Hi! I'm Gary. I have worked in various fields as a teacher, writer and illustrator. I am friendly! I have written and published three novels, as well as many other books, and I have drawn a regular cartoon strip for the Spectator magazine.
Some of my books:
• Chief editor of the 2003 edition of the Chambers Concise Biographical Dictionary
• Major contributor to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (1999)
• Many other works of EFL reference as editor and contributor, including The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, The Oxford Elementary Learners’ Dictionary, The Oxford Guide to British and American Culture, and others
• Why Not Catch-21? (Frances Lincoln, 2007; paperback 2008). A best-selling exploration of the derivation of book titles. Nicholas Lezard’s ‘Paperback Choice of the Week’ in the Guardian.
• The Oxford Despoiler (Old St, 2009; paperback 2009). A Victorian detective mystery. ‘Grossly entertaining’ – Observer.
• Poisoned Pens (Frances Lincoln, 2009; paperback 2010). An anthology of splenetic writers. ‘Always compelling’ - Sunday Tribune.
• 102 Free Things to Do (Frances Lincoln, 2009). A self-help book listing free activities anyone can take part in. Many other works in this series, including 102 English Things to Do, 102 Ways to Improve your Partner, Things to Do at Night, 102 Things to Do in Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter, etc.
• All the Materials for a Midnight Feast (Old St, July 2011). A novel about the peace movement of the 1980s. ‘A beautifully crafted work of fiction’ – Sunday Telegraph.
• The People's Favourite Poems (a poetry-reciting memoir), Old St 2019
I have worked teaching English in Turkey, Oxford, London and Norwich, both in a classroom setting and one-to-one. I have a Masters degree (MPhil) in Modern Poetry. I have been involved in English language and literature throughout my career, and have written as a national columnist for the Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator.
• Firat University, Elazig, Turkey: Jan-Sep 1989
• Kings St School, 47 Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12: Nov 1989-Sep 1990
• Oxford County Council, tutor pool: Jan 1991-Nov 1992
• Volunteer teacher, Charing X Centre, St John Maddermarket, Norwich, May-Aug 2006
• The English Experience School of English, Upper St Giles, Norwich (intensive English training in Hethersett and at the Norwich school: guided a party of 50 children to Oxford), Jun-Aug 2007
I enjoy teaching, and I know that everyone learns in a different way. I hope that I am always patient and encouraging. Personal rapport is of the greatest importance, and learning can't take place if the learner feels forced or doesn't feel able to ask questions. In the best case, learning should always be enjoyable and fun. Learners must feel that they have something to contribute to the subject and that their insights are valuable. I favour an approach that allows learners to harness the power of their own creativity.
|Languages||English (British), Japanese|
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Stirling University||1988||Masters||Modern Poetry|
|Middlesex University||1987||Bachelors||Modern English Studies|
|Bournemouth EFL College||1988||Professional||RSA TEFL Certificate|
|Japan Foundation||2019||Other||JLPT N3 Japanese|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|