The picture is me, Dr. Barb, doing one of the things I love: reading a story and working with my favorite puppet, Archy.
I do the work of author, artist, and teacher. Now, I teach English to speakers of other languages.
My young students–the under 18 year old’s–have the problem of parents demanding that they learn to speak, read, and write English perfectly.
My adult students have the problem of the world demanding perfection from them. Adults have the added problem of having to pass the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a 7.0 or higher in order to get a job or to get into a university.
I have the problem of knowing that demanding perfection is senseless. If one is learning and growing, of course mistakes will be made.
Making mistakes means that one is putting forth the effort to learn.
One of the many changes we all have to deal with is the world making English its main language. The world loves English.
You see, English is a language of precision and exactness. It is the preferred language of the Internet. Some professions like that of airplane pilots require being able to understand and communicate English.
If we allow it, English can be the language that unites us so that we truly are one world.
English has wonderful parts of speech called adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and verbs. These parts allow speakers and writers of English to be very exact. It is not a cat and a box; it is a cat on top of a box. It is not a car and red; it is a red car.
Not all languages have these parts of speech; not all languages can be precise and exact.
I have taught English in US pre-k and elementary schools for most of my working life. When I left public school teaching, I entered the wonderful world of TESOL—teaching English to speakers of other languages.
The biggest challenge these students have is learning to speak English. This includes learning to think in English.
Learning to read and write English is easily done; learning to listen and correctly hear it is a little more difficult, but learning to think in and then communicate with spoken English can be difficult.
Where I teach
I teach adults spoken English on the Cambly platform. Register for a class here:
Remember: all my students are relaxed, have fun, and learn lots.
Barbara Lucas, PhD