I’m a Native English Speaker from England. I spent 5 years teaching English as a second language to adults and children in Japan and 2 years working as an Online English Conversation Partner to Korean students.
Most recently, I spent 9 months working as an Online English Conversation Partner to students in Thailand at a local English Speaking Club. Additionally I have coached ESL students in academic and personal essay writing, grammar, and sentence structure / mechanics.
I have a master’s degree in reading education and a bachelor’s degree in English. I am certified to teach English as a second language and English.
Many students are quite adept at grammar but lack conversational practice. Thus in my role as an Online English Conversation Partner I am always careful to give students the maximum chances to speak during class. I ask a lot of open ended questions and try to build a natural, free-flowing conversation on a topic. Discussion topics can be anything from politics to culture from food to travel but I would give preference to student requests.
At the same time, from a teaching perspective, I do not let any errors go unnoticed, because I know it is important to my students to be aware of their mistakes. I find that most students welcome it (love it, almost) when I correct pronunciation, give feedback on grammar and help them expand knowledge on slang and idioms. These students are the ones who are eager to improve their English the most.
Number one, speak English, as much as you can , ideally with a Native English Speaker. That’s exactly what this Spoken English Practice does, and that’s why it is so great. In most traditional English courses (or English tuition classes), there is a rigid emphasis on grammar. Of course, grammar is important but I would strongly emphasize the importance of speaking. As an Online English Conversation Partner, I try to instill confidence in non-native speakers that speaking, including the occasional mistake, is the most effective way to improve.
Number two, listen to English being spoken. I think this is the most important, and the most effective way to learn any language. Immersing yourself in the language that you want to speak, and trying to speak the language will undoubtedly lead to success.
Number three, patience. You can’t learn a new language over night. With patience and persistence, you will always make progress.
I have traveled all over the world, including South America, US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. I am currently based in Hong Kong and have been so for nearly 7 years. I miss my home country, the UK but being based in a hub like Hong Kong has allowed me to travel around Asia extensively. I plan to travel India, Sri Lanka and Nepal next year!