Author: JENNY TUMAS
"You're from New Mexico?"
Hi! I’m Jenny Tumas and I’m a LanguageSitter®. Despite recent political insanity, I am proud to say I’m from the USA. People I meet in Slovenia are generally so excited to hear that I’m American, but their excitement wanes when they find out that, like most Americans, I am not from New York, Los Angeles, or Miami. In fact, I’m from a small town in northern New Mexico. If you don’t know where New Mexico is, don’t feel bad – most Americans don’t either!
"Yes, I know Michael Moore."
Being American in Slovenia can certainly have its perks, and it even landed me a cameo in the most recent Michael Moore film! But more importantly, being a native English speaker and someone excited about teaching and learning languages brought me to LanguageSitter®.
"There is no such thing as perfect when it comes to languages!"
I came to LanguageSitter® through an untraditional path of teaching. I was originally trained as a writing tutor and worked with both English learners and native speakers on improving their written communication. I still try to bring the same balance of attention to detail and focus on the big picture (the thesis, or main point, in writing) to all my language teaching. This work showed me that there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to languages, because even native speakers can improve the way they communicate. When working with clients at LanguageSitter®, we set goals for constant improvement, acknowledging that there are always ways to progress.
"I went from fitness instructor to language trainer."
Speaking of an untraditional route to teaching English – during the normal early-adulthood-underemployed-discovering-myself phase of my life, I worked as a fitness instructor. One key tenet of teaching fitness is that if your clients have fun, they will be motivated to get fit. We all know this is true when we teach languages to children, but somehow many teachers forget this when they begin teaching adults. As much as it sounds like a cliché, I work hard to make learning English fun. With one client who wanted to learn the name of utensils and dishes, we played games with real household items in the kitchen instead of looking at printed pictures and memorizing the names. Just last week, my client and I explored the Path of Remembrance around Ljubljana together. If you can learn and laugh, I count that as success.
"It does not seem like it should be revolutionary, but it kind of is."
LanguageSitter® brings a real-life approach to language learning. Although this doesn’t seem like it should be revolutionary, it’s a completely unique approach compared to other language schools in Slovenia. If you want to sit in a dingy classroom, fill in worksheets, and have your mistakes corrected with a red pen, you can go to any language school. But in my lessons, I work with my clients and truly integrate English into their day-to-day life – to write emails, watch movies, discuss books and the news, casually go for coffee, and chat in English. I even asked one client to pretend she was a foreigner and order everything in English when we went to a café. Her acting was great and her English even better!
"I teach you, you teach me."
My goal when teaching is to break down the student-teacher hierarchy and get to a point where we instead share our knowledge with each other. There is an unforgettable moment in each course when my clients reach a point that they are ready to teach me about their expertise – whether that’s showing me how to design social media posts for maximum impact (in English, of course!) or explaining the intricacies of diplomacy between the European Union and Balkan countries to me. In the end, we are all experts in something, and learning a new language should be about sharing your thoughts, opinions, and expertise in that new language.
"Join me, we'll have fun!"
If you’re ready to not just “learn English” but also to improve in a way that is truly adapted to your life, your interests, and your needs, sign up for a one-on-one English course with me. I guarantee we’ll have fun.
24/8/2016 06:22:38 am
I like the blog but feel pretty comfortable with my english already. I think I could have fun hanging out with you working on my spanish.
28/6/2022 06:18:35 pm
Thanks for information.
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