If you want to have a successful language learning experience, the best way is to make a meaningful connection with its culture and the way it is used to communicate in real life.
I’ve developed my teaching methology over the last twenty years, working as a certified general and business teacher in Germany and Switzerland.
Over the years teaching in schools I became frustrated with the unnatural way I was expected to teach. Rushing through the syllabus to meet, for some classes unrealistic, for other classes unchallenging goals, I dragged my students through the coursebooks. Rather than the students getting connected to the language and culture of the language, they became bored, filling in the gaps in exercises and answering banal questions. At the end of each course I had uninspired students with knowledge of the language as a system but without the ability to express themselves in it. They didn’t feel any connection with English or how it is used in the real world.
So what changed? When my children were born I started teaching one-to-one lessons at home and was able to free myself from the old system. I exchanged coursebooks for newspapers, videos and magazines and unnatural exercises and comprehension questions for conversation and discussion about the subjects that meant something to my students. Through my English roots and my ongoing deep connection with English and American culture, I was able to bring my students closer to how English is really used in the real world. I found that my students did not just enjoy the lessons more but also make great progress, gaining in confidence and fluency.
In 2019 I studied specialist translation part-time at the SAL school in Zurich Altstetten (German/English). For me, this was a very valuable experience. Each time I learnt a new aspect of English or German or a difference between the two languages, I understood better my students’ mistakes and difficulties. I also got to know many online resources and research methods that my students and I could use to find the words that they need as well as the linguistic features of different types of text in German and English. I was so eager to use my new-found knowledge that I decided to cut the course short so that I could start my own English coaching business.
For me, a teacher’s education is never at an end. As well as regularly focussing on improving my knowledge of both languages, at the moment I’m studying the English used in formal and informal letters, I am a member and volunteer for the English Teachers Association of Switzerland. This gives me the chance to attend seminars and workshops
I really hope to have the chance to meet you and help you to get connected to English. If you have any questions, or would like to book a trial lesson please get in touch.