On this page you will find some resources relating to prior speakers and friends of HSK English.

Laurie Theurer and Katie Hayoz – 2021 AGM Speakers

Laurie and Katie are two of the five authors of 50 Amazing Swiss Women: True Stories You Should Know About. All five of the authors are either Swiss-born, Swiss-based, or naturalized Swiss. They believe it’s high time we normalize strong women, women who fight for what they believe in, and women who don’t fit society’s expectations, as well as women who do. They created this book to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Swiss women’s right to vote on the national level (7th February 1971). This book includes amazing Swiss women, past and present, from many different backgrounds.

Read their stories. Get inspired. Be amazing, too.

Written by Laurie Theurer, Katie Hayoz, Anita Lehmann, Alnaaze Nathoo, and Barbara Nigg

Illustrated by Mireille Lachausse

Rylla Resler - 2020 AGM Speaker

Rylla is an American who moved to Basel with her family in 2008 and parlayed her business and training experience into teaching classes about adjustment to life abroad. While she has worked for big corporations and small, at 50 she chose a new path and now teaches yoga and mindfulness, including Mindfulness For Life Abroad. She and her colleagues, Francesca Incocciati and Adriana Quarck, wrote The Trailing Spouse Reimagined: Stories of People Transported by Love, which was published and released by Bergli Books in 2018. It is filled with stories of people who moved abroad with/for their partners and recreated their lives.

Rylla is is also a contributor to the podcast SwissPats:

Melinda and Robert Schoutens - 2019 AGM Speakers

The Education of Nature: The Importance of Sharing the Natural World with Our Children

Nature is essential to our overall health and well-being, a consensus which is now coming to the fore in academic research, journals and books. In their engaging and interactive talk, Melinda and Robert Schoutens discussed the role of nature in the lives of our families, provided tips and tricks on how to increase outdoor exposure and discussed why this is essential in today's world. Melinda and Robert are Americans who have been residing in Basel since 2007 and are raising their two children in the city. Melinda is an HSK English Teacher and Robert is a Manager for DePuy Synthes.

Together they have created two new books, Fresh Air Kids Switzerland - 52 Inspiring Hikes That Will Make Kids and Parents Happy and Fresh Air Kids Switzerland - My Book of Discoveries, which they hope will encourage families with children of all ages to spend more time outside exploring.

Jeanne Darling - 2018 AGM Speaker

Stories: the way to a child’s heart

Stories play a crucial role in helping language and culture not only survive, but thrive, in our homes.

Jeanne Darling, who has taught and lived in Basel since 1991, shared her experiences navigating her own children’s language development as they switched between their maternal language at home and learning a second language at school. She also drew on her experiences as a teacher helping children develop literacy skills. She is the author of “Basel’s Hidden Stories” published in 2017 and discussed the role of stories in bridging cultures and encouraging reading among young children.


The Monster Book of Switzerland

Basel's Hidden Stories

Bern's Hidden Stories

Diccon Bewes - 2017 AGM Speaker

Diccon is a full-time writer, occasional radio guest, member of the swissinfo Public Council and permanent expat. He is known amongst other things for his books Swiss Watching, Slow Train to Swizerland and Around Switzerland in 80 Maps. He has a background in travel writing having worked for Lonely Planet and Holiday Which? magazine. Diccon spoke to us at the AGM about his experiences of moving to Switzerland and starting his new life as an expat, which resonated with many of us in the audience.