Bettina Zydatiss is an education adviser for families with gifted and talented children in her native Berlin and is fascinated by how children learn and the way we use language to communicate.

Bettina began her career in the late seventies, studying English and physical education at the Berlin Free University (Freie Universität) before working as a probationary teacher.

In 1988, she became assistant to Professor Wolfgang Zydatiss, a didactics professor at the University. The new job changed her life as she and her new boss fell in love. They got married and their son Kolja was born the following year. It was then that Bettina and her husband made an unusual decision.

We wanted our son to grow up bi-lingual so when he was 11 months old I started communicating with him exclusively in English. It became the language of our home. Thankfully, babies sleep a lot so Wolfgang and I found opportunities to talk to each other in our mother tongue!”

Their son, now in his thirties and a successful on-line journalist, eventually went on to study neuropsychology and neuroscience.

Nowadays, Bettina, who also speaks French and Spanish, concentrates on helping parents and their children by introducing them to a different approach to education and communication.

A BIWC member for many years, Bettina’s free-time interests include singing in a choir, playing the accordion in an orchestra, folk and swing dancing, cycling, and playing tennis as often as possible!