Teaching English as a foreign language is a vocation, and one that I have had the privilege of following for the past twenty years. Over those years I have honed my methods, adapting new techniques and technologies and investing in ancillary equipment in order to provide the highest quality service possible. I am pleased to be able to say that this work has resulted in a very high examination success rate for my students, far higher than the national average, and a high reputation locally. Prospective students can rest assured that the learning experience will be vastly different to what they may have been used to, and will be fine-tuned to best meet their individual needs.
Effective and accurate communication in English is becoming increasingly important in the modern world, whatever one's profession. Students choosing my services will discover from the outset that the teaching is done as far as possible in English, and that I require students to try and use the English language as much as possible during the lesson. The common approach in Greek language schools is for English to be taught in Greek, as if it were a dead language like Latin, and that approach can only lead to a faltering knowledge of the spoken language. The most common problem encountered with new students is that they simply cannot speak proper English, even after several years at a language school, a situation which I would characterise as an example of fraud on the part of the language school...! Students coming to me will learn the English language by speaking it, hearing it and writing in it as much as possible, not simply by staring at a grammar book and listening to a description of the material in Greek...
Also central to my teaching is the element of back-up support. Students are provided with complete lesson notes, written on computer during the lesson and printed out at the end of the session and/or emailed directly to the student after the session. This ensures that the student gets the fullest possible notes for study and relieves the student of the onus of making accurate notes, leaving him or her free to concentrate on the interactive side of the lesson. At the end of the notes is a list of homework tasks set so that the student can be sure of exactly what he or she must prepare for the following session.
In addition, when appropriate the session is recorded in mp3 format using high-quality digital recording equipment and the subsequent recording is made available to the student on CD-ROM, audio CD, flash memory or as a download from the Teaching REAL English website. This is particularly useful in discussion sessions, as the student can then review what was said, any corrections made, pronunciation and so on at home. All recordings are stored on DVD and are therefore available to the student at a later date in the case of loss.
A wide variety of exercises, information handouts and background material is available to the student, covering everything from grammar, vocabulary and writing practice to matters of British and American culture and society. It is considered essential for the language to be taught in context, and every effort is made to acquaint the student with the culture of those who use English as a native speaker.
When the time comes for students to take examinations, all examination entry arrangements are made by myself. Students are provided with photocopies of any documentation (entry documents, bank receipts and/or cheques) that is submitted as part of the entry process to ensure complete transparency of the process. Thus the student can rest assured that he or she has been entered for the examination(s) he or she wishes to sit.
Should a student be unlucky enough to fail an examination, immediate consultation takes place regarding whether it would be wise to re-sit the same examination at the next sitting or to try sitting a different examination of the same or slightly easier level. In any case, reliable advice is always given to students (and their parents, where appropriate) regarding examination schedules and preparation.