Phone: 01 42 93 10 52
Portable: 06 83 27 23 80
Address: 75017 Paris, France

Maria D’Arcy, the English Teacher Lisez cette page in français

Maria D’Arcy, English teacher in Paris.

What motivated me to become a teacher is inequality

At school, there are the Stars who score “A” in everything, who answer every question and are the teachers’ favourites. Then there are the others.

It is said there is a self-fulfilling prophecy insofar that if you think you are worth nothing you don’t try enough and thus attain nothing. I think encouraging and praising all students is the key to achievement. The weaker the student feels the more they need support. “Nothing succeeds like success.” Of course, pedagogical clarity is essential too. I trained as a primary school teacher, first and learned the rudiments of pedagogy. Indeed I went further.

As a teacher I have explored many psychological techniques and pedagogical methods (see my résumé) to include in my own lessons, and if ever I feel a trainee is not making enough progress I question my methods and seek better ones. In life we are in constant evolution, and if we are not growing we are declining so I voraciously attend educational seminars to find better ways, knowing that each student is unique and responds quickly to some exercises and not to others. Not everyone can learn by reading and writing—some need to see colours, gestures, to chant, to sing, to play even to close their eyes and let the lesson sink in slowly. All is possible in my class.

Yes, I admit I am ambitious. My goal is that everyone comes out of my class feeling better about themselves as a human being and with a clearer grasp of English. Learning can be compared to climbing a mountain with 100 viewing points. The higher you climb the better the view but the climb requires an effort.

With individual lessons I often think I’m like a doctor. I get a sense of what the students’ difficulties are and ask what’s wrong (grammar, vocabulary, confidence, conversation, presentation skills), and together we make a list of things the student would like to say in English, to whom, where and when. Then we concentrate on these specific objectives, though the trainee can ask any passing questions along the way. Mistakes are welcome, daring to speak is the most important criteria. The homework exercise that is given (whether it is a written, listening, speaking or memorising activity) is like a prescription towards health in the English language.

The Teacher becomes the Learner

The difference between teaching children and teaching English to adults is that I discover worlds that are different from mine. In finding the vocabulary and structures that students need I’ve learned about law, technology, fashion, finance, acting, production, hunting and even boxing, to name but a few.

It doesn’t matter what domain you specialise in—if you bring your manuals, letters, articles or files we have the texts we need. I ask questions until I understand, and in the process you use all the structures in basic English and I’ll correct your explanation as it becomes clearer to me. Then you note the perfect sentences that you need frequently and memorise them until they become automatic responses. I offer several different techniques to help you memorise.

Contact: Maria D’Arcy 75017 Paris France
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 93 10 52; e-mail:

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