Work with students Work with teachers Contact FAQs
Hi, I’m Jeremy Taylor, a British teacher, teacher trainer and writer. I’m based in the Czech Republic but travel a lot with my teacher training and writing. I originally worked as a biology teacher but then retrained as an EFL teacher and moved to Germany in 1987. From there I moved to Egypt where I worked for a humanitarian organisation called VSO for two years, helping to set up an ESP department in an Egyptian University. I then moved to the Czech Republic, Ireland, France and finally back to the Czech Republic. I currently work for a number of international publishers and train teachers in England, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
“I have to say that I like your way of teaching and enjoyed the course in Belfast tremendously. Being in the position of a student made me realize – yet again – that the teacher and his/her personality and attitude towards the subject being taught as well as towards the students, is a key element in everything that happens in the classroom. If the students see and sense that you are doing your work with all your heart they are likely to be more motivated and more interested in what you say or do. You are an excellent example of an enthusiastic teacher, who really is present in the teaching situation.”
My Work with Pupils/Students
Classrooms like the one on the left are a sad reality all around the world. After an hour of class, a teacher looks at her watch and only five minutes of the lesson have gone by. The teacher is bored, the students are bored, the book they are using is boring. If only there was a way of making lessons more exciting, more fun, more motivating. If only someone could visit a school and give some enthusiasm to the students (and teachers). Well, perhaps there is someone.
“Thank you once again for teaching at my school. It was a real success because all my colleagues told me that you and your style of teaching were really brilliant and fascinating!”
Tina Egger, Germany
I regularly visit schools and offer the opportunity for pupils to interact with a native speaker. In my 25 years of teaching, I have collected (mostly written) a wide range of material suitable for a wide range of levels and ages.
I have some great ice-breakers – activities I can do to help relax the pupils (as they can be pretty nervous when they first meet a native speaker). But it is not long before they are having fun and using English in a natural way. I love small group work where the task is to solve a small problem – in English.
I really don’t mind if the pupils don’t have a high level of English – as long as they are motivated to learn. My job is to bring interesting tasks that even pupils with limited English can do. I encourage teachers to join in with the pupils rather than just sitting at the side of the classroom.
This picture shows a young German student half way through a simple listening exercise. I have many parts of songs which include body parts. The pupils listen to the music and write down the body parts they hear – and then stick them on their friends’ bodies – in the correct position. It is a lot of fun – and definitely memorable.
As many pupils have never spoken to a native speaker before, I try to make the sessions as non-threatening as possible. I want the pupils to feel good about what they do know, rather than feeling bad about what they don’t know.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you for making it the most enthusiastic, joyful and inspiring class I’ve been to.”
Jenny H. England
What is suitable for one group might not be suitable for another. I am always ready to make tailor-made sessions that your pupils will enjoy. Activities can include:
- Musical listening activities
- Small group tasks
- An English Olympic Games
- Making Grammar Fun
- Collocation quiz
- Plenty of VAK
- TPR (Total Physical Response)
The exercises are not just simple gapfill ‘add a verb to this sentence’. They involve critical thinking and organisational skills. I love watching the different ways that different groups approach a particular task. I always monitor the groups to offer advice and help.
I have been teaching for 25 years and am able to modify my English so that I can talk with pupils with very basic English and make it natural. I am genuinely interested in them as people, what they think, what they like, what they don’t like and I aim to give them a lesson they will never forget.
I encourage the class teacher to stay in the room. I think this wise from a legal point of view but also it is great to see teachers and pupils enjoying something together. This has proved popular with the teachers I have worked with.
“i would like to express my sincere thanks for your teaching during my stay in ireland. i think your very intelligent. beacause you are a writter, english teacher, biology teacher and wonderful juggler. I can’t forget you forever. thanks again for your excellent teaching. Good-bye and wish your good healthy.”
Kim Hyeong, South Korea
My Work as a Teacher Trainer
Teachers are hardworking people and often have to teach 20-25 hours of English each week. They simply don’t have time to develop lots of new activities for their pupils. They are sometimes stuck with a boring textbook and would love to have some new ideas of how they can make their lessons more exciting.
Most English teachers can speak pretty good English but often feel they need to improve. While demonstrating creative activities (such as the illnesses activity pictures on the left), they will also pick up a lot of new vocabulary.
I like to present tasks that the teachers can then use with their students. In this case, they are debating how to cut an A4 piece of paper so that someone can climb through the hole in the middle.
“Jeremy was a fantastic teacher. Very engaging and upbeat. I have learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed myself.”
I get the feeling that many teachers have a bad impression of Teacher Development sessions. They have to sit and listen to some ‘expert’ lecture them about their latest theory which has no relevance to the classroom at all . As you may have guessed, that is not my style.
I am a fan of Lord Nuffield who said: I hear – and I forget. I see – and I remember. I do – and I understand. So there is always lots of ‘doing’ in my teacher development sessions. The best way for teachers to find out about an activity is to do it. After trying out an activity we discuss whether they could use it with their own students – and, if necessary, how the activity can be modified.
Teachers who want to sit at the back of the class and sleep will be disappointed. 🙂
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything we learned on the course last weekend. You were truly inspirational and a great support to us all.
Pam G, England
Although I may only have a few hours with a group of teachers I try to hard to see their strengths and weaknesses and to build on their strengths and support them with their weaknesses. I appreciate the time that they have given up to come on the course and I want them to get the maximum benefit from the activities.
“Highly recommended. Jeremy was/is a very good teacher. No praise high enough!!”
I try to keep my activities short and sweet and varied – as I would for a session with students. I encourage pairwork, small group work and sometimes the whole group working together. One example of a fun session I do is when I teach a class completely in an exotic foreign language. It really helps teachers remember what it was like to be a learner again.
“Just a quick note to say how inspired I was by the weekend. No wonder you teach – you have a real knack for it. There were so many activities, we were constantly stimulated and bombarded with good ideas that the time flew by.”
Sam C, England
Some trainers will do their ‘show’ and then disappear. I am happy to spend time with teachers, giving them the opportunity to ask questions – or simply to practise their English.
“Hi Jeremy, you terrific teacher, I enjoyed staying in Barnstaple Devon and your kind of teaching was a great pleasure. We had lot´s of fun with your stories (!), learned a lot talking with you and you´re teaching is kind of WOW.”
How long are your sessions?
They could be just a few hours and they could be two weeks. Realistically, I think it makes sense to have either one day, or two. One arrangement I have with a school in Germany is that I teach pupils in different classes all morning on day one, have lunch, then work with the teachers in the afternoon. On day two I have more classes with pupils and then leave after lunch.
How much do you cost?
Well that will depend on where you are and how long you want me for. I try to arrange teaching/training sessions in the same area to cut down on travelling costs. The price will include travel expenses, accommodation and meals. Contact me with a request and I can give you a quote.
What age groups do you work with?
I have worked with seven year olds, but most of my pupils are secondary, from 11-18.
Some of our students have a very poor level of English. Can you still work with them?
Definitely. As long as they want to learn, I will do everything to help them. Please let me know the approximate language level of a group beforehand if possible.
Some of our teachers are interested in technology. Can you help them?
Well I’m not Bill Gates, but I have a number of technological things that I use – and I am happy to pass on. My technological activities require virtually no computer skills. I recommend teachers bring a USB stick with them to copy the material.
Can you provide material for our teachers to work with?
Yes. I will have worksheets – and will provide digital copies for teachers to use with their pupils.
I see you take a lot of nice photographs. Can we have some?
I’ll gladly send you copies of the best photos.
Teaching, training, writing, photography. Any other talents?
Well, some juggling is often a popular end to my sessions with pupils.
Any chance of getting one of your books?
If I have copies, I’ll bring one along. I’ll organise a competition and the winner of the competition will get a prize – which may, subject to availability, be one of my books.
The best way to contact me is by e.mail jeremytaylorwriter [at] gmail.com Feel free to write in your own language.
A few final quotes about my training.
Matt, London ” I thought that the weekend would involve sitting in a class, listening to theory and taking notes in a very diligent tweed-and-leather-elbow-patch kind of way. How wrong could I be? I had a truly fantastic time, everyone got into the spirit of things and the teaching was engaging and fun. I really think it was one of those life-changing events that you hear people talk about and I’m so glad that I’ve experienced one as well.”
Patricia, Paris: I have now completed the course and can I say how fantastic it was. Jeremy Taylor was really excellent, very charismatic and a wonderful teacher. I have been teaching since 1979 and have been a Head of Dept (History) where I have observed many teachers, so I feel I know an excellent teacher when I see one.
I have informed my bosses here how good the course was and how they should consider Some form of INSETn TEFL training for all our staff.
“Thank you again for having come to Vorarlberg. From what the participants told me, it was a really successful session and I will communicate that also to the Pädagogische Hochschule.”
Joachim Wiesner, Austria