Hello, I'm Shawn

I have been teaching English as a foreign language for over 15 years, and I've grown to understand the importance of how my students' own languages effect their English learning.  While focusing on the sounds of English and the different patterns of English writing, each student has a different view of learning which depends on their own mother tongue, culture and personality.  A strong linguistic knowledge of English (as well as each student's first language) has greatly enriched countless conversation classes I've had with over 50 students. I teach students from Year 5 to adult, in private classes and in the classroom, preparing them for Cambridge official exams, teaching them the English used in their personal lives and vocations, perfecting their English pronunciation and guiding them be better writers in school and in the business sphere.  

 
I am also a freelance writer with published articles in places like BBC's Olive Magazine, The Cultureist and Huffington Post (with syndicated articles in Brazil).  I have worked with Condé Nast Traveler Spain and Iberostar Hotels, writing travel articles with a strong SEO focus, and gastronomy reviews for MADbudget.com and Roostergnn. I also won San Diego CityBeat Magazine´s first Fiction 101 contest.   I use what I have learned as a freelance writer in the public sphere and in academia to help my students be better writers.  As in the context of pronunciation, I have found that a strong linguistic awareness of both English and the mother tongue of my students is an immense advantage in teaching good writing. 

I hold a BA in English, with emphasis in creative writing and linguistics, as well as a TEFL certificate (240 class hours) from the University of California, San Diego (Extension).  I have taken the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) with a final mark of Band 4 in Modules 1, 3 and CLIL.  I also hold a Specialized Certificate English Teaching in the Classroom from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid, Spain.  I have been an official Speaking Examiner for Cambridge ESOL.  My private students have worked in various fields - both freelance and corporate - in companies like Embraer, Colgate, BBVA, Condé Nast, Puig, Hello! Magazine, Ilunion, Complutense University in Madrid and public administration. 

My latest labor of love is a pronunciation textbook, English Pronunciation, A Brief Guide for Spanish Speakers,  focused on English learners who speak Spanish as a first language.