I offer English lessons of all levels for children and adults.
Professional background: nearly ten years of teaching experience, backed up by daily contact with English during ten years spent abroad while working and travelling, where I was often totally immersed in English speaking environment – in London and Australia but not only there.
Teaching English can be as rewarding as learning. When travelling, when opportunity presents itself, I do it as well: during an English lesson in Sumatra, Indonesia
Age bracket: my youngest pupils were 7 years old (2nd year of primary school) and the lessons turned out to be successful as children and their teacher were quite happy, so for now this is the lower age limit I feel comfortable with and I can take up teaching. Many of my pupils are a little older though: from 9 to 14 and young people from secondary school. I prepared some of them for school-leaving examinations: from both lower and upper secondary schools.
I regularly teach university students (including of English language studies) and adults. The oldest student was 53 but here it doesn’t make sense to set the upper age limit: provided there is willingness and ability to learn in principle everybody is suitable.
Adults sometimes have more specific needs and don’t want just to learn general English as part of standard classes and here I adjust to those. Someone for example needs to prepare urgently for a job interview in English or just needs the language for work abroad or a business trip. Or in general for work in a specific branch with its unique vocabulary: whether technical or medical, financial or accounting, etc.. Some people will need to improve writing skills: academic or at work (then our meetings look a little different: written homework is given, then checked by me and discussed together). Next there are people who feel relatively comfortable speaking but feel quite handicapped by too many grammar errors (though the opposite situation is much more frequent: people know grammar and seem to have necessary vocabulary but a barrier to speaking incapacitates them).
All classes are one-to-one or in very small groups (2-3 people).
Learning a foreign language: painful as a scorpion sting? Not necessarily…
An unexpected visit during studying: Koh Phayam, Thailand.
It’s hard work to become fluent in any foreign language. It takes more than a year, though in that period of time one can master the basics. But there is satisfaction in earnestly striving for excellence in something we consider important, and then natural motivation can be easily found too. For me it really makes sense to be able to communicate with each other, with the world. Every time I manage to pass on some of this zeal for learning English, I feel satisfaction.
I aimed quite high but it’s important to say that one doesn’t need to master a foreign language fluently. It’s not a bad idea to set some target of how well we want to know it. This target can be of course modified later but without it we should be aware that we can keep improving forever. Let’s just take vocabulary as an example: there exist about 170.000 word entries in Oxford English Dictionary, Shakespeare had one of the largest recorded vocabularies of any English writer of around 30.000 words, while most adult native speakers range from 20,000–30,000 – and this is passive vocabulary (active being 10.000 and 5.000 words for people with and without higher education respectively). Thus we see that even native English speakers could learn their own language all their life and never get there. More still, knowing 2.500 words should be enough to express ourselves freely on any given subject and numbers of words needed to attain each level on the CEFR scale (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) look as follows: A1 – 550, A2 -1.100, B1 – 2.200, B2 – 4.400, C1 – 8.800, C2 – 17.600. And then just this little thing more: to be able to put them nicely together when speaking and to understand another…
Apart from standard lessons I offer language conversation classes in which the main focus is on speaking while the most frequently made mistakes are noted, analyzed and corrected, and in the end a student should remember the correct form of expression. Here grammatical problems are given just as much attention as is considered necessary for a fluent and flowing conversation. There are always lots of new vocabulary and expressions that appear during a dialogue. This is a pleasant and effective way of learning for all those who know a minimum number of words and have at least rudimentary knowledge of a given language. This method is a great help in overcoming the barrier to speaking and once the positive results are noticed it can be a powerful incentive to further self-study. When deemed appropriate each lesson can be divided into two parts: conversational and a standard one.