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.