Passion comes from the Latin ‘pati’, which means to suffer, or better, to endure. .
I have joyfully ‘endured the pain’ of teaching English for more than 10 years.
To be passionate about something means ‘to gladly endure the pain of taking action because of the love and joy the action creates’.
I love two specific things about teaching English. They are:
– understanding people (why they do what they do, and how they see the world),
– learning, for the learner and myself (stretching ones awareness and practicing it).
Early in my teaching experience I noticed a ‘beautiful exchange’ that benefited the learners and myself. I helped them develop their skills and gave them the tools to express themselves. Then naturally they would share their life experience, culture, and worldviews. I assisted and helped advance their English abilities, and they gave me their stories and a much broader perspective on life. We both deepened our understanding and learning.
‘Learning about life’ is what really got me hooked into TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language. (Yeah, it may sound cheesy, but it’s so true.)
A person’s level of communication is connected to his/her quality of life.
I’ve been honored and pleased to help thousands of learners around the world improve the quality of their lives by developing their English language abilities. But my love for teaching English goes well beyond that.
Practicing this vocation has greatly influenced my mental framework for approaching life. You can see some of these concepts in ‘my philosophy’.
Initially, I was based in S. Korea for five and a half years teaching mostly with SDA Language Institute. During that time I also did volunteer projects in a few different countries such as Mongolia, the Philippines and Vietnam. I then studied for my formal teacher training in Thailand at Bangkok International House, where I received my CELTA. Soon after, I served in the Middle East for two and a half years with King Saud University, and then Saudi Aramco. Continuing with my professional development, I then completed module 1 and 2 of my Delta in Barcelona and Bangkok, respectively, with module 3 expected to be completed in Summer 2016.
Currently I’m serving as the ‘Lead Learner’ at English All Together on the ‘interwebs’ :).
English All Together is my ‘greater life project’.
Why call it that?
It’s something bigger than me, and I feel it’s worthy of a lifetime commitment.
The plan is to disrupt the current way English language is generally taught and learned around the world. I, along with English Language Learners, will create a community which will make the process of learning English more affordable, faster, and more enjoyable. As the ‘Lead Learner’, I will keep our focus on simplifying a few core concepts of English learning, then scale these concepts via technology.
The three primary areas of focus are:
- empowering learners and developing their skills of ‘autonomous learning’.
This will create more opportunities and longer periods of learning for us.
- teaching learners the psychology of learning.
This will build confidence, create a positive relation with failure, and give us the skills to manage anxiety and stress, and actually use these forces to assist us in learning.
- making learning English more meaningful for learners.
This will keep us studying, because with strong ‘meaningful interaction’, there is a strong call to action.
Really, what I envision with English All Together is teaching the same way it’s always been done; through meaningful interaction, moving from the unknown to the know.
The context is different, but the concepts are the same, then amplified.
Lesson Plans I’ve Written:
“Great Adventures, Exploring and Your Experiences”
Grammar: Past Simple/Present Perfect for Pre-Intermediate (B1)
– to distinguish the difference between past simple and present perfect
– to introduce the use of the present perfect with ‘ever’ to talk about experiences
Lesson Plan Handout
Post Lesson Evaluation
“Everybody’s Baby – The Jessica McCluen Story”
Reading: Using a Newstory to Develop Sub-Reading of Reading Skills (A2/B1)
– raise learner awareness in using reading sub-skills of reading for gist and scanning
– to develop oral fluency
– to introduce and practice new vocabulary
Lesson Plan Handout
Post Lesson Evaluation
Academic Papers I’ve Written:
Developing lower-level learners’ proficiency in noticing and using modals of obligation
With this paper, I focus on modals of obligation or necessity, specifically the three verbs must, have (to), and need (to), and as they related to lower level learners.
Understanding and using multi-word verbs with upper intermediate learners
Phrasal verbs are quite common and unavoidable in advanced English. Therefore, it is important that learners understand at least the most common phrasal verbs. In this paper I explore phrasal verbs, issues upper intermediate learners have with them, and effective teaching suggestions.
Improving sub-skills and stratagies used in spoken narratives
Storytelling is arguably the original form of teaching and learning. Also, this genre has particular features that differentiate it from other narratives. In this paper I analyze the genre of storytelling with the learner as the speaker and listener, as well as focus on different features such as cultural personalization, interactive strategies, and dealing with affective filters.
Raising awareness of ‘top-down’ processing strategies for reading short stories with low-level learners
Well-told and written narratives connect us to one another. In this paper, I look at how language teacher use the valuable asset of short stories to reinforce language skills. I show how by rising awareness of ‘top-down’ processing, low-learners better appreciate the genre of short stories, develop their reading comprehension skills, and have a more enjoyable language learning experience.