My name is Derek Donaghy and I am a born and bred native English speaker from the United Kingdom. I have been working as a teacher for over 12 years in the English Primary education system. During this time I have had the opportunity to teach children coming into our school with little or no knowledge of the English language. Helping to prepare them for the formal SATs examinations. Although I teach the whole primary curriculum (English, Maths, Science, etc.) I am passionate about teaching English. Teaching English to non-English speakers is one of my favourite activities, because I like to share my enthusiasm about language learning with my students.
Studying a new language is an exciting adventure, because there are always new topics and themes to explore. Although I'm a native English speaker, learning new things every day from my students and surroundings adds to the positive experience that teaching a foreign language brings into my life.
I have many interests and hobbies including reading, watching and participating in sports (running is another passion of mine), watching documentaries and interesting films. I particularly enjoy travelling, with Turkey being one of my favourite destinations. I also enjoy communicating with other people which makes teaching English the perfect job for me.
I have a B.Ed(Hons) in Primary Education after studying at Plymouth University, England. In recent years I have studied with 'i-to-i' and was awarded a pass in their online TEFL Courses: A and B totaling 120 hours of study. To pass the course I had to demonstrate the ability to plan and deliver successful lessons for students of English as a Foreign Language. I was also able to demonstrate practical techniques to teach grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
I have been working as a primary school teacher for over 12 years and the planning, delivery and classroom management skills I have been taught are fully transferable to teaching English as a second language. I also received a certificate in 'i-to-i's' Teaching English Online Course. To be successful I had to demonstrate the key skills required to teach effective and engaging online lessons to EFL students and show an understanding of the aims and challenges of teaching English online. I also had to show that I could plan relevant and motivating lessons and activities. Being an experienced classroom teacher I fully understand the importance of planning and delivering lessons that motivate, interest and stretch the learner.
I am currently learning to speak Russian. This is enabling me to see both the teacher and student perspectives, so I can fully understand and sympathise with the needs and frustrations of students as I have experienced them myself. This has furthered my belief in the importance of having an empathetic and student centred approach towards the needs of each and every student.
Whether students want to improve their communication skills in English, be more confident when writing emails, letters or social media responses, need to prepare presentations for university or work, fill in application forms or improve promotion prospects, I will create an individualised student learning plan for them. In whatever way the student needs to use English, we will work together to focus on the language they need when communicating with other English speakers. Whether they require speaking, listening, reading or writing skills, using student directed learning we will work together to achieve their goals.
As an experienced teacher I know that lessons should be challenging but just as importantly, fun and enjoyable. This approach will help them to move closer to achieving their objectives of being successful English communicators. My approach to teaching English is to incorporate the four basic language skills of speaking, writing, listening, and reading into lessons. By using these skills simultaneously, a learner can acquire both the productive and comprehensive skills to speak and more importantly, understand a language with greater fluency. I endeavour to identify existing strengths and expand the other areas so that the student will become a well-rounded and confident user of English.
I truly believe that learning a language should be an enjoyable experience. Having the ability to communicate in an additional language is a wonderful achievement. I always try to make my classes fun and interesting. When students are comfortable, the environment is ideal for learning - then one-on-one language lessons can be stimulating, fun and enjoyable. (For both student and teacher!)