Florencia English and Spanish (EFL and ELE) Teacher in North London (Islington)

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I am an experienced foreign languages teacher. I come from Argentina and I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language for over 9 years now. I also specialized in ELE. I took the ELE course at International House and I am a certified English as a Foreign Language Teacher. Moreover, I have been accepted at Barcelona University to start my master on ELE in May, 2015.
I have a passion for teaching which makes me love my daily work more and more each day. I love planning and preparing my lessons carefully and I use lots of motivating material to inspire my students.
I have teaching experience on all levels of Primary School. I have also worked with adult learners for more than 5 years.
I moved to London, UK one month ago and I am seeking for a motivating and challenging job which will give me the possibility of doing what I like most: teaching and sharing my culture and learning from my students in return!

Minka Experienced English Teacher in North East Lonodn

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I have taught TEFL short, annual and intensive English courses in five European cities: Sofia, Prague, Dublin, Edinburgh and London. My main training as a TEFL teacher is the communicative approach but as a trained English and drama teacher I apply a variety of methods and enjoy bringing a playful spirit into the classroom where everyone should be feeling at home!

Learning English in London

Learning English language in London

English language has become the language of science, business, global communications, stock markets, Forex markets, and so on. It is the need of the hour for many people, and, this is why, many institutions are providing English language services to the people who need this facility. There are many colleges, learning centers, and institutions where people can learn this language.

There are numerous institutions that are providing English language learning facilities to people, and these English language centers include the following:

  • Berlitz Language School London
  • West Thames College
  • Burlington School Of English
  • And many others

The selection of college for students should rest upon many points of consideration in this regard. A student interested in learning English language must contact institutions by having a thorough research in this regard.

Following are the top ten considerations that must be there in the mind of a prospective candidate for learning English.

  1. As there are many study centers in London, you have to surf the World Wide Web, and search for proper institution here.
  2. Shortlist English study centers that are providing English language facilities to students. Your list must include the institutes that are well-known among learners. Don’t go for the institutes that have little worth.
  3. Read reviews about the shortlisted institutes over internet. Further shortlist the institutes according to the number of positive reviews about them.
  4. Now, breakup the list into two categories of institutes, the centers with accreditation and the centers without accreditation from top-ranked universities. This will remove a few more institutions from the list.
  5. Improve the list of English language centers with more positive reviews, authenticity among British universities, and trusted study centers. It is high time to know about the cost of the English language course offered at these shortlisted institutes. Select the institutes from this list that have lower cost.
  6. Now, you ought to have only four or five institutes in your list. You have to spend some more time over internet, and get information about the institutes that are offering their services online. This will enable you to have a text or voice chat with them. If this service of the English leaning center in London is first-rate, you may think about contacting this company, if not, you may decide to leave it alone.
  7. Finally, shortlist one of these institutes, and take, an online free language or grammar test on its website. The quality of test and its quick response will also tell you about the service of the center. If the service is first-class, and you are satisfied with it, you may finally choose it.
  8. Another point of concern, in this respect, is the consideration of faculty employed at the English learning center. If the faculty members are qualified, and their credentials show a positive report, you must select it.
  9. The study methods at varying study centers are of different nature. Some institutes would provide a one-to-one method of teaching where a teacher teaches only one student at a time. Many other study centers have arranged classes where a specific number of students are admitted in every class and session. Get admission in the institute where the number of students is not above ten.
  10. Contact the English leaning institute which is at a location where housing facilities are available at average rate. It must not be at a place that is far from your dwelling. You must also consider the availability of regular transport that carries you to the location of the study center.

As the English language centers are available in great number, people must be aware of the situation that they have to get admission in an institution that is suitable for them according to their customized needs. This is the only criteria, along with the above mentioned points, that must be in their minds when they are thinking about getting admission in a particular learning center in London, England.

Learn a Language with a teacher on Skype

The Internet has changed the way people keep in touch with each other. People from all over world are now able to communicate with each other easier, faster and cheaper. One of the innovations of Internet communication is Skype. It is a program used for making phone and video calls through the internet. All you need to do is download it from the Skype website to your PC, create a Skype account and log in to the software. To do a phone or video call with someone, you need to make sure that you have added the other person’s Skype account to your list of contacts. For other details about this software, feel free to visit www.skype.com.

Now let’s talk about why you would want to use Skype as a means to learn a new language. With Skype, you can learn your lessons wherever you are without having to worry about catching a ride to school or having to follow a dress code. You can also schedule your sessions accordingly so you can maximize your time without sacrificing your other obligations. The keyword is convenience.

The next thing that we want to emphasize is the accessibility to a native teacher. When learning a new language, it’s always an advantage to be able to have a native speaker teach you the language, and Skype gives you that advantage since you won’t have to fly over to the country of your chosen language just to take language tutorials from a native. Skype is also great for one-on-one lessons. Aside from the fact that feedback is real-time, you still get to interact with your teacher in a personalized manner regardless if he or she may be several time zones ahead or behind you. Using Skype also works great whether you want to learn at your own pace or if you prefer a more comprehensive approach.

The last consideration that we want to mention is cost. Learning need not be expensive, and using Skype can definitely cut down on travel expenses. You also won’t need to procure textbooks since most of the learning materials can be sent through your email. You can choose from a wide selection of teachers who use Skype as a method of facilitating, saving you even more money.

Using Skype to learn a new language definitely has a lot of benefits. It gives you convenience and saves you time and money and yet still allows learning in a fun and enjoyable manner.  

Learn a language using the resources available on the internet

Nowadays learning something isn’t as challenging as it was years back. With the evolution in science and the innovation in technology, the Internet can definitely be considered an indispensable source of information and knowledge. If you haven’t tapped into the Internet’s unlimited power, then you definitely need to read this through.

There are some languages that have similar grammar rules thus making them easier to master while others are more challenging and might take time to learn. If you’re just curious and only want to see how learning a new language works, then you most probably have tried searching for free lessons online, many of which cover the basics of your chosen language. However, if you are a more serious learner and have considered acquiring a new language for travel, academics or business, you may need more than what free lessons can offer and may require an actual language teacher for a minimal fee. For this purpose you might want to search for schools that offer formal lessons online on learning a new language. A great resource for verb conjugations for many different languages include www.verbix.com and a good website for grammar tips, phrases and even audio files is www.mylanguages.org.

One of the many aspects of language skills is a rich and wide vocabulary. You need to make sure that you choose the right words when you are speaking or writing to ensure that you ‘blend in’ with native speakers. Word choice is a something that differentiates a native speaker from a non-native one – you may be using the same words but the context may mean differently. This is why in addition to your actual language lessons, you should enhance your vocabulary using online resources and dictionaries. Examples of useful online dictionaries include http://www.omniglot.com/links/dictionaries.htm and http://www.allwords.com/

Correct pronunciation and intonation should not be forgotten when learning a new language. This is when a good set of headphones or earphones (with or without a microphone) become handy, plus YouTube (www.youtube.com). YouTube is a great source of pronunciation and intonation guides because of the audio and video components it offers. You can easily search a good audio or video recording of your chosen language and then you can listen to it and mimic the way the words are pronounced. You can also record your own pronunciation and listen to it afterwards so you can hear yourself and assess if your pronunciation is good enough or you can ask a friend who knows your chosen language to listen to you for feedback.

As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities from the Internet when it comes to improving your language skills. All you’ll need is patience and dedication and you’re well on your way to honing your language skills to the fullest.  However if you are looking to improve your language skills fast the best it is to attend private or group classes and use the guidance of a real teacher. The Language class is in London and it offers lessons in the following languages: Italian, French, English, Spanish and German.

using internet to learn

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Learning Languages on Your Own

This is a Dalarna University production.

[0:00:19.9 Foreign language] All of which is to say my name is Konstantin. I’m a Russian teaching English and Linguistics at Dalarna University in what the locals say is the heart of Sweden. I’ve been a language teacher for eleven years. I studied English and German for my bachelor’s degree in St. Petersburg. But since then, I have taught myself Swedish, Italian, and Esperanto. Quite recently, I finally realized that I could no longer get away with not knowing French so right now I’m trying to get started on French as well.
Well, as phonic lots go I’m really nothing special. There are people out there who are breathtakingly fluent in a dozen languages or perhaps in more. Those people might be true linguistic geniuses for all I know. But I really wouldn’t know because I’m not one of them. I’m nothing if the kind. I’m just a regular guy. But thanks to experience I suppose and a certain amount of study, I have come to realize a few things about language learning, and I’ve come to develop a few useful habits. That’s what I will be talking about today. For the most part, I will be stating the obvious, at least obvious of those who have ever learned a foreign language as adults. And I guess I might start with something that should be blindingly obvious to just about everyone.
When it comes to learning foreign languages, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. Now, the bad news is there’s no magic way to learn a foreign language quickly and effortlessly unfortunately. Children do pick up languages as they go but children have much better memories, and even more importantly, they have all the time in the world to, well, to learn languages to put it quite simply. And they’re not afraid of losing face. Now, I’m sorry to tell you we’re not like that at all. Our memory leaves a lot to desired. It’s not like a sponge anymore. We have full-time jobs and we have social obligations and we have children. Well, we tend to be, at least, we tend to be horrified. We tend to be afraid of losing face of making stuttering fools of ourselves. Now, that is why we have to find time for language learning. We have to make an effort and that’s the bad news.
The good news however is that if you do find some time, if you make a little effort, you can learn a language. Anyone can learn a language in fact. Anyone can learn a foreign language. No one is crap at languages I can say. We’re all on the same boat, and I’m surrounded by living proofs of that all the time, not just at work.

Why do then so many people seem to view language learning as an awe-inspiring feat that they can never hold to perform? Well, one major reason for that is that we tend to have somewhat unreasonable expectations of knowing a language. It’s not quite clear what we really mean by knowing a language. It seems to me that surprisingly many people believe that you haven’t really learned a language unless you’re perfectly fluent in it? That seems to be a bit unreasonable to me. I can use myself as an example. My Italian is extremely far from being perfectly fluent. But when I go to Italy or when I feel like watching an Italian movie, I find the Italian that I know quite useful. And that’s why even though my Italian is not perfect, I do not really think that I have failed in learning it.

To illustrate this idea a bit further, let me tell you about the seven stages of knowing a language as I see them or as I identify them yesterday as I was preparing this presentation. I must warn you though. The whole thing is a bit cheesy and it’s horribly oversimplified. But I hope that it will do the job for now at least.
Okay. Let us assume that you have been learning French and you’re in Paris right now and you have a French friend and you go to a restaurant, the two of you together. Now, stage one. If you’re at stage one of “knowing” French, what you can do is you can read the menu. You can open the menu. You can read it and you can understand most of it. In other words, given the little time you can understand something that is written in French and that’s exactly the stage that my French is at right now. This doesn’t have to be limited to menus of course. It can also extend to books and sometimes even newspapers. But the main idea is that it doesn’t really go beyond understanding or passively understanding written text.

What happens at stage two is that you can actually order a meal in French, and you can then ask well the waiter for an explanation, for a piece of advice, about a particular item on the menu for example. In other words, you can communicate some essential information by using standard speech formulas and that’s already something. What can I say?
Then at stage three, something amazing happens. You actually understand the waiter’s advice when it’s given to you. In other words, you understand spoken language when it’s directed at you and we assume here that the waiter is sufficiently friendly and that he can see that you’re a foreigner while trying to speak French to the best of your capacity. And that’s already something as well.
And then at stage four, when your friend starts chatting with the waiter, you can actually understand what the chatting is about. You can follow their conversation. In other words, you understand relatively fairly I can say casual, spoken language even when it’s not addressed directly to you. This can also be extended to watching movies for example, most movies anyway, and watching television shows.
Then at stage five, you can actually chat with the waiter yourself. In other words, you can speak spontaneously without too much hesitation. Well, that’s what many people understand by fluency. But it doesn’t really stop there. On the right side, we have some more advanced stuff.
Stage six then. You have been served your food and your wine, and you proceed to argue politics, philosophy, and let’s say the Eurovision results with your friend for about two hours in French of course. In other words, you can carry a sophisticated conversation on a variety of topics. You have enough vocabulary for that.
Finally, the last stage, stage seven, you can do all of the above without making errors. And I would like you to note here that grammatical errors, making grammatical errors and word choice errors is perfectly okay. Well, actually it’s unavoidable at any of the earlier stages. I would also like you to note that whichever stage you have managed to reach so far, now your language skills can actually come in handy. They can be useful even if it’s just for reading the menu.

Well, the next question is how do you reach any of these stages? Well, like I said, there’s no magic recipe but I do have three general tips that I think are essential. I also have some more specific advice for you and I have one major revelation which will come at the very end of this presentation.
Now, essential tip number one: Do not try or do not even expect to be able to reach all seven stages at once. Chances are you’ll feel frustrated very soon and you’ll give up and that’ll be tragic of course. Like elsewhere in life I suppose, it’s important to set goals for yourself that are slightly unrealistic but not too unrealistic.
Essential tip number two: Well, they say that when it comes to language learning, it’s better to study for twenty minutes every day than for two hours once a week. And that is absolutely true except I would add that it’s actually even better to do both and it’s better still to study for twenty minutes several times a day every day. In other words, you need to do a little language learning whenever you can. Whenever you have a choice let’s say between working on your Japanese for twenty minutes and doing something else, you should always go for Japanese. Well, do twenty minutes of Japanese and then do the other thing.
Okay. Whether it’s twenty minutes or two hours, the next question is what exactly do you do during this time? How for example can you work on your accent, on your pronunciation? Well, the first thing I should mention is that no matter how you work in it, if you’re an adult, you will probably never sound like a native. But you can definitely make your accent less foreign. You can make it easy on native’s ears. How do you achieve that? Well, of course it’s different for different people. But one thing that is probably true for everyone is that listening alone is not enough. In addition to listening, which is important of course, you also have to repeat what you hear. Not just repeat. You have to imitate it. You have to ape it as much as you can. You have to do it thoroughly, sound by sound, word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence eventually as many times as you can as many times as you have time for.
Why do you have to do that? Well, you have to do that because you have to make your mouth and your tongue and your brain, ultimately, you have to make them get used to these foreign, these alien sound combinations. That’s really important. Now, repetition, imitation, and aping—all of that is really important, but there’s a little snag. The problem is when you listen to a language you don’t really know very well, your brain doesn’t really hear at least half of what is actually being said pronunciation-wise. You have to teach your brain to hear things right as it were. And that’s why it’s usually a good idea to read about the sounds of the language that you’re learning before you start imitating them, or read about them while you’re imitating them and the process as it were. Well, not actually as they speak of course.

It’s important because well of course other languages have sounds that you have never dreamed of for one thing and even those sounds that may sound familiar to you may turn out to be quite different in some in some important way. This distinction may amount to the difference between a mother and foul language for example, something like that.
Finally, when you do all this aping and imitating and all this tongue twisting, it will feel strained and unnatural and you will feel silly and that’s a really good sign. If your mouth literally baulks at it, it’s a really good sign because if it doesn’t feel silly, if it doesn’t feel unnatural, if it doesn’t feel strained at first, you’re probably not doing it right and you should probably try harder.

Next, how do you study grammar? Well, some people might tell you that they can manage just fine without knowing any grammar, for example, in English. Unfortunately, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Grammar put simply is about how you put words and sentences together and you have to know at least something about that if you want to understand other people and if you want to be understood. Now, if you didn’t grow up with the language you have to learn that. You have to learn grammar by learning rules, grammar rules, however scary that might sound at first.
If you want to make that task easier for yourself, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some basic concepts with a few general principles of how languages work, some basic terminology that is used in grammatical descriptions. And there are a couple of ways to do that. Now, one way is by getting hold of a nice introduction to linguistics, something that is very light and very engaging. There are plenty of books like that on Amazon and elsewhere. You just need to shop around a little.
Now, another way, and here comes a shameless plug for Esperanto, is by trying to learn a simple artificial language like Esperanto first as trial. Esperanto is delightfully, ridiculously simple and it will give you a very nice hands-on experience of things like adjectives and nouns and direct objects and verb tenses and agreement and stuff like that. You will never have to worry about your accent for example or even your progress. It is a truth universally acknowledged as they say that a third language is easier to learn than a second one. If your warm up act is Esperanto so to say, then well, it will go really smoothly. I can guarantee you that pretty much. As an extra bonus of course you will be able to befriend any number of Esperanto-speaking nerds like myself.

Next, once you know the basic concepts, you’ll have an easier time understanding rules. Once you understand the rules, it’s really important to watch out for them. At least sometimes when you’re reading a text or when you’re listening to the language you’re learning, try to pay attention not to what is being said, not as much at least. But also to how it’s being said grammar-wise. It’s really important. Likewise when you’re learning a grammar rule, you need to make a point of actually using it the next time you speak or write the language.

Finally, it usually pays to compare the way things work in the language you’re learning and the way they work in English or your first language for example. Now it’s good to be aware of how similar, how different the language are because just like in pronunciation, a lot of bad grammar is caused by unwitting interference from your first language or from English. It’s caused by your grammar instincts that belong to a different language.
Well, this point actually provides us with a nice little bridge to my first take about learning vocabulary which is don’t learn words “naked.” What does that mean? That means that words never exist in isolation. They never exist alone, so to say. They always interact with each other. Let me give you an example of that. Let’s say you’re Italian and you’re learning English and you want to learn the English word “love.” Okay. Now let’s say the meaning of love is in many ways similar to what you know as amore. But there’s a lot more to love than that. There’s just that similarity I have to tell you. Consider this sentence. “I fell in love with you.” Now, you can see the word “love” in there and it still means what it usually does. But you can see that in this sentence, it is part of a very complex relationship with three other words namely “fall,” “in,” and “with.” This relationship is as permanent as it gets and you’d better learn about before it’s too late to save yourselves some trouble later.
Now if you’re an English-speaking person learning Italian for example, something else happens. You want to express the same idea. You want to say, “I fell in love with you” in Italian. Well, if you try hard enough, if you use a dictionary, you will find out that the word amore will not actually be of much use to you because you don’t use it for that purpose. You have to learn a different word. You have to learn the word innamorarsi. Not only that. You have of course to know how to make it fit the sentence and you have to know that the word innamorarsi teams up with this little word di. Mi sono inamorato di te in Italian to express this idea.

So you can see that languages do different things. Well, sometimes they do the same things in very different ways and that’s why it’s really important to be aware of differences and similarities between languages. Where do you find this information by the way? Well, any good dictionary will have this information and you’ll find it there. Talking of good dictionaries, a good dictionary will also list a lot of meanings for common words for example.

The next trick is to ignore most of those meanings, at least at first initially. You need to ignore most of them and only focus on the ones that are important. As a rule, the important meanings will be listed first but it’s always a good idea to check of course.
Besides, a dictionary, a good place to see how words work is the Internet. What I do myself quite often when I learn a new word, I Google the word. I Google it on its own first and then perhaps in some of its different forms if there are different forms. I can also Google it with some of the little words that it has a relationship with as it were. And then I can just see how the word works. I can see how it’s used in sentences, how it’s used by people. That’s something that is really useful.

Next, just like with grammar rules, when you have learned a new word, you need to go out of your way to actually use the word, perhaps even overuse it at first. You need to do that because you have to convince your brain that this word is actually worth remembering because your brain is like that. Your brain will do its best to forget as much s it can as quickly as it can. So you have to keep reminding your brain that these words are important. I want you to remember that. How do you that? Well, besides actually using those words, you can also read as much as possible and listen to as much of the language as possible then note these new words as you come across them. That’s really helpful and it works especially well for common words.

When it comes to less common words, one trick that I find useful especially for a linguist myself is using the reminder function on your mobile phone. What you do is you just take this new word. You enter its translation first then you enter the word itself preferably with some other words around it in a sentence and perhaps with some grammatical information. It’s really important to make sure that when the reminder goes off you don’t see the word right away because you need to make a mental effort to remember it. So when it does go off, you remember the word and you renew the reminder. And you do it again and again with increasing intervals so to say let’s say one day the first time then three days then a week perhaps then a month, something like that. And you continue the same vein until you have convinced your brain that well, this word is actually worth remembering, and it does work.

Now, my phone is pretty basic and it can only do a few dozen reminders at a time but of course more advanced gizmos have more. Things like iPhones and such, they have special applications for vocabulary learning actually and it’s a good idea to use that as well.
Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Okay, pronunciation and vocab and grammar, it’s all very well. It’s all very good. But what about those seven stages? How do I actually learn to do stuff in a language? Well, I’m afraid I only have one answer to that. You learn to do stuff in a language by actually doing it. This is the only thing I can say. You learn to read menus. You learn to order a meal by trying to use that funny phrase from your textbook to order a meal. You learn to understand movies by actually watching movies first with English subtitles let’s say or subtitles in your first language and then with subtitles in the language you’re learning and then without any subtitles at all, and you learn to chat with people by actually trying to chat with them in the language you’re learning. Yes, I know. It will feel awkward and perhaps even humiliating at first. I know the feeling very well and I used to be plagued by it myself. But here comes the great revelation.

The great revelation is that if you’re doing your best as long as you’re doing your best, you never lose face by trying to say something in another language. Well, quite the contrary, you really should be proud of every little attempt you make to say something in another language. If someone makes fun of you, if someone is stupid enough to make fun of you, well, you can just tell them to go practice some palatalized Russian consonants for example or Mandarin terms or something like that.

Now, if everything I’ve already said sounds like work, that’s because it is. Again and again and again and again, you have to spend some time and you have to make an effort to learn a language. At the same time, this effort can be really exciting and extremely rewarding provided you follow my last essential tip.
Essential tip number three: It’s really hard to learn a language for a rainy day. It’s really hard to learn a language just because, let’s say, it sounds cool or because it’s cool to speak a foreign language or because it looks good in your CV. It will look good at your CV at some point in the future. To have enough motivation to work up enough motivation, well, first to get started and then to keep going, sort of persisting with the language, you have to have a real reason for learning it. Any reason will do. Any real reason will do. It can be work. It can be research, romance. It can be another fascination for another culture for example. But mind you, the fascination has to be utter. But you have to find a reason to get started and to keep going. If you have that reason, I can only wish you the best of luck. Thank you.

The advantages of private language lessons

The Advantages Of Learning A Language With A Private Tutor

Learning a second or third language can be important in today’s every increasing global world. It is emphasized in schools and in the business arenas that anyone looking to succeed in an international field be sure that they learn at least one language beyond their native tongue. From online tutorials, to books, to software programs, private language lessons rank as the top way to learn a second language. To know why this is the case, the following explains just some of the advantages of learning a language with a private tutor.


Progress Faster

Private language lessonsallow individuals to learn a new language in a one-on-one setting. Often, there are only two individuals involved and this means that the course of learning can be directed quickly and efficiently. As a result of fewer distractions than a group setting, an individual undertaking the foreign language learning course will see themselves progressing faster.

The Student Is In Charge

A second advantage of taking private language lessons is rooted in the benefit it has to the student. Everyone learns in different ways and at a different pace. A group setting such as a classroom can often leave the individual learning style of a student behind as a result of a group approach to learning. When it comes to private language lessons, learning styles can be adapted to the student. This means that the best learning will occur because it is a student directed teaching environment. More information gets to the student and less is lost when compared with a larger classroom.

More Teacher Attention

The teacher, as aforementioned, is solely working with one student when private language lessons are being taken. Though there are clear benefits to the student, there are also great benefits to the teacher. Rather than being distracted by the needs of many, they can focus their skills on only one. This means that teachers can streamline their teaching approaches and see the fruits of their hard work more easily.

Less Intimidating Than Group Classes

A final benefit to the participation of individuals in private language lessons is the fact that intimidation is less of a concern for the student. In group settings, the more quiet or laidback individual can get lost in the muddle. Not only that, but students can become intimidated by the perceived perception of them by other students. This is a frustrating aspect of any group setting, but, with private language lessons, this intimidation factor is removed leaving more learning to take place and less societal pressure.