My main area of education is Classics (languages, literature, and ancient philosophy), and I have written my PhD in ancient Greek tragedy. I did it in Scotland, where I have lived for almost nine years. Yes, yes, I have traded sunshine for bagpipes and the chance to run into Inspector Rebus or the Loch Ness Monster! But I am now back in Portugal, my country of birth.
When I am not being obsessed with something about Classics, I play the cello, obsess about cinema, theatre, books, comic books, and tea.
I have been a private tutor of Latin at high school, adult learning, and university level in Lisbon between 1998 and 2005. During that time, I have also tutored Portuguese to Erasmus students.
At the University of Edinburgh, I have tutored for the course of Ancient Literature, and I have been a "language assistant" for the Greek Summer School ran by the Classics Department.
Still in Edinburgh, I was a private tutor of Portuguese between 2012 and 2014.
Back to Portugal, I taught a summer course in Greek Tragedy at the Univ. of Lisbon, and I got back to private tuition of Portuguese and Latin (this time I even got to teach Latin to an 8 yo girl, which was the most amazing experience ever!).
I don't believe in absolute "talent" and lack thereof in any discipline. One of the hardest things about teaching is to find what exactly will be the key for each specific student to understand the topic and to learn to enjoy it. Hard as it may be, however, it is often the case that small classes and one-to-one approaches provide the tutor with the opportunity to learn about each student's personality, and to provide them with the best tools for improvement. There are no "lost cases".
When it comes to languages, I try to combine my training as a Classicist with my experience having to live every day in a modern language that was not my own. I find it important to combine a solid knowledge of grammar with the actual uses of the language (speaking, reading interesting texts, understanding other views of the world, etc). I try to make sure that grammar is presented as an useful and interesting aspect of language, rather than the dry and scary conjugation tables so many students tend to be scared of before they feel confident with a new language.
On the other hand, I try to avoid the idea that a language should be learnt exclusively through a “natural” method, as, supposedly, children do. I believe that, when explained with opportunity, grammar clarifies and gives logical structures essential to understand the workings of a language in a logical way, and can be more useful than learning by heart an infinite number of individual examples.
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