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Simon Nicholas

Simon Nicholas

English Lessons in Bath

I have been an English (EFL) teacher and teacher trainer for the last 30 years and worked both abroad and here in England. I am the proud father of a 21 year old daughter who has just graduated from Bath University with a 2:1 in Music and Production. My daughter is half French and half English and is bi-lingual.

Tutoring Experience

I have been an English (EFL) teacher since 1988 and have taught in Spain, France, Saudi Arabia and the U.K (Oxford, Northampton and York). In 1999 I took my DELTA qualification in Oxford. In 2002 I became a CELTA Tutor and Trainer and in 2004 I became a CELTA Assessor. I have now done over 120 CELTA courses mostly in Oxford at British Study Centres but also in Paris, Northampton, York St John University and most recently in Brittany, France.
I've attended three IATEFL conferences and given talks at each : 2002 York ' Teaching Exam Classes' 2012 Glasgow 'Creating Autonomous Teachers' 2015 Birmingham ' Accommodating Linguistics Undergraduates onto CELTA courses'
I've contributed to EFL coursebooks - Move Intermediate, Teacher Resource Books - A concise Grammar For English Language Teachers' and written several articles for ETProfessional.
Whilst in Oxford I gave a talk on behalf of OUP on ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) and held the position of Senior Teacher Trainer at British Study Centres.
I was at York St John University from May 2015 to February 2017 May 2015 working as a CELTA Tutor / Trainer and helping to develop the status of teacher training including designing timetables for teacher refresher courses.
Since leaving York St John's University I have run a CELTA course in Brittany and am currently employed by a private language school in Bath where I do typical ADOS work such as observations of teachers. I am currently promoting an EFL course directed at Gap Year students.

Tutoring Approach

When I began teaching in 1988 I lacked confidence and perhaps even lacked obvious respect for my subject. One of my Spanish students once told me that I would be good one day !
Having worked in different countries / contexts and having taught learners from A1 to C2 I find it difficult to identify a single approach and I do have a certain resistance to labelling / burdening myself with one methodology. The more I think about it and the more I train teachers I think that any given lesson / seminar must have a beginning, a middle and an end ... There must be creating interest / establishing context followed by some kind of practice and finishing with some kind of production / performance.
Crucially there must be some kind of consistent appraisal of performance - praise and correction. A learner must have their correct use of language reinforced and praised and must have their slips / errors pointed out and corrected.
For the last 15 years I've been an enthusiastic proponent of 'The Lexical Approach' with its emphasis on learning a language through natural and frequent chunking. 'Judge a word by the company it keeps' would be one of my pedagogical mantras.
I am also very keen on learners taking more responsibility for their own learning and development by highlighting study skills and creating an environment in which authentic language is introduced, practised and produced and an environment in which mistakes are celebrated.
I am also a great believer in appealing to the intrinsic motivation of both the individual learner and the group. While the common answer to the question of why are you learning English is 'because I need it for my job' I want to go beyond this and highlight / promote / encourage learning for personal development and pleasure.

LanguagesEnglish (British)
AvailabilityWeekends, Weekdays (all times)
References Available On File


U.C.L.E.S2006ProfessionalCELTA Assessor
Saxoncourt London2002ProfessionalCELTA Tutor / Trainer
Oxford English Centre1999ProfessionalDELTA
Angloschool London1985ProfessionalR.S.A dip cert.
Simon Nicholas
Rating from 3 references


Subjects taught