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I grew up in Hong Kong, where I attended English primary and secondary schools. I went to The University of Nottingham in the UK for further studies, where I received my Bachelor's Degree LLB (Hons) in Law. While at University, I had the opportunity to do some part-time work as an educational assistant for a kindergarten. I was also able to volunteer as an after-school tutor at an ethnic minority school in Hong Kong. These experiences convinced me to take the leap of a change in career and focus on teaching.
In Hong Kong I worked as an English and math tutor. I specialized in tutoring English as a second language to children from the ages of 3-12. It was a full time position at a tutorial center where I had several classes a day, most of which were private or two-on-one. I taught all areas of English including phonics (Letterland), speaking, reading, writing, grammar and comprehension.
I find it important to tailor-make my lessons to suit the personality and learning style of each child. While most children needed a friendly but firm stance, others needed more patience and reassurance. Another important aspect was involving parents in the process. I would keep them updated of their child's progress, as well as ways in which they could provide additional assistance at home and outside of lessons. I would use their concerns and suggestions to further focus my lessons and the areas to pay extra attention to.
I believe that this measured approach led to much success for my students. I had the deepest pleasure of watching a student who had trouble reading to, a few short months later, reciting a list of words taught to her during a lesson. As an avid reader and writer myself, I was also able to instill that joy into some of the older children I taught. This was evidenced by the fact they would write stories during time off and holidays.
Regardless of the student, I always tried to create a fun atmosphere during my lessons. Several of my students specifically requested me as their tutor, and would cancel lessons if I was ever unavailable. I had several trial lessons with children that stayed on long-term and became loyal students.
I find teaching incredibly gratifying, and would be delighted with the opportunity to work with more children in enhancing their education and expand their horizons.
For the past two years I have been teaching Letterland Phonics, which focuses on reading, writing and spelling for children. By creating an imaginary "land", it allows students to become involved with the letters and learn their sounds, instead of just committing them to memory. Each letter is a different character and has an accompanying pictogram and name. Letterland works in stages, starting with individual sounds and then moves on to creating blends. By teaching a sound or two per lesson, children can move from one level to another whilst building a vast vocabulary.
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