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Two minutes with...Stephen Pilton

10 October, 2014

1. What do you do at Kings?
I’m the Assistant Director of Studies. This means I help Jeanette, our Director Studies, to deliver effective English language courses. I spend a lot of time making sure that our English language courses are as effective as they can be and that our teachers have all the help they need to do a great job. Every day I get to speak to students from different classes and different countries about their learning and their lives.

2. How long have you worked at Kings and what did you do before?
I’ve been at Kings for about 3 years and before that I spent nearly 9 years working in Poland as an English teacher.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the fact that every day is different and also that I can speak to so many different people about lots of different things. One day I might be doing a study plan with a student from South Korea, helping them to organise their time in England and helping them to achieve their goals. The next day I might speak to a group from France about how the education systems in our countries are different.

4. What do you like most about Oxford?
I’m not from Oxford but I love living here. It’s incredibly pretty and while walking around the centre it feels like I’m on holiday somewhere special. I also love the fact that it’s small and when you walk by the Thames it feels like you’re in the middle of the countryside, even though you can just be a ten minute walk from the centre.

5. Where is the best place you’ve visited?
The best place I’ve visited near Oxford is Blenheim Palace. It’s such a beautiful building with a fascinating history. The park around the house is even better as it’s a wonderful place to go for a stroll or have a picnic.

6. What is the last book you read?
It was a book about World War One written by an Australian soldier who was there. I’m interested in history in general and this period in particular, especially now that it’s one hundred years since the start of that war. I like the fact that the book describes the real day-to-day experiences of the soldiers and doesn’t talk about big strategies or generals’ plans.

7. What is your favourite film?
My answer to this question would probably change every day but today it’s Bullitt. It was made in 1968 and stars Steve McQueen as a cop fighting the mafia. It’s just such a cool film with amazing music, a tense storyline and the best car chase ever. Who wouldn’t want to be Steve McQueen?!

8. Who would play you in a film of your life?
If a film company was so desperate for material that they decided to make a film about my life then I guess I would like Ewan McGregor to play me. Of course he looks nothing like me but I suppose I wouldn’t mind if people thought he did!

9. Which well-known figure would you most like to invite to dinner?
I’d invite the motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi. He’s a bit of a legend and I’d just talk to him about bikes and racing.

10. What is your favourite quote?
I’m not good at remembering quotes but I frequently listen to a song by William DeVaughn (and Massive Attack) and it always makes me feel good. It goes:

You may not have a car at all
But remember brothers and sisters
You can still stand tall
Just be thankful for what you've got