I have been involved in ESL education since 1994. I moved to Japan soon after graduating from Hamilton College and got a job working at an English conversation school in Tokyo. After one year in that setting, I transitioned to teaching within the Japanese private school system. I spent 15 years in Japan as a teacher trainer and English teacher within the private and public school systems. I also worked with Japanese teachers helping them to develop techniques for teaching English without the assistance of native English teachers. After almost one year in Australia, I returned to the U.S. in 2010, to further my studies. To that end, I attended SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont and graduated in 2012 with an MA TESOL.
A few months after earning my MA TESOL, I accepted a position at a university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For two years, I taught in the EAP/ESP programme, which was created to help Saudi professors and admin staff improve their English language ability. The classes were mixed level, but what they lacked in language ability, they possessed in motivation and positivity. I also taught in the Foundations English programme and had the privilege of meeting some of the most interesting young women, many of whom helped me to grow as a teacher.
Summary of Qualifications
25 years teaching, training and managerial experience in Asia and the Middle East
Experience in lesson planning, curriculum and materials design and teaching language learners of various abilities and ages
Demonstrated ability to manage and motivate large and small classes of mixed abilities
Excellent ICT and organizational skills
Effective cross-cultural communicator and proven ability to work with an international team
Cambridge Diploma in Teacher Training (2016), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Coursework includes: Planning a Teacher Training Course, Presentation Skills and Observation
Cambridge International Diploma of Language Teaching Management ( 2015), University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia
Coursework includes: Academic Management, Project Management and Mentoring
Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (2012), SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro, Vermont
Coursework includes: Teacher Training, Second Language Acquisition, Language Acquisition and Lesson Planning, Intercultural Communication and Language teaching, Approaches to Teaching Second Language Learners, Curriculum Design and Assessment and Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Sociolinguistics
Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies (1994), Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
Head Trainer and Instructor Educational Insights (2016 – present), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Conduct workshops on topics relevant to teachers' continuing education, and professional and personal development (Diploma in Teaching IELTS, Diploma in Teacher Training, Games for the ESL Classroom, Rubrics 101: Improving Transparency and Performance, Academic Writing, Activities for Teaching Pronunciation, Time Management)
Provide tutoring for general, business and academic English
Run exam preparation courses for IELTS, KET, PET
Tutor Freelance (2015 – present)
Provide tutoring for general, business and academic English
Conduct exam preparation courses for IELTS, KET, PET
EAP / ESP Instructor Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University (2012 – 2014), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Contributed to the design and implementation of EAP programme which enabled Princess Nora University faculty to develop their English language skills for the purpose of teaching course content in English
Developed curriculum and PowerPoint lesson plans which incorporated differentiated instruction for faculty of mixed abilities in the Faculty EAP programme
Designed and implemented 15-week workshop to complement EAP course and to impart the fundamentals of cohesive and coherent essay writing to the faculty
Created interactive, student-centred lessons for ESP nursing students to enhance critical thinking and communicative skills in preparation for hospital internships
Utilised cooperative learning groups to maximise student talking time
Conducted intensive IELTS training for faculty preparing for PhD study abroad
Assisted Programme Leader in organizational and managerial matters including preparation of term exams and administering and grading placement tests for new student
Teacher Trainer Interac, Yokohama, Japan (2006-2007)
Organized and ex3cuted training programme for 100+ elementary, junior and senior high school native English teachers for all Kanagawa Prefecture Boards of Education schools
Created manual for teacher orientation and supplementary materials for textbooks
Consulted with Japanese school officials and non-Japanese teachers working in the school system to ensure a smooth professional relationship
Conducted teacher observations and offered advice on methods of improving teaching techniques, performance evaluation and monthly meetings
Designed and implemented professional development seminars for Shinagawa Board of Education Japanese elementary school teachers in techniques to use when teaching English without a native English speaker to assist
Trained Japanese elementary school teachers in techniques to use when teaching English without a native English speaker to assist
English Teacher / Teacher Trainer Tokorozawa Board of Education, Saitama, Japan (2001-2003)
Prepared and taught lessons for secondary school and fifth and sixth-grade elementary school students
Created and presented model lessons for elementary school pilot English programme
Coached students for the city-wide speech contest
Developed supplementary materials to scaffold and enhance textbooks
Conducted seminars for Japanese elementary school teachers in techniques to use when teaching English without a native English speaker to assist
Language learning is a puzzle which I help students to put together.
Effective teaching requires a clear plan, good preparation and an understanding of the needs of the learner. It also takes into consideration students’ experiences and assumes that even the most basic student is capable of contributing to the class, if s/he feels comfortable. By clear plan, I mean that there should be a coherent idea of how to go about implementing the lesson in order to achieve the desired outcome. The plan should factor in learner styles and the students’ motivations.
Because of these beliefs, when I teach, I always:
Think of ways to engage students and reduce their affective filter.
Identify students’ needs.
Adapt my teaching to suit the needs of students and to make sure that they are engaged, involved and learning.
Most importantly, I use students’ feedback to grow and improve as a teacher.
I believe that learners should have a connection with the subject matter and that teaching should facilitate meaningful communication. By meaningful communication, I mean that learning occurs through the struggle of using language in context. The learner should use the language to interact with others in order to gain information and to convey their own ideas, regardless of mistakes or errors.
From my experience as a learner and as a teacher, I realize that students learn best when they use the language to learn it as opposed to learning the language to use it. I believe that:
Learning is maximized through playfulness, humor, and enjoyment.
Learning occurs more readily in a safe and welcoming environment.
When learners are encouraged to express themselves and communicate in the way in which they are most comfortable their motivation increases.
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