This is how 2 referees rated John:
Let me introduce myself. My name is John. I graduated from Sheffield University in the 1970s, where I studied French and German. It was while teaching in a lycee inSouth West France as part of my course that I really developed a love of language and foreign travel. I subsequently went on to Liverpool University, where I obtained a postgraduate teaching qualification. My teaching career extended over a number of years in a variety of schools in both the private and public sector, including a spell as head of modern languages. In 2002 I studied to teach English as a foreign language. I was surprised to discover that teaching my own native language gave me valuable insights into the teaching of languages other than my own.
As previously mentioned, the majority of my teaching lay in mainstream education, where exam preparation was of great importance. In addition, I have enjoyed teaching groups of adults at day and evening classes. I currently teach English as a foreign language to homestay visitors from abroad, although my main efforts are concentrated on private tuition, either to school children or adults.
Language learning can be easy, as long as it is varied and well structured. My basic method involves firstly presenting to the student the required vocabulary and grammatical structures, and then familiarizing them with them. This can be achieved through verbal drills, short exercises, word games etc. Once the structures are reasonably well acquired, they are put into a more practical context, imitating as far as possible real life situations e.g. 'Asking directions in the street'. For this I use role play, sometimes involving what is called information gap, whereby the student must find out some factual piece of information solely by using the foreign language involved.
Many students come to me because, simply put, they have lost the plot! Either they have experienced poor teaching or, for whatever reason, they have lost motivation.In this case I would spend additional time practising verb formation etc. It is often grammatical structures which have fallen by the wayside, without which there is no firm foundation for real learning to take place.
My overall approach is friendly, but with high expectations. New students receive the first lesson free of charge, so that an assessment can be made as to the teaching required.
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