I started working as an English Speaking Tutor in Russia and Germany, working at a few English schools there as a English Language lecturer. I taught both Business English and Conversational English. My recent online teaching experience has been focused mainly on Asian students from South Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam. I have enjoyed teaching English for the past fifteen years.
I have a Masters degree in Structural Engineering. I also have a keen interest in teaching and a fascination for the linguistic realm. After graduating college, I went to Moscow to teach English as a second language. As an English Speaking Tutor, I learned the various issues students had more difficulty and/or ease with. I also tried various methods to effectively teach English speaking skills with students of advanced and introductory knowledge.
I have my 100-hour TESOL, which was an in-class course. I am also in the process of completing my M.Ed.
Learning to speak English is a lot harder than learning to read and write English. In high school, I took French as an elective language. I remember that, from my own non-native perspective, I had the most difficulty with speaking and practical use of the language. Grammar and vocabulary were simply memorized and tested. I remember being frustrated that in my elected language course, I could not pronounce certain words because my tongue was not used to simulating those type of sounds. Listening to and interacting with native speakers’ conversations helped me to imitate their speech patterns and improve my skills. I think this is true for learning any language. As an English Speaking Tutor, I try to give maximum opportunities for my students to speak in English during class because that is the ONLY way to improve fluency.
Honestly, it all depends on the student. I have had students that have great grammar, as good as mine, but lack vocabulary. Others have a good vocabulary, but a strong regional accent, which makes it difficult to understand them. Others know lots of words, but are uncomfortable with grammar.
I design a lesson plan when I have the first lesson with the student. If on a particular day a person would like to focus on food-related vocabulary, or work-related vocabulary, leisure or humor, that would be fine with me. In my experience, people just want to feel comfortable talking about whatever pleases them, while using an appropriate vocabulary for the situation, with correct intonation and pronunciation.
I think fluency is a product of Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary coupled with confidence. To achieve fluency, you need to practice at least 3 or 4 times a week with a Native English Speaker.
I love travel and learning about different cultures. Destinations I have been to in the last year include: France, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Peru, Turkey and Brazil. I love travelling as it goes hand in hand with my love for languages.