GayleG Tutor Interview
- Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from - in your profile you mention you are from Scotland. Can you tell us a little bit about your country and the town you grew up in?
A. I grew up in Glasgow, which is the second biggest city in Scotland. We are the younger sister of Edinburgh, the capital. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city but Glasgow also has its unique character with a lot of friendly people, interesting culture and a lot of places to eat and drink.
I grew up in the suburbs and it was a great there - very safe and friendly. I remember riding our bicycles and playing outside all summer.
- Q. Right now, you live in Ireland! What's it like living there?
A. Ireland is split between northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. NI is part of UK and uses pounds, Republic is part of Europe uses euro. I live in the Republic but very close to the border with the city of Derry. So I have two sections in my wallet - one for pounds, and one for euro!
I live near a small village. I have a gorgeous view of the sea and the hills. I live with my boyfriend, my dog Nell and my cat Ollie.
- Q. And before moving to Ireland, you also spent some time teaching English in Japan. Can you tell us a little bit about the time you spent in Japan?
A. I was on my way to work in Australia, but I stopped to visit a friend in Tokyo. I got a job with Berlitz and I thought I would stay two months. But I stayed almost two years. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I can't believe it was twenty years ago. It doesn't seem that long ago. I love teaching Japanese students again on Cafetalk.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. I do a lot of walking - everyday walking the dog and hillwalking on the weekends. I am a member of a hillwalking group and we go out most Sundays. We breathe in great air, see great views (hopefully) and meet great people.
- 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. When I got to Japan there were two main jobs for English-speaking girls - teaching or hostessing - and I chose teaching. I loved it from the start and never stopped. Over the years I've worked full time and part time. I also work part time in publishing as an editor and proofreader.
- Q. As for teaching the English language, do you employ or recommend any specific study method?
A. I do a lot of reading and discussion in my classes. I always give written homework and I usually recommend that my students try to watch English TV or listen to podcasts in English.
- 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 “lesson style”?
A. I try to make my lessons very relaxed and enjoyable and I think my students have fun learning. Always the time goes fast, so I think that's a good sign that we are having a good time.
- Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview which lesson might be good for which type of student?
A. My most popular lesson is Improver's Class. In this lesson students are sent an article to read before the lesson. Then we read the article, go through the vocabulary and discuss the topic. For homework, students are asked to write something connected to the article. So students get everything - reading, new vocabulary, speaking and writing.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. I send a big thank you to my current students. I love you all! I look forward to meeting my future students and helping you improve your English in a fun and relaxed way.