamic Studies from Exeter University and a Masters in European Business Administration from the University of the West of England, Bristol.
With blatant disregard for her education, she put neither degree into practice, but went instead to France in 1989 and ended up staying there. After a short stop in damp and chilly Clermont-Ferrand, she headed south to the warm, sunnier climes of Montpellier where she cut her teeth as a teacher trying to instil the English language into often reluctant adults.
Sarah is a frequent blogger and started working with Bongo in 2009 writing for the Royal Albert Hall's 'Showtime', the Teenage Cancer Trust, and Webplay. She's lived in Cairo and Dallas, Texas but prefers to stay put now in the south of France with her two boys and cat where she enjoys risking life and limb motor-biking as a passenger around the beautiful countryside of the region.
Writer and Cognitive Scientist
Layla was born and raised in Bahrain, and moved to North America when she was 17. Fortunately, she ended up in Montreal, her favourite place in the world! There, she studied computer science and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).
Her main work is with children with special needs. She saw that classes did not always cater to the different learning styles and decided to find ways to do that, while making learning fun! She then had an opportunity to design educational games for children with reading difficulties, and found her passion. Layla continues to design educational games in her Cognitive Science studies at Lund University, Sweden (where she currently lives with her husband).
Born in the North West of England, originally trained to work in accounts and soon moved into teaching accountancy in the further education sector. Gradually moved towards Computing and IT and after teaching IT for a few years, moved to manage the section and still currently working as Head of Section, IT in a large further education college.
Other work includes:
- Committee member of Association of Colleges 14-19 and Diploma Expert Group
- Author of educational material through Bongo LLP for Royal Albert Hall, Teenage Cancer Trust, Bongo, and Promethean
- Exam question writer/marker/moderator for three of the major awarding bodies.
Still living in the North West of England with three children, one dog, seven rabbits and two lizards.
A native of South Carolina, Amber originally went to school to become a French teacher in the states, and found herself in Nantes in 2006 in order to learn how to speak correctly. Upon landing in France however, she discovered that the grass was a bit greener and decided to set up camp and stay awhile. Today, Amber has a bachelors degree in Modern Languages from Winthrop University, and she lives in Lille, France where she teaches English to business school students and professionals.
When not running after students to collect late assignments or grading papers, Amber enjoys spending time with her French partner, her two cats, and soon-to-be baby. She enjoys reading, blogging, and endless home renovation projects.
She joined Bongo in 2010 to add her American touch.
Russell has recently graduated from Norwich University College of the Arts with first class honors in BA (Hons) Visual Studies (2010). He is proceeding with further education at the Royal College of Art.
Russell has worked with BongoLLP since 2009 illustrating Slim the Vegetarian Ogre.