Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Cynthia Su

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Cynthia Su Tutor Interview

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

A. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for students to get to know me! I was born and raised in Singapore. As I've always wanted to live abroad, I went to university in Australia. After graduating, I worked for Toyota and taught English at the Japanese Primary School in Singapore before coming to Japan in 2005. Coming to Japan was a big dream of mine!

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. To be honest, I wanted to be a translator when I decided to major in Japanese studies at university. In fact, I've just finished translating a popular children's permaculture book, 「みんなのちきゅうカタログ」, which will be published in the US next spring! In order to come to Japan, I decided to become an English teacher. What I love about teaching is getting to meet a variety of people (from children to adults), and getting to know them personally on a deeper level. It moves me when I get appreciation from my students about how happy they were to have met me, and the fun and growth they've experienced learning with me! Also, as a lover of languages (I speak English, Japanese, Mandarin, and have also studied French.), I really want to help others to learn a second/foreign language, so they can experience the world more fully. Speaking another language or more opens up your world and helps you to connect with more people on earth!

Q. Have you always been a teacher? If not, what else have you been doing professionally? If yes, what are some highlights of your teaching career?

A. I've been a teacher almost all my adult life. I've worked briefly in the corporate world. Besides teaching, I've also done some translation work. I'm also a certified yoga teacher and holistic health coach. I apply these other skills in my teaching as well. The highlights of my career are when I decided to become a freelance teacher and teach only what I'm passionate about! I've taught Kids Yoga in English, and also started an online eikaiwa (English language school) for adults that centers around themes on holistic living and living sustainably. After becoming a mum, I became very interested in teaching languages through picture books. This is how I'm raising my daughter to be trilingual! For the past one year, I've been organizing story time sessions for children and mums regularly both offline and online.

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

A. Being a busy mum! lol. Despite that, I meditate almost every morning. I love expressing myself creatively so when I have the chance, I dance, play the ukulele, or do art too. I've started to study Chinese again (I have an online Chinese tutor, but not on, and am also studying homeopathy, and learning to garden. Because I love learning, I'm always studying or learning something new!

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. Currently, I'm only teaching children on Cafetalk. I make stories come alive for them. So, my lessons are fun, imaginative and colorful! It's also positive, meaning that students feel safe, warm and happy while learning. It's important to build trust and respect in any relationship, so I spend time getting to know my students (and their parents) as individuals, and also treat them with care and warmth.

Q. 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. All my lessons now are centered around a picture book. I have lessons for children under 3, which includes songs and dance too. For older children from 4-6, we will also do an art & craft related to the story. If you want to raise your child to be bilingual in English & Mandarin, I also have a lesson for that!

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

A. I'm still very new on Cafetalk, so I'm really looking forward to meeting future students here! I really hope to share the joy and fun of learning a language with you and your child/children. The greatest gift for me is to see the smile and joy radiating from your child's face!


Cynthia Su

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