I hold a Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and trained with Scott Thornbury, the founder of Dogme.
The teaching method I use is known as principled eclecticism. It combines the best practices of various language teaching approaches from The Classical Method to The Communicative Method which are selected depending on the learner and the learning context. In other words, rather than use a one-size-fits-all coursebook I create a unique learning plan for each of my students which is tailored to their unique learning needs, level of proficiency and personality. However, if sticking to the plan for some reason doesn't feel right on a particular day, I ditch it and go with the flow. I love improvising in class and my students enjoy such spontaneous lessons most as well!
My approach to teaching is informed not just by my extensive teaching experience (10 years and counting) but also my yoga practice as well as long-standing interest in human psychology and the psychology of learning in particular.
It has a strong focus on the following:
- learner autonomy: I see myself not as a teacher but as a learning facilitator. In other words, I don't teach my students, instead I help them to learn. Why? Because years of learning and teaching have made me realise the only person that can do the learning is the student. The teacher's job is to provide effective learning tools and techniques that will make the process easier, speed up the progress and allow the learner to make their way forward independently.
- developing cultural awareness: To really know a language is to know the culture of the country. For various reasons, cultural awareness is rarely part of English language learning. As a result, English learners often find it difficult to understand the REAL meaning of native speakers’ words. This, in turn, has a negative impact on their personal and professional relationships and often stops them from fitting in to an English-speaking community they’re part of. In my classes, I pay as much attention to cultural matters as to the usual aspects of language learning (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation), so my students can understand not only WHAT native speakers say, but also WHY and learn how to avoid faux pas in all kinds of social situations.
- speaking: I work with emergent language. In practical terms, it means that rather than teach you pre-selected language you're 'SUPPOSED' to know at a particular level, I provide you with the language you NEED to express yourself but don't know yet as part of a natural conversation.