“What is the better indicator of a chef’s aptitude – a paper-based description of a recipe that they have conceived, or the ability to get in the kitchen and turn out something edible in real time?”Anthony Gaughan
“…the secret of good food is fresh ingredients, attentiveness when cooking them, the right temperature, the right tools for the job. The same with teaching – material needs to be fresh, the teacher’s approach based on live feedback from the students, encouraging them forward but not pushing them too hard…and above all, with materials that consist of something that the learner would like to engage with…”Alice Lehmann
My name is Alice and sometimes I think I’m from Wonderland…
I’ve taught English in the UK, Kazakhstan and Italy but at the moment I mainly teach online. I don’t think there’s an age group or a level I haven’t taught, however, I tend to specialise in natural, conversational English that my students can put to immediate use.
My favourite age group to teach is teenagers because it’s somewhat fascinating to see how their personalities develop during the course, how you as a teacher may unlock a hidden talent and encourage the use of it in the classroom. Also, this age group tends to keep you on your toes and you do need to be creative, playful and reflective with your materials. It may be difficult at first but it’s most rewarding in the end.
Prior to teaching, I held various roles in drama and education – I’ve led theatre workshops, administrated a busy language school’s department, led tours around London, and helped students from all over the world settle in the UK. I always felt I could do more to help my international clients, which is when I decided to become an English Teacher.
I believe that in teaching the process is as important as the result. The teacher’s key role is to initiate a positive relationship with language learning by establishing a rapport with every student and creating a safe environment for learners to be authentic and not afraid to make mistakes. Catching unexpected language and expanding on it, is important too! The most beautiful moments in teaching I have when I stop teaching from the book and actually truly listen and pay attention to my students’ language and take interest in what they have to say.
I’ve been teaching English to speakers of other languages for 11 years in a variety of contexts, from EAP in a state-run university in China to a General English in a small family-run language school in Bohemia with only two teachers. I am currently studying Trinity DipTESOL with a focus on materials design.
I actively experiment with different methods and approaches in different contexts to see what works, and try to tailor my sessions as much as possible to the unique needs and personalities of my learners.
I’m interested most of all in teaching English naturally – that is, to support communicative function above all, and giving lexis primacy over tawdry grammar. I draw from diverse sources such as the Lexical Approach; Krashen’s ‘Natural Approach’; Teaching Unplugged; Total Physical Response; and lately, John Field’s work on Listening.
With this site, I really wanted to make a resource hub for materials and perspectives that are in tune with the way I look at language teaching, which, for want of a better word, is anti-establishment. I don’t buy the idea that there is a ‘mainstream’, known, beaten path to becoming a good teacher.
This is why I am extremely grateful that my diploma course providers have deliberately constructed a very open, reflective approach to teacher development and that my tutors always encourage me to apply theory to my current practice and to bring my current practice to bear when examining theory.
We would like to acknowledge everyone who has helped get this site up and running.
Thanks to Lunar Eclipse for the logo artwork