Sarah R. Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi Sarah! 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. I grew up in Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. Cape Town is a beautiful coastal city, and it is a vibrant place to live. In South Africa, we are truly a ‘rainbow nation’ with people from all over the world, living and working in Cape Town. I grew up with two siblings and I am the youngest child of my family. I spent a colourful childhood in Cape Town and completed up to my highest level of education here too.
- 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 obtained my undergraduate degree in Political Science and French language and completed my Honour’s degree in International Relations. In addition, I completed my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate) whilst working as an online ESL teacher in 2018.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Political Science and French language and completed my Honour’s degree in International Relations. In addition, I completed my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate) whilst working as an online ESL teacher in 2018.
- 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. In my previous role, I worked as a Research Assistant in International Relations for the government of my province. I facilitated with diplomatic and official processes, and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet various high-level stakeholders and to manage projects for the government. I love my career field and I am passionate about research too. I love learning and I am constantly studying something new, especially language. I have completed various certificates and I am also studying Japanese now. Recently, I obtained my beginners certificate in Japanese, which is a small accomplishment of a bigger goal.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. When I am not teaching on Cafetalk, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I try to visit the beach as often as possible and especially now that it is summer in Cape Town. I love cooking and baking, and I enjoy having potlucks with friends on the weekend. I particularly enjoy trying out new dishes and visiting restaurants. My favourite cuisines are Japanese, Indian, and Italian, respectively. Some of my hobbies are drawing, playing tennis and listening to music. My interests are widespread; I love discussing various topics such as politics, social issues, travel, food, art, culture, etc. As mentioned, I enjoy learning and studying too; I am always busy with a short course and building new skills.
- 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 am committed to ensuring that I provide a comfortable atmosphere for my students. As a language learner myself, I know that speaking in a foreign language can sometimes cause nervousness; thus, I try to ensure that my students feel safe and comfortable during my lessons. My lessons are fun, and I try to make the experience as enjoyable to the student, as possible. I create my own material and I am very flexible with student requests. A lesson with me is content rich, professional and relaxing too.
My teaching style is calm, professional and pro-active; I provide clear feedback to my students, and I find ways to assist and correct them in the most constructive way. I use a direct approach whilst teaching and skilfully guiding my students.
- 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. I would highly recommend my Ted Talk lessons and my YouTube lessons. In these lessons, students have the freedom to choose any video and the entire lesson is based around the chosen topic. If students are unsure of which video to choose, I find the topic choice based on their interests. These lessons are good for any English level and the material is flexible but usually includes vocabulary, reading, discussion and speaking. They are very educational, and students can learn from a variety of topics such as history, psychology, politics, environmental affairs and so much more.
In addition, I recommend that students try out my ‘Conversational English – Questions and Answers’ or ‘Topics English’ lesson – these lessons are designed to enhance your conversational English level ability and they are a great way to learn and discuss a variety of topics within the given lesson time. Topics and questions can be requested beforehand, and students can prepare well in advance. Lastly, for all my lessons, I can provide short additional homework activities for students after the lesson, if requested. These are a great way to practice written English and to reiterate what was discussed in the lesson.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. Of course, I would firstly like to thank my students for their unwavering support throughout the last few months. During my time at Cafetalk, I have met so many wonderful students and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to help you to reach your goals. Each interaction and lesson with a student is meaningful to me and I am grateful to my students for their time and effort to learn, speak and study English.
To my future students, I look forward to meeting you and I am eager to help you improve and take your English to the next level. I want to let you know that I am ready to accommodate your English needs and to provide you with great English lessons! If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to send me a message via Cafetalk or book a ‘quick chat/counselling’ lesson with me. If you are nervous or unsure about trying out a new teacher, know that this is a safe space and that after our first interaction, you will easily feel comfortable.
Thank you very much for this opportunity.