Every week we introduce one of our English tutors (Conversation Partners or Native English Speakers as we like to call them) to you so that you can learn a little bit more about our English course. Today, we introduce Dan has been part of the Spoken English Practice network since 2010. Dan is a professional ESL teacher who has extensive experience is areas such as accent reduction, vocabulary activation and general Spoken English training. Dan is also a father to 2 lovely twin boys and spends his afternoons playing football and baseball with them.
I have taught English in over 10 countries in over 10 countries. I was one of the initial members of the English First Foundation and have taught English in Thailand, Vietnam, India, France, Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Peru, Mexico and Columbia. I basically spent from 20’s and 30’s traveling and teaching English.
I have also worked as a freelancer and consultant for a few overseas software companies working with US clients, helping their employees with presentation and public speaking skills. I managed their in house English Conversation Circles (English Speaking clubs) and acted as both a player and coach in some instances.
I went to Syracuse University for my undergraduate degree in communication. I received my TESOL certificate while I was working in Vietnam.
As many studies show, most English learners across the world just need more practice speaking. Most students have a good grasp of basic grammar rules. Most students also have decent sized vocabularies. But they have trouble speaking fluently because they don’t get enough opportunities to practice speaking.
With this in mind, I try to make my classes as Conversational as possible. I would discuss with the student what topics they prefer talking about. Topics can be as simple or as advanced as they like. For example I work with a beginner level student who practices job interview questions during our lessons. At the other end of the spectrum, I have an upper intermediate level student with whom I have conversations about fire arm regulation in the US.
I like to give correction as we speak but if the student prefers not be inter upped and give feedback at the end, I’m open to that too. I try to make my classes true oral English practice sessions.
Like I said, it depends greatly on what the students interest are. I love sports, traveling, learning about other cultures, wine, brewing, home improvement projects etc. I’m also deeply interested (and opinionated) on global issues such as immigration, climate change and nationalism. I’m a huge fan of TED Talks and Quora and think those are great tools to improve English skills, specially for intermediate and advanced level students.
Find a good native English speaking Conversation Partner. There is a huge difference in getting tutored by a English teacher who is a native speaker versus a non native speaker.
Expand your vocabulary everyday. Learn a new idiom, learn a few new phrasal verbs. Keep improving.
Improve your English listening skills. This is essential if you want to be fluent in speaking.