I've been lucky enough to teach in Asia, Europe and the US, leading ESL classes from beginner to advanced levels. My students have included business people, undergraduates, university applicants and young learners, working both both one-to-one and in classes of every size. I began writing materials when working for VSO in rural China, where resources were scarce, and have enjoyed adding to my files of games, exercises, readings, quizzes and other activities ever since.
My first serious ESL job was as a teacher trainer, and so I gained a respect for Communicative Methodology, developing methods of maximizing student engagement, enthusiasm and participation. I have the firm belief that the best way to learn is to *do*, and regard the spontaneous production of language as the true aim of ESL teaching. I enjoy posing ethical and moral problems, requiring students to argue against or defend a position, and challenging pre-conceived notions which stem from culture and history. More times than I can remember, I have seen long-standing cultural barriers broken down by an increased ability to use English, and think of language as a fantastic way to broaden horizons and encourage tolerance and friendship among ethnically various classes.
In 1996 and 1997 I received scholarships to study the trumpet at Oxford, and my 1999 masters thesis on the music of Alexander Scriabin was awarded a Distinction. I won the Boston University Composers Competition in 2009. More recently, I was awarded 'Teacher of the Year' at EF Boston for 2013.
I was fortunate to be invited to study at Oxford University and Trinity College of Music, where I gained BA (hons) and MMus degrees in music, focusing on trumpet performance. I then earned my CELTA certification at Regents Oxford and spent the next seven years gaining teaching experience in Asia and Britain. In 2007, I began a Doctorate in Music Composition at Boston University, graduating in 2011.
Having lived all over the world, I am based in Boston where I'm supporting my amazing wife Jenny as she finishes her PhD in archaeology. When not writing fiction and scholarly articles, I continue to play the trumpet and compose music, love the beach and snorkeling and play squash. I'm becoming an enthusiastic amateur chef and watch a lot of movies.