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Teaching and Tutoring Students From Many Cultures

I am a former elementary teacher and school librarian who is a published author of books, magazine articles, book reviews, and test questions for standardized tests such as the SAT. However, I did not realize I had become an ESL teacher. The students I have tutored to improve their English speaking, reading, writing, and spelling were both children and adults. I have tutored or taught students from the following countries: Bolivia, Chili, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Croix (a US Territory), England, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Algeria, Japan, and the Philippines. I usually begin the first session by figuring out where the student or students are. Some speak better English than most Americans. And some don't speak English at all. I think I am especially suited to teaching ESL to adults and children because I have lived in different cultures: England, Spain, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and the US Virgin Islands. Each of those places was a distinct culture totally different from any other. For instance, the schools I was a librarian in on the island of St. Croix had students from many Caribbean islands. I could not understand them in the beginning because of their Crucian dialect. However, they could understand me. Now I'd like to ask someone to tell me why those thousands of students could understand my American accent, though I could not understand their Caribbean accents?