I use my skills as an ex-BBC journalist to present complicated subjects in an engaging way.
My approach is to explain why Britain is as it is and the British behave as they do. It’s to make sure you have enough knowledge to fully take part in living here and it’s to answer all those questions you didn’t know who to go to with.
My syllabus is “what I think you should know” and it changes constantly in response to current affairs.
The fifth language skill?
Cultural knowledge is critical to understanding how to use a language. You need to build up a body of knowledge about Britain to enable you to play a full past in discussions and conversations.
Often it is hard to know what to study and what will be useful. My classes follow a general curriculum of the areas of British life I feel you should know about but they are also tailored to your interests.
Typical lessons include Geography, Politics, Food, Comedy and Current Affairs but I have also given classes in Shopping, Beauty and Fashion
How to behave
Understanding commonly held traditions, values and ways of behaving is easier said than done and sometimes you need someone to point them out, explain them, and help you to know when to use them. This will help build cultural sensitivity and make you feel more comfortable about your interactions with the British.
British Culture Classes
To get under the skin of a country takes time and a slow and steady build up of knowledge. "Getting the back story" is essential to understand what's going on and why but it's difficult to know where to start and to work out what you don't know.
My regular classes follow a syllabus that allows you to build on your understanding, learning the back story to unlock the present. They are organised in blocks of five or six weeks, usually around the British school term. Participants sign up in advance for the block for in person classes as a regular time each week or fortnight.
Classes held on Zoom are recorded and participants can download them from this web site with a password to access the talk if you had to miss it, were interrupted or simply want to hear it again.
I give regular or one off talks to groups and societies. These often take the form of a presentation followed by usually extensive Q&A. I have spoken to Women's Groups, International Schools and groups of friends.