Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Hello everyone! I can't guarantee for sure what the content for the blog will be in the future, but my thoughts are to include content such as topics that are commonly asked (prepositions, phrasal verbs, and more), perhaps some topics related to US culture, and maybe some comparisons between British and US English. Perhaps I can even talk with my Australian friends about some interesting expressions that they use different from both British and US English. And also some tips on learning a second language in general.
A bit more about me
This willl be a quick history of my educational background, interests, relevant skills, and travel. I grew up in Dublin, Ohio and thus my native English accent is "General (US) American." A lot of TV announcers have this dialect. There is a little more nuance, but it would take too long to go into in this blog without derailing the topic. When I was younger I could not pronounce my Rs in English. I would say "ubbe" instead of "rubber." I received training due to this speech impediment in high school and was able to sound perfectly natural with my Rs once I graduated high school. Due to this experience, I can coach you one of the stranger letters in US English: the R. However, from this experience I also learned skills essential to learning a foreign language and to teaching English as a second language. I learned to monitor my own speech, along with my tongue position and train my mouth and tongue to do things it had not done before. It takes time and practice, but it can be done! My college (university as it is known around the world) experience can be summarized into I studied chemistry with a side of Spanish. I realized I liked tutoring from my experience as a teaching assistant for a general chemistry laboratory, along with the Spanish-English language exchanges I would enter into to improve my Spanish. This chemistry background is why I offer scientific English. I'll be able to help you, as a scientist, write articles, read articles, and generally communicate about science in English.
After some time of trying chemistry-related jobs and other pursuits, I decided to switch careers into teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in part because teaching English is much more mobile than teaching chemistry. Also, I enjoy languages. I got my TEFL certificate online, and then I moved! In fact, I moved to Argentina from the US in late 2019. So currently, I am teaching English online from Argentina. This has dramatically improved my Spanish and given me some perspective on the advantages of learning through conversation vs learning through an academic setting (perhaps a future blog post). However, I believe an academic setting has its place! This is why most of my classes are both conversational and academic. If you want more structure, I will go more academic. If you want more conversation, I will go more conversational. But even if I go conversational, you will always be able to ask me technical questions and I will be able to answer them. But I do have a philosophy on that! I ask myself a second question in addition to the student's: If this is used incorrectly, will a job interviewer notice? If the answer is yes, it is an absolutely important issue to fix. But if the answer is no, you don't need to stress about using it properly. I use a job interviewer as my standard because some students are looking for interview preparation, but even those who aren't can be confident that their English will sound fine to any English speaker. Also, with pronunciation, the first thing that you need before native-like pronunciation is understandable pronunciation - especially pronunciation that doesn't accidentally say one word when you mean another. If you are curious about a story that goes along with that, take a class and ask me about it!