Hi! So you want to know something about little ol’ me and why I am taking your time and my time to share my thoughts, words and experiences with you in this big virtual world of the internet… Ok, so here goes:
My name’s Eileen O’Neill. Basically I see my profession as being a communicator. Well, really, it’s the love of my life! I have worked in all forms of media communications: print, video, radio, multi-media, social media, etc. - and now I’m taking on Web 2.0!
However, all communications is based on some form of language and that’s how I found myself involved in teaching, coaching and mentoring English as a foreign or second language for over 20 years.
You see, I’ve lived in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and the Pacific islands. This wonderful opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the world has given me the possibility to experience a wide variety of cultures.
It has also provided me with the opportunity to study a number of languages. So I have first-hand experience of the joys and frustrations of language learning.
As a professional communicator and English foreign language teacher and consultant, I have worked with all age groups, backgrounds and professions. This has been an invaluable experience in learning what helps people to learn a language and what doesn’t.
And in addition to working with people who just want to use “general” and/or business English, I have also prepared students for the Cambridge and TOEFL exams.
So, let me be honest and “up-front” with you: “there is NO gain without pain!”
Sorry, to tell you this, but it is important that we face this problem head on. To learn a language you have to:
- have a good reason or motive to put in all the time and effort it is going to take to master the basics,
- study – in English this means you are going to have to take the time to memorize vocabulary, pronunciation, verb tenses, phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions, idioms, etc.,
- do a little each day – that’s right, devote at least a minimum of 5 minutes a day and you will, over the long run, see improvement,
- find or take what interests you personally, say, a hobby, sport, profession, etc. and then:
- read about it in English on the web, get books, journals or magazines from the library, bookstore or newsstand, tweet about it on Twitter, or find English language groups on Facebook which you can join…,
- listen to English cds, songs, web-radio, audio messages on the web,
- watch English films, dvds,
- write emails, or even start a blog in English, you can make it a private blog if you wish and share it with your English teacher, trainer or coach,
- speak in English with friends, colleagues in person, or on the phone, over Skype or other Voip software, and, for example, use the web tools available to add audio to your blog, lead tele-presentations over a web-cast.
One of the blessings of the media explosion we are currently living in, gives both language learner and coach so many practical cost efficient tools to develop language skills.
All that is required from us is to take that first step – to start using these tools, to start enjoying English as we use it to communicate to the world we are now connected with.
All the best,
Hmmm, this was supposed to have been a short intro about me…. Sorry, I got carried away a bit there… I always do when I start talking about communications and language learning….
If you have any questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.