Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview


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Cammie Tutor Interview

Q. Hi Cammie! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. To start off, can you tell us a little bit about where you come from and where you grew up?

A. I was born in Vietnam and we had to leave the country when I was 3 years old, due to the Vietnam War. We immigrated to New York and I have been living here ever since.

Q. Where are you staying at the moment, and what is it like there?

A. I am currently living in New York City. It’s a fantastic city for visiting museums, trying out different cuisines, relaxing in the many beautiful parks, going to shows, shopping, and plenty more! It is as exciting as movies portray it. I also appreciate that both the ocean and the mountain are in the area.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background? What got you into teaching, and what motivated you to keep pursuing this career?

A. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I used to play school with my younger sister. I would give her classwork on a toy board and she had to write out the answers, which I checked with a lot of pleasure! I thought it was so much fun to write on the board and check answers with a red pen. I have been teaching English for more than 15 years, most of that time in a traditional classroom. These days, I work only online. I love that teaching is a rewarding profession, both for the student as well as for the instructor. Because I have taught students from all corners of the globe, I have learned so much culture and feel enriched from the experiences.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. I love to learn languages myself! Currently, I am working towards fluency in French, which I have been studying on and off since high school. I’m also studying Mandarin and Hungarian. Cooking and eating are other passions of mine. I love to try new dishes (I have eaten in Ethiopian, Tibetan, Afghan, Romanian, Malaysian and Czech restaurants) and also experiment with new combinations in the kitchen.

Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style?

A. I think it’s important to be relaxed when you are learning, so my “classroom” tends to be that way. It is not rare for me to make jokes during a lesson and it helps to lighten up the lesson. I also allow the student to do most of the talking (unless he or she wants to practice listening, of course). Having said that, I do a lot of quizzing (by asking questions) in my lessons, to ensure that the student has understand what was taught. This encourages the student to focus on the lesson.

Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview of which lesson might be good for which type of student?

A. My most popular lesson is “Build Your Vocabulary’” because in that lesson, I combine vocabulary learning with speaking and so students get to benefit from both areas of English. I send an article or story before the lesson and we discuss it in class. I search for interesting texts to keep the learning fun. For someone who is unsure of which areas of English to focus on, try my “English Lesson,” which is a 45-minute class that combines any of the following: vocabulary, grammar, conversation, dictation, and listening.

Q. Lastly, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

A. Firstly, thank you to all my current Cafetalk students who are dutifully taking lessons and pushing themselves to learn! You’re doing a great job! To all potential students - please give one of my lessons a try! I have a variety of classes and teaching experience will help you make great progress if you are serious about advancing your English studies.



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