In 2001 I graduated from James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia with a degree in Philosophy. The next year I moved to Prague, in the Czech Republic, where I obtained a CELTA certificate. I spent a year teaching business English to adults in Prague. The following year I moved to Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, and started teaching English to young learners aged 4 to 15.
In 2003 I came to Japan to teach English. I taught elementary and middle school children, as well as adults. In 2008 I received an MA in TESOL from Temple University, and began teaching at the university level.
I am interested in a wide range of research topics, including motivation, teaching strategies for listening in the classroom, classroom material authoring and design, extensive reading among young learners, and ability acquisition within the critical period.
I typically start the class with a short lecture concerning the targets of the day. I like to try and elicit information from the students, so I often ask questions. I think it’s important that students tap into their existing knowledge, and relate it to the material at hand.
I believe time to practice and engage in the language is vital, so there is often plenty of opportunities to use the language in class. I’m a proponent of the authentic use of the language, so there will be a fair amount of pair activities as well as some group activities.
I encourage students to be active, ask questions, and feel comfortable in class. My aim is to provide a relaxed atmosphere that is conducive to learning and practicing English, with the hope that students continue their explorations outside of the classroom and beyond their college years.