Tom McKiernan is returning in a new capacity as our Manager of Instruction at The Language Boutique. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Tom is a big believer in encouraging independent, exploratory, hands-on learning.
1. Tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself
Fun Fact 1: During my time studying Spanish in Mexico City, I found out the hard way that being cautious and exercising some restraint when purchasing fruit from the city’s street vendors is highly important.
Fun Fact 2: Despite recently graduating from my postgraduate studies, having presented research worthy of ‘distinction’, the achievement that I am most proud of to date is passing my driving test on the first attempt.
2. What type of lessons do you teach at The Language Boutique?
At the moment, I teach 1:1 classes of English to native and non-native speakers. Further, I am responsible for the academic management of classes, curricula and student development across the company.
3. What kind of activities do you use in your lessons?
There is no simple answer to this question; as all clients of The Language Boutique are afforded a unique program of study, which carefully considers their learning style, strengths, and weaknesses, the activities that I choose to use in one class are often different to those I might use in another. I often use activities which allow my students to meet their aims in a way that compliments their unique needs as an individual.
4. What do you most enjoy about teaching?
What gets me out of bed each morning is knowing that my work yields real, measurable, tangible growth in the abilities of my students.
5. What teaching experience do you have?
Now, I have worked for The Language Boutique for almost two years, having first joined in February 2014 and then taking time out to pursue my Masters. I have around two years’ experience working in British universities, teaching EAP to undergraduate students, and around two years’ experience working with young learners and adults in both Spain and the UK.
6. Do you follow a particular style of teaching?
When suitable, I like to take on the role of ‘facilitator’ in the classroom so as to promote student-lead, enquiry-based learning. I am a big believer in encouraging independent, exploratory, hands-on learning.