I spent the last twenty years teaching English, Literature, and Social Sciences to high school students, helping them get into prestigious schools such as UCLA and Cornell. I returned from abroad to help my children succeed in an English-speaking environment. I have experience in almost all aspects of English learning and testing including SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, and was an official examiner for Cambridge test prep. I taught and managed a department of teachers and designed curriculum that fostered an understanding of the basics, independent learning, and critical thinking. I also moved into the publishing business working as a teacher trainer and copy editor of English textbooks.
I approach different age groups separately because the student requirements and abilities as they develop differ vastly. For younger learners, the focus is on instilling a passion by working through the basics in an enjoyable way. Grammar does need to be taught, but it shouldn’t be done in an overbearing manner, rather it is remarked upon when going through a reading. I try to foster an understanding through context and usage. For older learners, after ensuring that the basics have been understood, the focus shifts to empowering students to feel that they have a stake in the process. It's important for the students to understand that they have to be responsible for their learning. When no effort is required by the student, learning doesn’t happen. My focus is to encourage personal responsibility in the learning process by differentiating the subject material when appropriate and adapting my lessons to the learner’s needs.
One of the key areas that I try to reinforce is the need for personal responsibility in the learning environment. My methodology is concept-based and competency-driven and is designed to maintain a focus on literacy while supporting deeper learning. It is also flexible, encouraging students to engage in their own learning and follow their interests. The three core competencies (communication, creative and critical thinking, and personal and social competency) are integrated into the designed curriculum.