I'm English, born in London, and have a standard "received English" accent, which students tell me is clear and easy to follow. I have an English degree (2:1, Exeter University, UK), and a basic diploma in EFL teaching. I enjoy all the arts, and love the English language - its rich variety of words and expressions, its fascinating history, and scope it offers. While working mainly with adults here on Verbal Planet, I also teach/engage with children, starting as young as you like. I have plentiful experience of working with children, both on Verbal Planet, and in schools, where I provide creative writing workshops. Watch/listen to some of my published poems for children on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO_w75QsEJYLsH6ickyeI0g
Personal life - I'm a wife and a mother of two adult sons. I live in rural Wales, and love the local woods and fields.
I have an honours degree (2:1) in English, from Exeter University, UK, and a basic certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language, from St Giles College, London).
Note for parents - I teach children as well as adults. No age too young! For children, I use singing with ukulele, games, pictures, drama and drama to engage them in English naturally. Adults - don't worry, I won't make you sing!! Conversation, with guidance, clarification and practice along the way, is my method for adults.
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 (poemsforfun.wordpress.com), with many poems in different anthologies. I also provide creative writing workshops for schools - now online. 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 that English poses to learners - challenges posed by its rich vocabulary, multiple tenses, complex syntax and inconsistent spellings, as well as its countless idioms.
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. Their range of needs taught me to adapt to needs - 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, practice and guidance, with focused teaching where needed or requested. While nurturing all-round speaking and listening proficiency and overall fluency, I do not prepare students for specific exams. I start each lesson with informal chat, moving on to discussion of agreed topics, keeping the conversation lively, stimulating and fluid, introducing common expressions and other enrichments as we go. We can then recap with some revision questions after a few lessons. I offer a discounted trial lesson (unless you've had your free trial with a different tutor). Reading and writing tuition with worksheets is not included, but can be provided for an extra fee, paid separately. You might enjoy my writing sheets designed for native English-speaking children:
Any questions, please send me a message. All communication must be through Verbal Planet.