The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. William Arthur Ward
Although the majority of my professional life has happened in front of the screen, translating this or that text or subtitling this or that film, after turning 20 I was given the rare opportunity to teach Japanese as a non-native teacher, a language I’d spent several years learning and honing for my own personal use. My memories of the teachers I’d had in my life held very few pleasant memories and honored only three of teachers I’d met; I was incredibly dissatisfied with how I’d been taught… well, just about everything.
So in spite of having no degree in pedagogy, education or even teaching, I set out to make myself a teacher worthy of my students’ time; someone who’d recognize what kind of people they were, who’d help them retain precious linguistic knowledge by virtue of using both their strengths and weaknesses, and who would have a positive impact in their lives through not only the language they’d been learning, but how they learned to use it. I studied methodology, types of learning, the psychology of learning and of motivation.
To this day, I’m still working hard at becoming that teacher. Rather than a drone spouting out facts about the languages I teach, I try to make each lesson a full example of natural language usage. My goal is not for my student to know how to speak, but to learn how to communicate.
Due to the nature of my teaching method, I prefer teaching one-on-one. I currently teach Japanese and Spanish through Italki, a language learning service you’ll find I shamelessly endorse through The Polyglotist because it’s one of the few
online endeavours that is designed around the needs of both learner and teacher, as well as being safe to use and a social network for language aficionados altogether.
Incidentally, if you’d like to sample my classes, please feel free to click on the image to the right to reach my teaching profile. You can arrange for a test session in either language and see if you like my teaching style!