I strongly believe that the best way to learn and become comfortable using a foreign language is to practice conversation skills. Speaking with native English speakers, and becoming more comfortable learning and using new vocabulary, are keys to speaking like a native. I have tried to learn several foreign languages and I know from first-hand experience that sitting in a classroom where the teacher does a majority of the talking is not the best way to learn. As an Online English Tutor, I view teaching and learning as a dynamic, fun and interactive process and I do my best to incorporate that into all of my lessons.
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy during my undergrad, and that is what started a passion for travel and meeting new people from around the world. I earned my ESL teaching certificate and then moved to Poland to teach. After that I went to Vienna, Austria where I completed my MA in Social-Cultural Anthropology and continued as an Online English Tutor. I have been an ESL teacher for the past 5.5 years and have had the opportunity to teach a variety of different aged students. I have had the opportunity to teach in Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, and also Korea. I truly enjoy working in a cross-cultural environment and meeting people from around the world and learning about their culture and their views.
During lessons, I like to see myself more as a talk show host. I will ask a variety of open-ended questions about a certain topic and then allow the students to share their thoughts and opinions. The goal is for the students to talk as much as possible, but also to speak English naturally. I will guide them to answer questions in simpler, more natural ways and I assist them with pronunciation. Becoming comfortable with a language and thinking in it automatically are key aspects of a Spoken English Practice lesson with me.
I am very open to talking about a variety of topics. I like to get a feel for the student to see what they are interested in and then provide as much opportunity as possible to indulge in those topic areas. I enjoy talking about a variety of things from culture to food to history to current events. If I come across an article that I think would interest a student and would go along with our lessons, I will pass it on and we will use it as an outline for a session.
Some common areas that I have come across with my ESL students are pronunciation and grammar. Vocabulary is always something that can be strengthened, but without guidance on pronunciation and how to formulate a sentence, a student can get very lost. As an Online English Tutor, I do like to strengthen vocabulary/pronunciation/grammar all at once. I will give students new vocabulary words related to our topic, we will practice pronouncing them, and then the student will learn how to use them in a simple sentence and then in a more complex sentence. I also like to focus on synonyms and antonyms, as those will automatically develop a student’s vocabulary.
Immerse yourself: Books, television/movies, and music are all excellent ways to develop language skills.
Converse: Try to use your skills as much as possible. Even with friends and family. Of course it might feel awkward, at first, but the more it is done, the more natural it will feel.
Challenge yourself. Perhaps that means reading a book in English, or perhaps it means doing short reading and writing a summary. Whatever it might be, push yourself. Language skills come, but they take discipline and focus.
I absolutely love to travel – meeting people from different cultures and learning more about them, and different parts of the world, is my passion. I studied abroad in Italy when I was in university and it lit a fire in me for adventure. I moved to Poland to teach English and then I moved to Vienna, Austria. I have traveled extensively in Europe and also in Asia, and I have enjoyed each and every place I have been to.
I like to adventure and throw myself in to new situations, but I do not like to do anything too crazy! One of my favorite things I have ever done was paragliding in Korea on a beautiful fall day; I will always remember the crisp colors and the sheer joy of gliding through the air.
I believe that the world is a small place, and humans have far more in common than the average person knows. I can only hope everyone gets the chance to experience something different from what they are used to, there is something so beautiful in challenging ourselves to new situations!