Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Steve D.

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Steve D. Tutor Interview

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Q. Hi, Steve.D! please introduce yourself!

A. Hi! I’m Steve. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, “The Mother City”. It’s very beautiful and you can see many amazing places in the city or outdoors for example, “Table Mountain”.I have taught English and lived in Sendai City, Japan for almost three years, until 2015. Currently I am studying public leadership at my university as a post-graduate student.I love football(soccer), the outdoors, languages and music.

Q. I want to know where you live. Could you please tell us about your current city?

A. I live in Cape Town, as mentioned earlier. I live in an apartment in a town called Stellenbosch. It’s a very beautiful town surrounded by mountains and has many wonderful hiking trails. It is also very famous for some of the best wine farms, and of course The University of Stellenbosch, where I am studying.

Q. How do you spend your days off ? Is there anything you’ve gotten into lately ?

A. I’ve gotten into hiking and exploring my city lately. I enjoy going alone but also with friends sometimes. I explore new places in nature and take vlogs (video blogs) using my phone. I would like to show more people the importance of living a balanced life working in the busy towns, but also breaking away and appreciating the beauty of nature in their own areas.

Q. Have you studied a foreign language before? Do you think it’s hard to adapt to a different culture without learning its language?

A. Yes, I have learnt Japanese by myself because there are so few Japanese people in South Africa, I hope this changes in the future. It’s a very different and difficult language to learn, however, having learnt Japanese I now have more confidence to learn other languages and it just feels so much easier. Yes, I think it is hard to adapt without being able to communicate the basics with the local people of that country. I cannot really answer that very well, because I already knew the language before moving to Japan.

Q. Please tell us about the main feature of your lessons.

A. My main feature I would say is targeting my student’s specific needs and ambitions. I want to be able to firstly understand why my student wants to learn the language and in what context they will use it, for example, if my student is an 8-year-old boy being told to learn English by his mother, then I want to help him learn the basic ABCs well to prepare a foundation for his future English studies. One of my recent students wanted to learn English to help her communicate in her workplace about computers etc., so I gave her vocabulary about computer jargon and practical English that she can immediately apply.

Q. What are you most careful of when you teach your students?

A. Speak S L O W L Y and clearly. My previous students at my schools in Sendai were so thankful and told me they were very happy that I spoke slowly and clearly so they could follow me easily. I do that because I understand that English is not even Japanese people’s second language! So they first listen to my English, convert it to Japanese in their head, and only then do they process it. Of course when a student’s English improves they can subconsciously understand it much faster.And be sensitive and kind to your students!

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for our students?

A. Believe in your dreams! You can do more than you can imagine, and don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t! I believe Japanese people will help make the world a better place, and they already are.

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Steve D.


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