Meet English Conversation Partner Teresa

May 11, 2016
11 May 2016,

Describe your past experiences helping students as an English Conversation Partner

I have taught English in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. I spent over 4 years teaching English to adults, mostly working professionals and children between ages 7 and 15. After relocating back to the UK, I have spent 1 one year teaching EAL at a secondary school in London and also 6 months teaching English via telephone to Korean student. I love working as an English Conversation Partner.

Tell us more about your education?

I have BA in Human Resources Management and a 120 hours TEFL certificate.

Tell us about your role as an English Conversation Partner (same as Native English Teacher)

I would say my role as an English Conversation Partner is a bit similar to that of a Talk Show Host like Larry King or Ellen. I ask a lot of open ended questions from students and get them to speak English as much as possible. I would start by asking where the student is from and general questions about his or her life. Then I would just continue to ask follow up questions. The lesson isn’t about them listening to me, rather it is the opposite. The more English they can get out, the better.During the session I would correct any glaring errors but would follow up with a list of minor corrections after the lessons. I have a bubbly character so I would make it my duty to ensure the student is relaxed, talking and having fun!

I talk about a wide variety of Conversation topics – politics, movies, culture, food, media, pets, traveling, recipes, history, astrology etc. During the first lesson I would ask them to pick topics they want, so that we have a lesson plan for the next 10 classes.

What area in English do ESL students struggle the most? Grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation?

I think the greatest need among English language learners  is the opportunity to engage in authentic exchanges of conversation in the English language.This is why Spoken English Practice‘s teaching method is so powerful. You really can’t be fluent in English without working with an English Conversation Partner who is a Native English Speaker. There are certain aspects about English speaking like proper stress and intonation that are difficult to improve without working with a Native English Teacher.

What advice would you offer English language learners who want to improve Spoken English?

I believe the most important part of learning Spoken English is to practice with an English Conversation Partner. There are aspects that cannot be taught very well in a class, such as slang expressions and idioms.

Secondly, I would tell ESL students to immerse themselves in the English language regularly. This could be through listening to audio books, keeping a diary in English, learning a new word a day etc etc. Keep a variety of “inputs” so that you learn a little bit of English every day.

And last, don’t give up. Keep practicing. You will not see improvement overnight.

A little bit about what you like to do when you are not teaching English.

I have traveled all over Europe, I lived in France for three months several years ago not knowing barely any French, the experience gave me a real empathy and respect for those who do try to immerse themselves in any foreign language. Then I traveled across Asia teaching English so that gave me more empathy! London is so multi-cultural it’s easy to sometimes feel like a tourist, which I love . My hobbies include swimming, and playing piano. I love gardening and I also love writing!


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