I'm English, born in London, and have a standard "received English" accent, which students tell me is clear and easy to follow. I now live in rural Wales, and love the peace and greenery of the area. I like all the arts, but the English language appeals most - its rich variety of words and expressions, its fascinating history, and the fun it offers. I have plentiful experience of working with children, as well as adults. I'm a wife and a mother of two sons - now adult.
Note for parents - I teach children as well as adults. No age too young! I use music (singing with ukulele, guitar, drums...), games, pictures, drama and lots of chat, weaving in grammar and vocabulary along the way. This is the most natural and engaging way for a child to learn. Writing resources: I have over 300 downloadable resources for children at low cost (suitable for both native English speakers and English learners), to develop literacy and expression, in fun, meaningful ways: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/katewilliams_poetry?p=4 .
I have an honours degree (2:1) in English, from Exeter University, UK, and a certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language, from St Giles College, London).
My love of the English language has shaped my working life, through writing and teaching. I'm a published writer of articles, mostly for teaching magazines. I'm also a published children's poet, with many poems in various anthologies. I've also been running creative writing workshops for schools for the past twenty years (website https://poemsforfun.wordpress.com/workshops/). This involves helping children to speak and write expressively, fluently and with confidence in English. Through this rewarding occupation, I have developed a range of communication and teaching skills, also relevant to teaching English as a foreign language, such as bringing the language alive with the help of artefacts, pictures and drama. The experience has given me insights into the challenges English poses to learners, both native and new to the language - challenges posed by its rich and nuanced range of vocabulary, its subtly different tenses, its complex grammatical structures and its inconsistent spellings, as well as its wealth of idioms. A rich but challenging language!
Before working in schools, I taught English as a foreign language to adult learners, having gained the TEFL certificate mentioned above. I worked with people from around the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Somalia and China. My (basic) TEFL training equipped me with the essential teaching skills, but I learnt a whole lot more from the real-life experience of working with students who urgently needed to understand and be understood. Breaking down the language barriers to enable us to communicate was an exciting challenge, often carrying us way beyond the lesson plan as the possibilities for communication opened up. Their variety of needs taught me to adapt my methods accordingly, often on the spot!
I offer English conversation skills development and practice, incorporating grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and intonation along the way. My lessons are relaxed and informal, while providing all-round support and guidance, with focused drilling where needed or requested. While nurturing all-round speaking and listening proficiency and overall fluency, I do not prepare students for exams. I start each lesson with informal chat, moving on to discussion of an agreed topic, keeping the conversation lively, stimulating and fluid, introducing common expressions and other enrichments as we go. If exercises are needed or requested, these are done in the middle, before our closing chat. I offer a discounted trial lesson (unless you've had your free trial with a different tutor). Reading and writing tuition is not included, but can be provided for an extra fee, paid separately.
Any questions, please send me a message any time. All communication must be through Verbal Planet.