I started teaching in China in 2008 at Zunyi Aerospace School. Since then, I have taught English at primary and middle schools, private training schools and kindergarten. I've also taught adults privately and in companies. I have also set up a conversation club for adults where we have discussed many topics, played games, done improvisation and had a lot of fun. Prior to teaching in China, amongst other jobs, I have been a teacher of blind people and also a policeman. I have travelled widely, including spending six months in Nepal and also five months travelling through Europe in a camper van. I have a wide experience of life and understanding of people, so this helps me when teaching to understand the needs of my students and the difficulties of learning.
Learning another language is always a challenge and if you want to learn it well, you must devote a lot of time to it and you must have strong motivation. What I tell my students is that you want to really learn a language, then you should be passionate as to the reason why. Don't just learn the language, learn to love the culture that underpins it. Plan to visit a country where you will have an opportunity to speak the language and make this your goal. Also, watch movies and listen to music from that country, these not only connect you more to the country but will also help you improve your knowledge of the language. If you are learning because of your work, be passionate about what you intend to achieve. Of course, you don't have to learn a language so thoroughly, you can learn just so that you can travel and be able to order a meal or buy something in a shop. However, if you want to learn a lot or just a little, it's best to have a tutor, someone to guide your learning, make sure you are understood and help you learn in the best possible way.
Learning doesn't have to be hard work, it just needs constant steady attention. Little and often is the best way. As an older man, I know how difficult it is to retain new information, especially foreign words and it does seem to take a lot of work for these to sink in but I also know that the brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the more efficient it becomes. However, just like wishing to run a marathon for someone who never runs, one must begin by running very short distances and building up slowly, and it's going to take a long time. What's more, it will be much better if to train with someone at your side, someone who will push you a little and give you encouragement. So it is with learning a language, it will take a long time but it's going to be much easier if you have a coach - a teacher to help and encourage you. Much of your learning you will do yourself - a teacher can't feed you information, he/she can only offer it to you and be there for you to help you along.
What is equally important is not to expect too much too soon, just enjoy the journey of learning and over time, who knows where it will take you.
My philosophy about learning is that it is something which should be enjoyed, and so I've always endeavoured to include some fun in my lessons. In order to do this, I have created many games and activities for my lessons, and I offer many of them free to download here. I want to freely share what I have made so that more people can enjoy learning English.
If you are interested in learning English, want to improve your English speaking ability, wish to travel and speak some English, please contact me.
A little video I made when teaching at Zhaoqing Foreign Language School in China. In the video it says I have been teaching for 5 years but that was back in 2013.