A proper introduction!
Hi, I’m Marie-Claire. You may recognise me from the Live Classes for IELTS and OET or have perhaps taken tutorials with me. I’m based in Bath in the UK, famous for its Roman Baths, Georgian architecture and beautiful surrounding countryside. I was born in London and am actually half-Dutch. I have a long history of teaching English and a background in languages and cognitive psychology.
I did my initial ESL training at International House in London, where I first taught refugees from all over the world, but my interest in languages goes back to when I was at school, learning French and German. I have always regarded language as a tool for communication and a window to exploring other cultures.
I have lived and worked in Andalusia, Paris, Berlin (before the wall came down!), New York and Saudi Arabia most recently.
I speak French, conversational German and Spanish, and Arabic is an ongoing endeavour, although I have to say, it is a very challenging language indeed! Most recently, I have travelled in Oman, India, Turkey and Egypt, and Odessa is next on my list!
I have been preparing students for both the General and Academic pathway for IELTS here at E2 Language. I take the Reading Live Classes and am a huge advocate of developing reading skills. I find that students struggling in this area either need to refine their techniques in order to successfully process and understand texts, or they may need to extend their lexical resource.
Undoubtedly, IELTS is a very prescriptive test, so a clear understanding of how to approach each of the question types is essential, and I provide tips on typical mistakes to avoid. Another point I make to students is that extensive reading will also help to improve writing skills as it is the best way to widen your knowledge of vocabulary through paraphrasing, and absorbing useful organisational language (cohesive devices) to link your ideas and structure your essay writing.
Prior to working for E2Language, I was training Saudi English teachers and preparing them for the IELTS, and before that, I was teaching small international groups of students to pass IELTS in order to gain entrance to British universities, both in a Foundation College and the independent schools sector.
As an official OET provider, teaching within a medical context adds an interesting dimension to English language preparation. I wouldn’t say I’m ready to perform a gall bladder operation just yet, but joking aside, I thoroughly enjoy the role play aspect of the speaking practices and helping students with the finer points of achieving the clinical assessment criteria, such as conveying empathy!
Aside from the language input, acculturalisation also plays a part. Previously, I have worked with trainee doctors and nurses and their lament was always ‘We know the medical terminology, but we struggle with appropriate language when talking to patients and adapting our language for non-medical professionals!’
You may have attended my Live Classes for reading and writing (doctors & nurses). These are fun sessions with a high level of student participation. There is a lot to cover so we have to move at a brisk pace. Expectations and pressures are high, so as far as possible, we try to simulate timing similar to the actual test experience. Of course, the option is always there to review all of our materials and follow up independently, but I find those students who book tutorials, generally fine-tune their understanding best, and get that all-important detailed feedback.
My role as an OET and IELTS teacher
- To build rapport with students and find out their specific needs
- To come up with strategies and resources to further students understanding of applying language in context
- To provide clear and constructive feedback on strengths and areas to improve
- To encourage active learning and build confidence
- To deepen students’ understanding of the assessment criteria
- To refine students’ language skills to effectively process and produce the target language of English
My secret weapon as an OET and IELTS teacher!
Psychology background – knowledge of cognition (memory & language acquisition) and NLP research. If you’d like to know more, just ask!
Meeting students from around the world and new challenges are what keep me doing this job – I am confident in my abilities as a teacher due to a secure knowledge base and plenty of experience across different settings, both corporate and vocational. If I were to condense what I consider to be my main attributes, I would hope for the following:
- Transmitting a positive state – I believe students pick up on this and it is infectious!
- Establishing rapport – interactive communication should be modelled by the teacher, ‘n’est ce pas?’
- Clarity – accessibility facilitates participation
So, thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to meeting you soon😊
What some of my students have said
‘I would also like to emphasize that I am a big fan of the classes of prof. Marie-Claire. I would also like to thank for her very professional art of explaining of the reading skills. Her way of speaking, explaining as well as her speaking voice is very pleasant and understandable.’
Erika Porter (IELTSAcademic)
‘I have learned many strategies from Marie-Claire to improve my speaking and writing. I found these steps very helpful and feasible to be taken. She is an absolutely supportive OET and IELTS teacher with focusing on students’ weaknesses and highlighting their strength to build up self-confidence.’
Dr Neda Dadbakhsh, Iran (OET)
‘Marie-Claire communicates smoothly and tries not to leave any misunderstanding. Her explanations were perfect, she explains how to write or answer questions in many ways and is having a thorough understanding of the material. She has experience in knowing the weak points for student and teach them how they work on them in short time. Good encouragement and support.’
Dr Mohammed Ahmed, Libya (OET )