I have taught English at secondary schools as well as at language schools, in the UK as well as abroad. For the past ten years I have been teaching English as a foreign language to students of all ages. The youngest being just 5, and the oldest 83. I have taught in classrooms, online, in students’ homes, pubs, coffee shops and almost any other setting you can imagine. Apart from spoken English I also teach exam classes such as, IELTS, PET, etcetera, and Business English.
I attended an all boys school from which I matriculated in 1985. I then spent 2 years in the military. Thereafter I studied and qualified as a motor mechanic. Although fun this was not for me so I attended the University of Port Elizabeth where I studied Sales and Marketing Management. After working in the industry for a few years I got bitten by the Travel Bug, packed my back pack, bought a plane ticket and set off. During my travels I realized that what I really wanted to do was teach. I took a TESOL course and embarked on my teaching career. I have since studied many different teaching courses and attended the University of East London for a BA(Hons) in English Literature and Education.
A Spoken English lesson with me will entail the student and I speaking to each other in a calm, relaxed manner. The conversation will mostly be led by the student with me providing correction and prompts to keep the conversation flowing. Topics will generally be chosen by the student however, if I identify a specific need I might chose a topic in order to practice aspects of that need.
Favorite topics include anything to do with nature, boating, travel and peoples life experiences. I also enjoy discussing current happenings around the world.
Correct pronunciation is essential in English as even the slightest slip can produce a totally different meaning to a word. No matter what accent one has words can still be pronounced correctly and often carry more importance than the grammar used. Pausing the conversation, correcting the students pronunciation and having the student repeat the word correctly is very effective.
Apart from teaching English I teach History, Science and The environment to children. This takes place on a canal boat as we cruise along the Grand Union canal in central London. Fish keeping is one of my hobbies. I have a salt water aquarium and a tropical fresh water aquarium housing varies fish, corals, crabs, shrimp and snails. As I live on a boat, boating takes up a fair chunk of my time. Travelling is something I do fairly often. Through this I have learnt a lot about different cultures, History and peoples behavior which I find quite fascinating.
I have no specific preference regarding the kind of students I teach, apart from them having a desire to learn and being willing to put the effort in.