Hello, my name is Barbara. I am American and a native English speaker. I have been teaching English for many years in the U.S., UK and NL. I currently live in Amsterdam and have been an ESL teacher here and online since 2008. I am married and my two elderly cats recently died of different causes. I have many hobbies, including cooking, reading, walking, sewing, and various sports. I come from a big Italian American family in which education and academic success were pushed. I bring that motivation to every student I teach.
I have a BA, MA and PhD in English Language and Literature. I received teaching credentials during my Masters degree. I have been teaching face to face English and Academic Skills since 1993 and online English and Academic Skills since 2010. My students have been native and nonnative or international. I have taught as an instructor, lecturer and Assistant Professor. Currently I teach for two universities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and one U.S. university online. I have taught General English, Business English, Legal English, Technical English, Communications, Presentation Skills, Literature, Research Writing and more. Currently I teach Business English and Academic English at universities in the Netherlands and Online.
I see myself as more of a facilitator than a lecturer especially when teaching ESL. I organize exercises for individual students and groups. I find that students often best learn from peer review, and I try to integrate that as much as possible. For online English teaching I have learned from the mistakes of my Dutch teachers. So many of my Dutch teachers have dominated the lessons and not let me get a word in and practice my Dutch. In my English lessons, I try to be as interactive as possible so students can practice their conversation and apply what they have learned right away and again in the next lesson. I find that grammar is best taught in context, either in reading or in conversation. I believe there are many learning styles and the best thing to do with a new student is ask questions about their learning history. The wrong approach will result in a lot of wasted time and money for the student, meaning students won't come back for more lessons and will find another teacher. The best learning environment is when both the student and teacher learn something new.