A Two-decade Journey: Alan Sheridan’s Story Through Language Education

Alan - Blog Post Cover Photo

March 19th, 2024 english

In the world of education, there are few individuals with a career as fruitful and diverse as language teacher Alan. With two decades of dedicated service, Alan Sheridan has become an essential part of our academic community, leaving a lasting impression on the lives of countless students all over the world. Join us as we explore the captivating journey of a teacher whose passion for travel propelled him to evolve into an inspiring figure in the field of language education.


The interview kicks off with a question about Alan’s origins and the start of his teaching career. Alan reflects on his journey, tracing it back to the ’90s when he completed his degree and earned an international TEFL teaching qualification. The mention of the Delta qualification, which came later, highlights Alan’s commitment to continuous professional development. Clearly, teaching was a passion that he embraced early on.


Alan’s story takes an interesting turn when he shares his experiences travelling abroad. After obtaining a green card, he spent a few years in the United States. The appeal of international travel led him further to Korea and Vietnam.


Life’s journey is rarely a straight line, and Alan’s story is no exception. A detour into computer programming and many other professions reveals his versatility. 


“I’ve been travelling since I was a kid because my parents worked for Aer Lingus. So, I’ve been a fisherman in Alaska, built houses in California. Around the millennium, computers were the big thing. So –  I went and did a course in software development and worked on programming, distribution, and warehouse databases for the Pharmaceutical industry.”


However, the call of teaching and the prospect of returning to Ireland proved valuable. Alan’s return to teaching marked a pivotal moment in his career. In 2003 the transition into our institution shaped Alan’s professional trajectory.


DCU International Academy has witnessed substantial growth since its early days, as Alan describes—from humble beginnings in a single classroom amongst teachers and staff at the Henry Grattan building to moving to the VBG building in 2007/2008 and finally settling in the Invent building in 2024. Our language school has experienced a huge growth in the last two decades.


Most notably, Alan highlights the most memorable progression was in the students “When I started, it was – like most other language schools. It was predominantly European.” Today our language school has welcomed students from over 80 countries worldwide to study English and has since gained a reputation for excellence in English language teaching.


“I’m still travelling, except this time it’s the world that’s coming to me rather than me going to the world.” 


Alan & Cathal CEO
Alan Sheridan (left) pictured with DCUIA CEO Cathal Maye (right)


As we commemorate Alan’s 20 years of teaching with our language school, it’s clear that his journey is more than a series of job transitions; it’s a testament to a passion for education. 


Here’s to two decades of excellence and the countless lives impacted by Alan’s dedication to language education.


“I’m surprised it’s 20 years, I’m not surprised it’s 20 years – I still do love coming in and going into the classroom.” At DCU – “I’m in one of the best places to be teaching English in Ireland.”


To learn more about our English courses, visit our course pages at: https://english.dcu.ie/adult-courses/




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