Whether you are learning English as a foreign language or are a native speaker struggling with the contradictions of correct usage, let's face it: English is anything but logical and straight forward. For the non-native speaker discovering native cognates will open the door to better understanding. For the native speaker, understanding its roots, its development, its climb from the linguistic gutters of London to the lips of the most influential, turns grammar rules into clues for the linguistic detective to follow and ultimately say, "Elementary, my dear Watson!" In any case, learning is no longer a drudge; it becomes an adventure with guaranteed results.
I had spent over 20 years helping students become proficient in English in Europe before returning to the States. Although I am multilingual and never use the learner's native language in my lessons, the fact that I do speak several languages makes me acutely aware of the challenges a learner of a foreign language faces. Because I know exactly what the learner is going through. It is with this insight that I am able to help the student overcome any obstacles in mastering the target language as well as tailor each lesson to meet the needs and the expectations of the learner.
I have lived over two and half decades in Germany, where I lived, worked and breathed German. During this time, my experience in working with the language ranged from giving presentations in public speaking as well as teaching German to the English-speaking staff of a major pharmaceutical company. Through referrals from satisfied clients, I was called upon to work as a German/English translator and interpreter, as well as conduct a 3-year program in computer English, held in German, for the city of Munich. All assignments accepted and services rendered required a high proficiency in German.
To understand one's own grammar, one needs to understand its roots. Whether the non-native learner of English realizes it or not, but that learner is in a better position to master English grammar than the native speaker. I have spent over 20 years teaching English in Europe to learners from over 17 countries; from the university student to the CEO, ranging from the beginner to the advanced learner. My success, or rather the success of my client, is teaching the learner that the key to effective communication in English is not in vocabulary rather in its grammar. Words may be the fuel for your ideas. However, without proper grammar, those ideas will never take flight.
I received my public speaking experience and credentials through Toastmasters International, the World’s leading organization devoted to communication and leadership development. Although I have completed the program in my native language, English; attaining the highest level of recognition in the fields of communication and leadership, I returned to do the program in German and Italian as well. As an elected officer in the Toastmaster organization, I served as Director of Education and Training and Chairman of the European district, providing, and presenting, educational programs and keynote addresses to a membership of over 3,000 in 17 countries. As Director of Education and Training, I exceeded overall growth and educational achievement goals by 75%, as set by World Headquarters. At the end of my term as Chairman, the following year, Europe was ranked as fourth best district in the world out of 74. As a professional speaker, I have been engaged as an entertaining and motivational speaker as well as delivered multiple talks on leadership and public speaking before groups in the US as well as in Europe.
In my twenty plus years as an English language trainer, experience has shown that grammar and vocabulary are merely the first steps in learning any language. It is only when reading is introduced as a key component that the process of mastering the language begins. Understanding what is written as well as how it is written not only provides the "tools" for developing the necessary skills in reading comprehension it also lays the groundwork for future effective communication.
As a teacher of English as a foreign language, I bring to my lessons over 20 years and over 22 thousand hours of one-on-one training experience. In the course of my years as an English trainer, I have learned that the most effective and enduring approach to teaching any foreign language is to tailor the material so that it 'suits' the learner's personal and professional environment. This ensures that the learner stays motivated and interested because the focus is as much on the learner as it is on the subject matter.
As a professional translator in a wide range of diverse fields, it is not a matter of merely having a large vocabulary. A translator must also be well versed in the denotative as well as the connotative meaning of each word used in the translation. This ensures that the translator's rendering of the words of the author remains true in both meaning and tenor.
I have been teaching English as a foreign language (TOEFL) as well as a second language (ESL) for over 30 years. One of the aspects of teaching a foreign language is to help the "professional" learner to make the transition from speaking the language to writing it. Although these students may almost sound "native" when they speak, their "foreign accents" become very apparent when they write. Having spent years eliminating the "accent" from my student's correspondence, I've learned this. If you want to "learn" a language, you can get away with just learning how to speak it. However, if you want to "live" the language, learn how to write as well.