1. Tell us a little about you.
I am an English speaking South African who has always been fascinated by English language, history and culture. The history and development of the language as well as the origin of its vocabulary has been of particular interest to me. A large part of my career did not involve teaching or language studies but where possible I enjoyed editing texts as well as translating writings into English. When the opportunity presented itself for me to teach the language I leaped at it and have been doing it ever since.
2. What English courses do you teach at Cape Studies?
Apart from teaching the standard English grammar and skills courses from beginner to advanced level, I teach a number of examination courses. These include three of the Cambridge University courses ranging from First Certificate to Proficiency. I also teach the Business English and Tourism courses of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the TOEFL, IELTS and Pearson courses which are normally required for university entrance. Of all of these, I most enjoy teaching the Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency courses.
3. How can one improve on their spelling?
There are the standard spelling rules which you should become familiar with, but you should also read regularly. Reading is the easiest way to become familiar with the oddities and exceptions in the spelling. Playing word games is also a fun way to practice spelling.
4. What advice would you give to a student to maintain their level of English when returning to their home country?
The student must use the language regularly. This means reading, listening and, where possible, speaking. What you read is not important . It can be a comic book, a magazine or a novel. What is important, is that it must be pleasant and entertaining and not done as a learning exercise. In other words, you have learnt the language, now it should entertain you. Listening to the weather or the news on television and enjoying an English film is also beneficial. If you enjoy music, listening to and learning the words of popular English songs can be very helpful.
5. Can you share a competitive advantage Cape Studies has over other language schools in Cape Town?
Cape Studies, a well established, boutique style school, is ideally located. It is within walking distance of the most popular sport, retail and entertainment centres in the city. For relaxation the beaches and parks are minutes away and an excellent public transport system is on the school’s doorstep. The small number of students per class and the diversity among its students set the school apart from the others.
6. What is most rewarding about teaching at Cape Studies?
I like the size of the school. It is not so big that the students are just numbers as a teacher I can have enough contact with the students to assist them with their particular learning problems and also to enjoy celebrating their successes.