I have always had an interest in languages, and after having completed a degree in German and French, decided it was then time to focus on mastering Japanese; a language that I had long been fascinated with. My quest began as I became a language assistant at a small Japanese college in the UK, where by day I helped small groups of students in English exam preparation classes, and by night I diligently wrote Japanese kanji characters over and over again.
I soon realised I’d actually have to go to Japan if I really wanted to master the language, and so I got a job at a British language school and prepared for a new life in Tokyo. Somewhere in the process I developed an interest in language learning theories and the practical implications, as I started to link them with my own experiences and consider alternative ways of teaching to those I was familiar with.
As it turns out, my interest in English language teaching has continued to increase over the last ten years; whereas mastering Japanese was sidelined pretty quickly. In Japan I had the obligatory experience of teaching very young children, teenagers, business people and housewives each day, before moving on to teach on a communicative course at a university. Here I was exposed to more theories of language learning, and I was very keen to learn more about them. I returned to the UK and completed a Masters in English language teaching in the summer of 2007 and the DELTA in 2009.
Since 2007 I have been teaching English for Academic Purposes at the University of Reading and have taught on a variety of programmes from pre-foundation level to courses preparing students for post-graduate study. I enjoy all aspects of teaching EAP, but have particularly enjoyed developing materials since it allows me to be creative and use the ideas and experience that I have gained over the years. Writing the teachers’ books for the DELTA Academic Objectives series has been a great opportunity to use my experience in a different way.