1 Where I have learned English
I started learning English in 1995, after my graduation from Sofia University, in a Suggestopedic course at the same university. I was eager to acquire new learning/teaching methods and approaches, and Suggestopedia was among the most fascinating ones. That incredible Suggestopedic course gave me a mighty impuls to continue learning English and boosted my self-confidence so high that I started to use my newly acquired skills almost immediately; and shortly after, I found a new job requiring English command, e.g. using a lot of English sources for creating staff training and career guidance materials. Of course, English was not that widely spread in Bulgaria at that time, so English speakers were of high demand. That first Suggestopedic course, which I took in 1995, has also influenced all my English teaching/tutoring views and practice.
Afterwards, I went through two more courses: one on-the-job in 2001, through my employer at that time, National Institute of Education, and the second and last one at Thanet College, England in 2004 (Advanced level +IELTS preparation course). At the end of the latter, I obtained my IELTS certificate, band 7.5 (International English Learning Testing System)/. And I have not stopped practicing, respectively improving my English ever since.
Of course, between and during the aforementioned courses, there was a lot of self-study. I also intensively practiced it at work, including as a member of international teams within European Union programmes .
2 My methods
I am learner-centred and help people learn as naturally as possible. My way of English tutoring is influenced by Suggestopedia, which I have experienced myself as a learner, as well as by the language acquisition hypothesis by Stephen Krashen. Three are the main pillars that I rely on as a tutor: good interpersonal communication; taking advantage of the omnipresent ICT; and contextual learning.
2.1 Interpersonal Communication:
I have got on-the job training and 7-year experience in career guidance, including communication skills, and take advantage of them to help (facilitate) your English learning. My tutorials are learner-centred, i.e. they are based on your individual needs, and are also conversational, interactive, and also in a positive and friendly atmosphere of mutual respect.
2.2 Taking Advantage of ICT
I am striving to seamlessly merge everyday life with English learning through ICT, i.e. in the tutorials, we employ ICT in the way we do it daily, while at the same time, each of us may learn from each other new ways of using ICT, respectively new applications. ICT is our communication media, and also provide us with a large range of content to choose from, i.e. texts and stories as well as grammar and drilling (exercising) materials. You can pick what is meaningful for you, thus co-creating your English course. ICT also gives us more and more sophisticated ways of self-expression and creativity both during and beyond our learning interactions.
2.3 Contextual learning.
You learn English contextually, i.e. through a lot of references to your own life experience and environment, on one hand, and on another hand, through fiction, be it literature and films/videos or stories thought up by us. Storytelling is one of my beloved methods as a tutor.
3 What my students will learn
- You will advance in general English and especially in the topics of highest interest to you, since the course is tailor-made and we will be shaping the content together;
- You will gain self-confidence for practical application of your language skills in your life;
- Your language learning motivation will be kept strong and even boosted;
- You will try and learn a range of language learning strategies and techniques, which can help you become an independent language learner.
4 My English teaching experience
I have been teaching English since 2013 in private language centres as well as by providing online English tutorials myself.
My English teaching practice is based on the sound background of two Master’s degrees: in Pedagogy and in Cultural Heritage & Tourism. I have also got more than 25 years of practice in non-formal education and lifelong learning including seven years in vocational guidance (with focus on staff training), as well as 15+ years in European project work (EU grants in the fields of Professional Education, Citizenship, Youth).It has contributed to broadening and enriching my perspective as an English teacher/tutor to a great extent.
English teaching qualification:
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) 150 hours from Arizona State University. Actually, I am just before completing it, with two intermediate certificates already obtained
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