This page explains my background and experience, and my teaching philosophy.
Academic and Teaching experience:
Some key points are below:
(1) BA (Hons) and MA from Oxford University, where I studied Politics , Philosophy and Economics.
(2) 5 years in advertising: US advertising agency Benton & Bowles on multinational accounts.
(3) Post-graduate Diploma in Law from Westminster University.
(4) 20 years teaching and owning a language school in London.
General English – highly focused courses at particular levels – to help students to progress rapidly and eliminate errors.
Business English – courses for multinational banks and manufacturing companies: including Toshiba, Honda, Sumitomo, Tokyo Marine, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Bank, Mitsubishi Corporation.
Exam preparation: including IELTS, Cambridge, GMAT.
Business writing courses for native professionals at the Financial Services Authority (UK government regulatory body).
I sold the business and returned to my hometown in the north of England in 2008 for family reasons.
(5) Manchester University: 2008 to 2010: General English, IELTS, Pre-sessional
(6) PW English – Preston: this is my own small business – high quality, focused, language courses.
I believe that anyone can learn to speak English fluently and accurately. However, it takes effort, and time.
In particular, I believe that it is important to practise getting the language right – avoiding mistakes. This means that rapid personal feedback is important, and then that errors are corrected – this is the learning process. In many cases this doesn’t happen – and students continue to make the same mistakes – often basic errors – again and again. In my experience those students who become successful users of English have had to work hard to eliminate errors.
A teacher can help in this process by giving feedback and intensive practise. If this does not happen, it is unlikely that a student will ever become a highly competent user of English. Everyone can do it – but many fail to achieve their potential. I regard it as my job to encourage every student to reach his or her potential. And, as far as possible, to make the process enjoyable.
The following section is a more personal statement:
My name is Paul Winterbottom. I was born in 1958 in Blackburn (in the North of England) – so I’m 52, although I feel younger! I went to Oxford University where I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I had a great time at Oxford and after I finished there I moved to London.
In London I worked in London for an American advertising agency for a few years, before going back to University in London to do a post-graduate Law course.
I met my ex-wife – who is Japanese – whilst I was teaching to pay for Law School. I enjoyed teaching and decided to start a language school rather than work as a lawyer. For 20 years I taught in and owned a language school in London.
When I got divorced I left the school to my wife, and came back to the North of England. I taught at Manchester University from 2008 to 2010.
Now, my aim to is teach high quality courses to small groups of students in Preston – which is near my home town. My aim is to use all my experience to ensure the maximum benefit to those students who attend the courses – though effort is required on their part!
I have two beautiful and intelligent (of course!) daughters – Sarah and Katharine.
Sarah is at Manchester University now – but she is spending a year in Brazil and Argentina as part of her course. Katharine has just finished school in London, and is having a gap year when she plans to travel before going to Manchester University in 2012 is still at school in London.
I have one brother, Michael Winterbottom. He is a film director, and has made films with a lot of famous people including Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslett and Jude Law. If you are interested in films you can Google his name to find out more.
There are some pictures of him with Angelina Jolie below:
I like to think I have a lot of interests. I particularly like reading – especially history and biography at the moment – and I like salsa dancing. I like Latin culture and used to have a house in both Spain and Colombia. I have recently become interested in rock climbing – and am taking a course to learn how to do it without falling off.
I’m going to the gym regularly because I want to be fitter and stronger. I find it difficult to keep going – but this time I am determined that it will be a regular part of my life.