I'm a professional British English teacher with 19 years of full time English language teaching experience. I live and teach full time in western Poland from October - June. In the summers, I work as a Director of Studies for a UK summer school and I then work for 5-weeks on a full time pre-sessional EAP tutor for The University of Durham (a global top 100 university) teaching pre-Masters students Critical Thinking, and Academic Study Skills in English.
In my general English classes, I have taught FCE and CAE classes since 1997 and I have a lot of experience of teaching IELTS and some of TOEFL. Most of my teaching experience is with Polish students but I have taught in Brazil and many of my pre-Masters students are Chinese. In addition, I have taught students of many different nationalities including German, Lithuanian, Turkish, Indian, Russian, French, Italian and Spanish.
Outside of teaching, I am interested in critical thinking, popular science, reading crime fiction and playing cards and I spend a lot of time taking our dog, Winston for walks. :)
I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and two post-graduate level professional English Language teaching qualifications as well as an initial ELT certificate. ALL of my teaching qualifications have included assessed teaching practice and I have been and am regularly observed at Durham university and at school in Poland. As a Director of Studies, I have observed many lessons and I am able to provide feedback, advice and development to teachers.
Trinity cert TESOL
Cambridge ESOL DELTA
PGCE (PCE) ESOL
Over the years, my approach has changed.
My teaching principles seem very very simple.BUT they are based on nearly 20 years of experience , 1000s of hours of teaching and a lot of study!
1. English is a language and it is used BY people to communicate WITH people.
(I will help you communicate better in English.)
2. 'DOING' English is more difficult but more important and more useful than 'KNOWING' about the language.
(I will ask you to do things in English then we will compare your answer(s) and mine so you can get better.)
3. Studying in the right way IS very very important.
(I will show you what is useful when studying English, why AND how you can focus on it out of class.)
4. Many tests and exams involve 'real-life' skills (listening, speaking , reading and writing.
(I will help you develop real-life skills in class AND show you how to practise out of class yourself.)
5. Studying 'grammar or 'vocabulary' on their own is not , in my opinion, useful (see points 1-3)..
(I will give you tasks that help you use USEFUL language (new to you, perhaps or not very familiar) so you sound more natural in English).
6, Everyone 'learns' their own language naturally to a high speaking level.
(I will help you improve. If you have more time and work harder, I will help you get much better.)
7. Studying and learning don't have to be boring.
(I will try to make lessons enjoyable as well as useful. :) )
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