Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Lyston Gatsi Kavendekete. I am a Zimbabwean. I am currently living and working in Thailand as an ESL teacher. I have been living in Thailand for over seven years. I have been a teacher for over seventeen years. When the opportunity to be part of Best Teacher arose, I could not resist. Best Teacher gave me the opportunity to do what I enjoy doing and I could do it at any time of the day. It was also a chance to meet Japanese students. It was also an honor to become part of a great organization like Best Teacher.
What have you found interesting, surprising, or even difficult through at teaching at Best Teacher?
I have been with Best Teacher for over five months and I have not found anything to be difficult. On the contrary, I have met students who are really interested in learning the English language. I have been surprised by the number of countries my students have visited and the amount of knowledge they have of the world. It is really mind boggling. My students are easy to talk to and we have a lot of fun during lessons.
Can you talk about tips and know-how for learning a language?
The best way to learn a second language is by continuous practice. It is also important to take note of the feedback from the teachers and follow up on the advice they give. Most important is to never give up. It is easy to throw up our hands in despair when learning gets difficult. However, if one is patient, learning a second language can be a very rewarding experience.
How many languages do you speak?
I am fluent in English, Thai, Isizulu, and Shona. I also speak passable Portuguese. I grew up speaking English and Shona. Isizulu and Portuguese are both spoken in countries neighboring Zimbabwe so they were easy to pick up. I also speak Thai because I am currently living in Thailand and I took Thai language courses. I also use Thai when I speak to Thai people who cannot speak English.
What do you think of English Education in Japan?
My opinion on English education in Japan is based on my experiences with my students. Most of the students can read and write in English. The main challenge is verbal communication. From what I gathered from my students, English in Japan is a classroom language and is rarely if ever used outside it. Most students realize the importance of English well after they have finished university or when their jobs demand the use of English. This places students at a disadvantage to their peers around the world who use English more frequently.
What makes you special in teaching English at Best Teacher?
The most important thing for me is that my students are comfortable and are having fun. There must always be an element of fun, playfulness and the unexpected during lessons. I would like my students to be at the center of the learning process. I never anticipate difficulty and I always look forward to meeting my students. That is the key. I want my students to enjoy what they are doing. Learning should not become a chore. I also make sure my students get more time to speak and express themselves during lessons. My job is to guide them as they go along and correct them when really necessary. At the end of the lesson, I make sure I give feedback to my students on how they have performed and encourage them to do better. The trick is letting my students visualize the endless possibilities that speaking English provides for them.
Do you have any encouraging message for students?
I would like my students to know that trying to learn a second language is an achievement in itself. Taking the first step by joining Best Teacher is one of the best decisions you have ever made. Learning English is the easy part. All that is required of you is patience and the desire to continuously better yourself. My lessons are always fun and entertaining and I want my students to look forward to the next lesson. It is easier to learn when the process in fun and enjoyable. The students should not be afraid of making mistakes because mistakes are part of the learning process.