About

English Teacher Melanie

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I know who you are, because I am just like you.

Hi, I’m Melanie, and I am passionate about helping you become the English speaker that you dream of being.

You and I are language learners. How old were you when you started learning English? In Canada, everyone has to learn French in school. I was 8 years old when I started learning French. I have had the same experience as you.

I know your dreams, because I have the same dreams. You want to sound like a native English speaker (and I want to sound like a native French speaker). You want to watch American movies and TV shows and understand what everyone is saying. You want to speak to a native English speaker without panicking.

I know your frustrations, because I have the same frustrations.

My French teachers were very lovely people. They were good teachers and loved French. I learned a lot from them and I did well in school. Most of my French teachers were not native French speakers, however, and you can’t get used to natural spoken French if you don’t hear it all the time. I remember reading a lot of textbooks, but the stories didn’t represent real life. I memorized lots of words and grammar rules, but I still can’t speak French fluently.

I also studied at a private language school in Paris, France for a month, but I couldn’t understand how I was going to learn French when I was speaking to German, Swedish, Mexican, and Japanese students who were learning French, too. I learned more from the French family that I lived with!

I know the excuses that you make not to study, because I have made the same excuses. I know how exciting it is when someone compliments you on how well you speak. I know that you are trying to figure why you can’t understand a native English speaker when you have studied so hard and you know so many grammar rules. And I know that you are wondering why you don’t sound like a native English speaker even though you know lots of words.

I know that you may feel lost and confused and that you are shouting WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY ENGLISH???

I know that English is important. I know that improving your English means getting a better job, possibly at an international company. I know that getting a better job means more money and a better life for you and your family.

This website is for you, and I am so glad that you are here. Consider yourself my student! You’ve spent your whole life learning English in a classroom or from a textbook. That hasn’t worked. Now it’s time to learn how English is naturally spoken.

I am here to help! I am on a mission to help you become the English speaker you want to be!

 

THIS IS MY STORY

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with an illness called chronic fatigue syndrome. It is not fun at all. I couldn’t work full-time, but I needed to survive. I didn’t know what I was going to do long-term, but in the meantime I decided to get my TESL certificate. (TESL = Teaching English as Second Language. It’s the certificate required by the Canadian government to teach ESL in Canada.)

Teaching English is something I always wanted to do. I thought this certificate was a good thing to have because no matter where I went in the world, I would always have a job, and I could spend my time talking to people from around the world and learning all about them!

I briefly taught at a private language school downtown Toronto, and I realized what a waste of time and money these schools are. I realized that you are not going to improve your English by talking to other people learning English. You improve your English by listening and talking to native speakers.

4 Truths About Learning English

While I was in school doing my TESL certificate, I met another teaching who was teaching English on the internet. On the internet! What a great idea! I had never thought about that, but I thought it was a great way for people to learn English without ever leaving their country … or without ever leaving their house!

I got a job teaching with Englishtown. It was like a bootcamp for English teachers. It didn’t pay very well, but I learned so much! I taught students from all over the world in group lessons and private lessons.

I knew I could do a better job and better connect with English learners if had my own website and my own virtual classroom.

I also discovered a French woman on the internet who had a podcast where she talked about her life in France. I loved it! I love French, I love France and I love hearing about her life in France & the little things that are different from life in Canada.

And then I thought, maybe I could help English learners by telling them real stories about things that happened in my daily life in Canada!

I started my website in October 2009 and my YouTube channel in 2010. For six years, I tried many, many different ideas to help English learners improve their English.

Most importantly, I listened to English learners. I talked to English learners on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I listened to their questions and their frustrations. This made me a better teacher.

My health had always been a problem. I couldn’t accomplish everything I wanted to because I was always tired and I only had a few hours a day when I could think clearly.

Things changed in 2015. My health improved drastically with a radical change in my diet. I could finally get more work done. And I could finally share all my ideas about the best way to learn English.

 

THIS IS WHAT THIS WEBSITE IS ABOUT

This website is where I help you move from the classroom into the real world. This is where I teach you how to understand natural spoken English.

I help you think about English differently and I help you change the way you learn English.

In 2012, I discovered core vocabulary, and it completely changed the way I teach English. It will change the way you learn English.

When I was studying French, I thought every word was the most important word ever, and I thought I had to memorize every single word I saw or read. This was a bad idea. I can’t remember most of those words.

What if I told you that not all words are equal? Some words are more important than others. Some words are used more frequently than others. What if I told you that your English will improve when you start learning the most common words in English?

Learn more about core vocabulary.

One of the most common questions I get from English learners is about prepositions.

“What are the rules about using prepositions?”
“How can I learn to use prepositions?”

I couldn’t understand why so many English learners were asking the same questions. Were they asking about prepositions of place? Prepositions of time?

I thought about this for a while, and then I realized that they were actually asking about collocations. Collo-what?!

English is more than individual worlds. Knowing lots of words doesn’t help you understand English, because you still need to know how all those words go together in a sentence.

Learn more about collocations

English learners like you have told me that one of their biggest problems is that they can’t understand native speakers when they speak naturally. When native speakers talk naturally they speak quickly. I also learned from English learners like you that there aren’t a lot of resources on the internet to help you improve your listening skills.

So I created a series of listening lessons about life in Canada! This series of lessons is called the English Teacher Melanie Podcast. Each episode of the podcast is a complete listening lesson. Each listening lesson includes a story about something that happened in my daily life in Canada (written using core vocabulary), and a pronunciation tip to help you learn the secrets of natural spoken English. You get double the benefits: You learn core vocabulary AND you learn how to understand natural spoken English. And it’s 100% free.

The English Teacher Melanie Podcast

How can you learn all these things, understand them and remember them?

I created a workbook for you. Well, actually, a lot of workbooks. Starting with listening lesson 19, there are workbooks for each listening lesson. These workbooks will take your English to the next level. You will actually learn how to understand natural spoken English AND you will learn how to sound like a native speaker. You will learn, understand, and remember all the core vocabulary, collocations, phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms and sentence structures used in each listen lesson story. Phew! That’s a lot of information in one workbook!

 

I AM CANADIAN

Yeah, I’m not American, but I sound like one. There are a couple of things where I sound different, but it’s not a big deal. I have a video about this coming soon. I speak with a general American accent.

I know that people prefer to learn American English, so here on my website I use American words, American spelling and American pronunciation.

I was born & raised in Canada and I have lived here all my life. Currently I live in a small town north of Toronto.

  • I love traveling. I’ve been to 43 countries around the world. I spent five years as a tour guide in Europe. I love Hawaii and New York City. I learned how to scuba dive in Honduras. I collect Hard Rock Cafe pins from my travels.
  • I have a chronic illness. Sometimes there are weeks between blog posts because I am sick and not able to work.
  • I have been to Disney World 8 times. I have seen all 54 Disney animated movies and I can name all 13 Disney princesses in order.
  • I studied business at university. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree. I went to an all-girls private high school. I loved wearing a uniform to school!
  • I love scrapbooking & photography. I take lots of photos. I am always on Pinterest & Instagram.
  • My favourite TV show is Lost.
  • I used to horseback ride when I was younger. I also did gymnastics. I love to dance.
  • I love maple syrup.

And I can’t wait to learn more about you!

Welcome to EnglishTeacherMelanie.com

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