Hi, I’m James, your English pal. Thanks for visiting my site!
Originally from England, I’ve been teaching English as a second language for over six years, mainly in Colombia, but also with students based in Canada and France. Before becoming an English tutor, I had worked in a variety of sectors including legal services, politics and law enforcement. I have a bachelor’s degree in political science, and a master’s degree in the field of international relations. I’m passionate about people, whether that be helping them improve their English, or finding out more about their culture.
After completing my SIT TESOL training course to teach English, I originally began working for language institutes, but quickly noticed my students’ frustration with the courses offered by these. For intermediate and advanced courses, too much of the time in the classroom was taken up by grammar activities, reading exercises and other ways the institutes could think of to fill the time (how many of you have had to pay good money for “game classes” and “movie classes”?!) instead of giving students the opportunity to do exactly what they signed up for: speak.
Many students finished the courses feeling disappointed and even cheated as their fluency had hardly improved. There were many reasons for this. Firstly, as mentioned above, the courses offered by the institutes didn’t give the students enough time to speak in the class and build up their confidence and fluency. Secondly, there was an emphasis on selling courses, rather than course content. This meant many of the courses were far too short to allow students to improve their level of English according to the amount of time needed to move up each language level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Thirdly, many of the courses were simply boring and unengaging.
I decided to remedy these problems by designing my own lesson plans and courses that would allow students to simultaneously improve their grammar, writing, listening and reading skills, while allocating the time spent in the class with the teacher for speaking, improving fluency and building vocabulary. I have had great results using these courses with my own intermediate and advanced students, and I also make these lessons available for other English tutors around the world to use with their students.
If you’d like to know more about my courses, please don’t hesitate to contact me.