Lewis B Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi, Lewis! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. To start off, can you tell students a little bit about where you come from and where you grew up?
A. Hello! Thank you for having me, I am very excited for this interview. I was born and raised in Hertfordshire, England. Most people haven't heard of Hertfordshire, but it is very easy to find, it is directly north outside of London. I always tell people in Japan that Hertfordshire is the Saitama of London! I also lived outside Manchester for three years before coming to Japan. I love living just outside big cities, so I can enjoy the space and peace of the countryside, but I can easily get into the city when I want to. I also have family all over the world, my sister lives in Canada, and my aunt and cousin live in New Zealand, we're very international!
- Q. Right now, you are living in Japan. What is your life here like?
A. Fantastic, I love living in Japan. Now I live in Yamanashi, at the foot of Fujisan. Every morning I open the curtains to greet the mighty Fujisan (when it isn't too cloudy), and I can go for a run up into the mountains outside my house whenever I want. I love hearing the sound of uguisu in spring, tonbi flying overhead, and at night I can sometimes hear the sound of sika deer very close by. There are of course lots of things I miss from the UK, but I keep myself busy with work, training and study, so I never get bored!
- 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 began practicing muay thai (Thai boxing) at the age of 21, I trained very seriously and eventually became an assistant instructor at my gym, I enjoyed teaching what I had learnt to others, so I decided to make it my career and became a Personal Trainer.
I am always training, studying, practicing and learning many things. I was a reservist in the British Army for three years, I trained powerlifting full-time, and now I have many years of experience with meditation and mindfulness. These things have changed my life in such a powerful way, I am very eager to share as much as I can with other people, so that I can help them achieve their goals and live their lives to the fullest. As a student I always enjoyed reading and writing, and actually considered becoming a journalist. So after moving to Japan, with years of teaching experience, helping people to learn and study English was a natural choice for me.
- Q. You mention in your profile that you used to travel a lot. What are some places you have visited?
A. I have been very fortunate to travel to some amazing places all around the world, as a child I remember my parents driving us all across Europe, and I have also seen a lot of North America. When I was 22 years old I travelled to Koh Samui, Thailand to practice muay thai for five weeks. We trained twice a day, at sunrise and sunset, six days a week, during the hottest month of the year! It was very tough, but I learnt a lot and it changed me as a person.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. Currently, I exercise and train three times a week, and this year I am planning on running a full marathon. I also practice yoga, meditate almost every day, study Japanese, and do a lot of reading. Right now I am reading Homer's 'Iliad' and Seneca's 'Letters from a Stoic'. When I really want to relax I love visiting local onsen, especially after some hard training. In the west we have lost the ancient tradition of Roman baths, but I am very glad to be able to experience onsen here in Japan! I am also currently writing a book titled 'The Martial Method', a series of systems and principals to program your life. I have finished the third edit and have sent it to proof readers, I hope to get published later this year!
- 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 like to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere as much as possible, if we don't enjoy what we study we won't want to keep going for a long time. But I also want to ensure that all of my students make progress and see clear improvement with their English skills. All of my students prepare written homework, the topic for which can be about anything they enjoy and would like to write about. Many of my students also use a textbook, if they choose to. I am very fortunate that I enjoy studying with my students, in both Personal Training and teaching online, most of my students I see long-term, so we are able to build a strong relationship, get to know each other and enjoy our time together. I always have so much fun speaking with my students and hearing their thoughts about many different topics, I hope they are able to enjoy our lessons too.
- 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 lessons are Free & Easy Conversation, Communicating in Business English (with textbook), and the Meditation lessons. Every student is different, everyone has different experiences and goals, so every lesson is unique to the person taking it. If my student wants to focus on English for work, especially in an office environment, I recommend using the textbook in the Business English lesson. But otherwise the Free & Easy Conversation is usually best, in which we can change the content of the lesson however we need to, and best fit the needs of each particular student. If a new student is ever unsure which lesson may be best for them, I always recommend starting with a Counseling Lesson, in which we can have a relaxed, easy conversation and decide what is best for them!
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. I think my current students know how grateful I am to share my time with them, and how much I enjoy our time studying together. It's not just about me doing all the teaching, we learn a lot from each other and both find ways to improve our lives, beyond simply studying the English language. I also get very excited when I think about all of the new students I have yet to meet. Every year I am very proud to help other people achieve their goals and improve their lives, CafeTalk is a fantastic platform that has connected me with a lot of amazing people, and I look forward to all of the new people I will meet in 2021 and into the future. Thank you again for your time and the opportunity to share a small part of my story, I look forward to meeting lots of exciting new people soon!