There are several ways you can study with me. Below are just some examples. The way you study depends on why you need to study English and lessons can be tailor-made to suit your needs.
1) The Exam Way
You study towards an exam. If you want to work or study abroad or work in an international company and you need to show a good level of English, you should think about theCambridge FCE or IELTS exams.
What happens in a lesson?
I will assess your level of English during your free 15-minute consultation. Each exam course has its own coursebook. There are many books and materials and I can provide them for our lessons. I will send you the pages or unit that we will be studying, and we will work through the exercises together, one by one. Each exam course has its own special structure and format. I will teach you the best way to prepare for the exam, give you lots of practice tests from previous exam papers and also tips and secrets on how to succeed in the exam.
The General IELTS exam has 4 sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. We will go through each unit of the book and each lesson will provide lots of practice in all four areas. I can provide all the study materials and links to the best online resources to support our studies.
For homework I will send you exercises from the workbook and also give you the links to online practice tests and exercises. You will send me your homework and I will check it and send it back to you by email before our next lesson. I am here to guide you through your study.
All the Cambridge exams carry status and some people just like to obtain the certificate to show their level of achievement in English. It looks good on your CV. Employers and Higher Education establishments like them. Immigration officials seem to like them too.
The FCE exam is valid for life and is recognised around the world for business and study purposes. After this 'First' Certificate (FCE) you can go on to do the Advanced Certificate (CAE) and the Proficiency Certificate (CPE).
The Cambridge IELTS is also very popular with people who need to prove a good level of English for work and study abroad and is widely recognised all over the world. It is divided into two modules:
If you do not want to study towards an exam, I can help to guide you through a Coursebook programme. It provides a good framework for study.
There are many English textbooks to choose from. I usually use the English File, Headway and Cutting Edge coursebooks. We can find the one that suits you or you can recommend your own if you have a personal preference. I can provide the materials for our lessons.
Most coursebooks start at Beginner level and continue to Advanced level. They also come with a workbook (for homework) as well as audio and video materials. At the end of each unit there are tests, to check that you have understood the themes of the unit.
What happens in a lesson?
First, I will assess your level of English during your free 15-minute consultation. I will also ask you to write a short letter to me, telling me why you want to study English. This will help me to assess your level of written English and the kind of mistakes you make. We can then choose the best Coursebook for you.
I will send you the pages that we will study, and we will see them at the same time on our screens. Each 'unit' in a coursebook will have exercises to practice grammar, listening, speaking and writing. We will go through each exercise on each page together, slowly and carefully.
Your lessons will give you lots of practice of listening and speaking. For homework I will give you plenty of grammar exercises and writing. You will do the grammar and writing homework tasks and send them to me as a Microsoft Word file by email. I will check your homework and send it back to you by email before our next lesson.
Practice makes perfect
It's very hard to study a foreign language only from a book. We need to have practice and to use it. Communication is the best way to practice and help to strengthen self-confidence. We learn by DOING, not by thinking about doing.
"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better".
What happens in the lesson?
I will choose a discussion topic based on an internet article and send you the article by email.
You will study this article, writing down new vocabulary and we will use it as a framework for discussion in our lesson.
For homework, you will:
1) Answer 10 written questions, based on the topic we have discussed.
2) Write a short (one-page) essay, a summary of your conclusions about the discussion topic.
(i.e. " In my opinion, pubs are a very important part of British social life, where people can meet and relax after a hard day at work...etc).
3) Prepare a short 5-minute speech for the next lesson, a summary of the main points in your one-page essay.
4) Email your written answers and essay to me.
I will return them to you with any corrections before the next lesson. If you have any questions about my comments or corrections we can cover these quickly for a few minutes at the start of the next lesson.
Films are a really great way to learn English, or any language! In Moscow I always made it part of my courses to watch films or short extracts from films.
Students of all levels love it because it gives them the chance to experience real living English as it is spoken everyday. Many of my students have learned English from teachers who thought 'Queen's English' (Received Pronunciation) was the only correct accent, so when they watched films or travelled abroad to the UK, they couldn't understand what people said.
As a teacher, I do not believe there are 'good' or 'bad' accents, because there is no 'correct' accent, but studying films helps to train your ear to the many different English accents and to become familiar with them.
Films give insight into the social, political and cultural life of a country and the lives of the people who live there and provide 'food' for the imagination which brings study to life and stops it being just about dry grammar.
For each lesson:
I will send you a 10-minute film-clip , taken from a film by a great British director; (eg. Mike Leigh, Dennis Potter, Ken Loach and Ken Russell).
We will look at the extract together in class, discussing accents, the themes and questions raised by the characters and the story.
1) I will send you written questions based on the film clip.
2) You will answer these written questions and write a one-page summary of your thoughts, feelings and reactions to the clip we have seen in the class, then email it to me. I will return your homework with any corrections before the next lesson.
3)Prepare a short 5-minute speech for the next lesson, a summary of the main points in your one-page essay.
4) If you have any questions about the homework, about grammar or any corrections I have made, we can set aside a few minutes at the start of the next lesson to discuss these.
Mike Leigh's films are rich in dialogues which show great insight into British people and their lives.