I have recently returned to England, after spending over 20 years teaching in various countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
I began working overseas in a global language school organisation called International House, and I worked for them in Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Spain, China and Kazakhstan. In 1999 I was offered a post as the Director of Studies of a language school which operated in the International School of Maturin, and it was the Principal of this school that later employed me at the following International Schools: International School of Almaty [secondary] and SISB Suvarnabhumi Bangkok [primary]. I also worked as a special needs teaching assistant at Beanstalk Primary School in Beijing.
A large part of my teaching experience at language schools has involved teaching Business English, and I have taught staff of the following companies: Arabian Drilling Company, Arcelor Mittal, AstraZeneca, ATF Bank, AT&T, Banco de Espana, B--Tec Welding, European Union Development Office, FCC Construction, Halliburton, IKEA, Kazakh Stock Exchange, Kazmunai Gas, Khaliji Bank, Lucent Technologies, Maersk, Maxus Petroleum, National Bank of Kazakhstan, Nippon Steel, Nokia, OTP Bank, QPost, Siemens, SonyEricsson and Thyssen Krupp.
• Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Cambridge University, September 1995
• BSoc.Sc. Economics and Politics (2:1), University Of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK
• A ‘Levels: Economics (A), English Literature (A), Sports Science (A)
• Certificate in Business English Training (International House Budapest; February 1997)
• Diploma in Business Spanish (Spanish Chamber of Commerce Madrid; June 1995)
A complete list of the schools at which I have worked is below.
- Transition English Teacher Singapore International School of Bangkok Jul. ‘15 – Jul. ‘16
Responsible for creation and implementation of new Transition English programme, designed to facilitate the effective integration of new, non-native students into the standard homeroom. Specialising on 1-1 or small group scenarios for specific students, with occasional groups of normal class-size.
- Corporate Training & General English Trainer London School of English, Doha, Qatar Feb. ‘12 – Jun. ‘15
Business English teacher for Qatari and multi-national companies. Industries trained included companies in construction, shipping, airport management and professional football. General English teacher in school, for classes at various levels, including IELTS preparation.
- English Trainer Expression, Doha Sept. ‘11 – Feb. ‘12
- English Training - Materials Manager EITC, Saudi Arabia Jul. ‘08 – Jul. ‘11
- English Language Trainer Armstrong-Hilton Training Beijing Jan. ‘08 – Jul. ‘08
- Special Needs Teaching Assistant Beanstalk International School Jul. ‘07 – Jan. ‘08
Short project with special needs student in Grade 4 class. Responsible for 1-1, in-class assistance, simply in order that he be able to participate in normal lessons, and gain confidence in class. Project proved successful.
- English Language Teacher International House Almaty Jul. ‘06 – Jul. ‘07
- English Communication Skills International School of Almaty Jan. ‘05 - Jun. ‘06
Classes for English communication skills, for Grades 7 to 11. Classes designed to supplement their existing English language classes, and therefore obviously involved liaising with their standard English teachers
- English Language Teacher International House Qingdao, China Oct. ‘03 – Oct. ‘04
- English Teacher [sabbatical from Hong Kong] BETTA Language School, Guinea May – Oct. ‘02
European Union funded project involved training senior army officers in general English, & was aimed at averting any domestic civil war.
- Account Mgr. & Business Development Berkely Burke, Hong Kong Sept. . ‘01 – Aug. ‘03
- Financial Consultant Expat. Investment Consultants, Beijing Aug. 99 – Aug. ‘01
- Director of Studies  ELC - International School Maturin Jul. ‘98 – Jul. ‘99
English language school, associated with the International School of Maturin, located on school’s premises. Responsible for provision of general English classes, as well as the scheduling & co-ordination of language teachers. Class set-up & curriculum planning for General & Business English, adults & young-learners.
- English Language Teacher International House Madrid, Spain Jan. - May ‘98
- English Language Teacher International House Recifé, Brazil Jul. – Dec. ‘97
- Teacher of English for Business International House Budapest, Hungary Aug. ‘96 – Jun. ‘97
- Teacher of English for Business I.H. Bydgoszcz, Poland Oct. ‘95 – ‘Jun.96
A key part of the language training that I give - for young learners, adults, company employees has been the use of online notes. I take comprehensive language notes in every class and then email them to ALL course participants after every class, enabling them to access them on a computer (or smartphone) at any point for revision.
This is obviously beneficial as it allows people who have been in class the opportunity to look back and revise what they have done. I also encourage participants to use the 'Find' tool on the Word document, in order to look back at any other examples of this vocabulary, language or skill area that they think they may have studied in the past.
Another benefit of this system, is that it gives any participants who are unable to attend a session the opportunity to look over the key notes that were covered, and therefore not fall behind their classmates. This is particularly useful with regards in-company training, as varying, busy schedules will make it inevitable that some participants will be unable to attend some classes.
For these language notes on Word, I have created a system using a standard Microsoft Word program, which allows people to listen to everything that has been written in the document as an audio file. This is quite simple, free to download and has obvious benefits when working with people who use a different alphabet in their native language, as I found in China, Kazakhstan, Thailand and the Middle East.
For these notes, the 'remote assistance' system is used to see my notes. To do this, I will simply send an invite with a password and students will be able to see the notes on my computer as I write them. This system can also be used in another way, which is for me to look at students work as they are doing it. This has been useful for different people both when doing exercises, as well as when writing compositions. By using this, I am able to talk to them about what they are doing as if I was standing next to them.
Remote assistance is more easily accessible in older versions of Windows, but in Windows 10 it can be accessed by using the following procedure.
- Click the Windows logo and type in the word "run"
- Type msra in the open box and click on Open or press enter/return
- Click on the icon and then click Invite Someone
- Save the file, email it to me as an attachments, and also write down in the email the password that appears on your screen
- I open it, it is opened automatically in the Remote Assistance format, and I write in the password
- The student will then have a message telling them ‘Would you like me to access your computer?’ and click Yes
- The student's screen will appear on my computer.
I will be happy to email anyone a demonstration of the sort of notes I produce after each class, if you would like to see how it functions. The notes are broken down into the following areas, with any new words in the 1st section appearing in bold letters which I am unable to do in this section. [Similarly, any mistakes that have been pointed out will appear as crossed out words, although this is something else I am also unable to do in this section.]
CONVERSATIONS & NEW WORDS:
SHORT LINKING WORDS:
HOW TO SAY WORDS:
SHORT LINKING WORDS:
HOW TO SAY WORDS:
I then ask students to look through these on the computer and/or smart phone so that they can ask me any questions in the next session. When looking at their notes, I stress to students my belief [and something that I have found with almost all of my students over the past 20 years] that when reading something, reading it aloud helps reinforce it with their memory. I think this is because it is not only their eyes that are involved in the process, but their oral senses and muscles. Indeed, I encourage my students to read aloud on their smartphones [though not too loud, of course] so that their spouse, colleagues, managers, any passing pedestrians think that they are going a bit crazy, which adds to the fun of learning!
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