Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Audrey オードリー

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Audrey オードリー Tutor Interview

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Q. Hi Audrey! Would you kindly give a brief self-introduction to the Cafetalk community?

A. Hello, I am a tutor, a student, a nutritional consultant and a mother of 3 children.

I was born in Hong Kong. I came to Canada to attend university, went back to Hong Kong for a few years, and moved here with my parents almost 20 years ago.

Before my two younger children were born, I worked in a law firm as a legal secretary. Then I realized that was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to do a job that I can help people and to make a positive change in their lives. So I quit my office job and attended nutrition school for one year. After I graduated, I worked in a weight loss center and health supplements store.

I have been a student on Cafetalk for 2 years, studying Japanese. Then last fall, I decided to teach on Cafetalk. It is the best decision I have ever made in my life, and it is the best job I have ever had!

Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from. What was it like growing up in Hong Kong?

A. Hong Kong is a very fast-paced city, with an amazing night view, great food and great shopping. It is a fun place to visit; however, it is a stressful place to live in. Everybody works very hard and rarely takes a break.

I am an only child. So growing up was a bit lonely. However, I have many cousins whom I saw every weekend. I have great friends from elementary school, whom I still keep in touch with. Some of them have moved to Toronto.

Q. You’ve moved to Toronto almost 20 years ago. What is it like living in Toronto?

A. When I first moved here, I didn’t really like it. I missed the bustling life in Hong Kong. It took me about a year to get used to the peaceful lifestyle. Most Torontonians are very friendly and helpful. People are very relaxed, even in the work place (laugh). I seemed to be the only person who was in a rush to get the job done.

I live in the suburbs of Toronto. There is a large Asian population here. We have lots of Chinese plazas and restaurants. It is like a mini Hong Kong.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. I enjoy reading crime novels, watching Japanese dramas online, going to the gym, and playing with the kids. When the weather is warm (10 degrees is considered warm in Toronto), I like to take walks in the neighbourhood.

I am also studying Japanese. I take Japanese lessons on Cafetalk about once a week.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background? What got you into teaching, and what motivated you to keep pursuing this career?

A. Ever since I graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2006, I have been working in the wellness industry.

I joined Cafetalk as a student about 2 years ago. Then at the end of last summer, I decided to offer lessons on Cafetalk. I have always liked to teach. When I was a kid, I practiced English by pretending to be a teacher and “teaching” my stuffed animals and Barbies. Now, I am helping my two younger children with their homework.

My one year teaching in a middle – high school in Hong Kong was a great experience. I taught English and history to grades 8-11 students. Teaching is a very rewarding job. I feel I can positively influence students.

My students on Cafetalk are mostly adults. Some of them are regulars. I talk to them once a week on Cafetalk, and we have built a good relationship. Two of my students are also my Japanese teachers. We ‘see’ each other so frequently that we are like friends.

When I see students working so hard to improve their knowledge, it pushes me harder to be a better teacher. We have to keep moving forward, learn new things to improve ourselves.

Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your “lesson style”?

A. My lesson style is very relaxed. For new students, I will ask them to introduce themselves- starting with their names, which city they live in, what they do, hobbies and interests, etc. Then we will elaborate more on each topic. I also ask them their reasons and goals in studying English. Some students learn English as a hobby, and some learn it because they need it at work. Understanding their goals help me plan the lesson topics accordingly. I let them talk, and when they are stuck with the right word or make a grammar mistake, then I correct them, and write the sentences on the chat-box. I know a few Japanese words, so that helps.

A detailed lesson review is sent after the lesson. Recently, I added the “Reading the News together and expressing your opinion” lesson. The students who have been taking the conversation lesson have switched to this new lesson, and they like it. I find that this lesson really helps students express their opinion in English.

Q. Can you maybe explain your background in health and nutrition, and what related lessons you offer?

A. I took a one year course in nutrition 12 years ago. I also took a course in personal training. I have over 10 years experience working in a weight loss clinic, and health supplement store. I have also worked in a gym as a personal trainer. I am knowledgeable in using foods, supplements and exercises in achieving optimal health. My specialty is weight loss and how to deal with stress and anxiety.

Wellness lessons

  1. Nutrition and Wellness Consultation
  2. Eating and Emotions, stress and anxiety.
  3. 1-2-3 weight loss – It is a 3 step weight loss program, as easy as 1,2,3.
Q. Your most popular lesson is your “Everyday English 30 Min” lesson pack. Can you tell us a bit about that lesson and maybe give us a hint as to why this lesson is so popular?

A. This is a 5 lesson pack. It is more economical for the students. This lesson pack can be used for the conversation lesson and the “Reading the News Together and Expressing your Opinion” lesson.

Q. Is there any of your lessons you recommend?

A. I highly recommend the “Reading the News Together and Expressing your opinion” lesson. It is suitable for intermediate and above. Students pick the news articles and they freely express their opinion. There is no right or wrong answer. Sometimes I ask questions to guide them in the right direction.

The “Learn English through Pictures” lesson is also fun. I show them 2-3 pictures during the lesson. The student describes the pictures. I transcribe everything they say, and make necessary changes (more suitable vocabulary and grammar) in the lesson review.

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

A. I would like to thank all the students that I have met on Cafetalk, especially the regular ones. I want to give a big hug to those that have given me a chance when I was still a new tutor, and are still with me now. To my future students, I am looking forward to meeting you. Feel free to talk about anything and ask me questions. I am sure we will have fun together.

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Audrey オードリー


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