We'll get to me in a moment. First, let's talk about you. You are probably here because you want to improve your English, and you'd like to practice conversation with a native speaker.
But, before you do that, are you in the habit of practising and exposing yourself to the English language every day? If not, then seeing a native speaker like me for an hour or two, once or twice per week, will be of limited value to you.
Our ability to remember things is a bit like how our stomachs digest food: they need input every day, and there is a limit to how much they can handle. Basically, practising for a short time every day is more important than seeing a teacher for a longer period once a week.
What are some good habits to maintain every day, you ask?
1. Choose an English book in a genre that you like (e.g. comedy or romance). If your English is already quite fluent, you can choose any book that is written in "normal", modern English (e.g. something by Ian McEwan). If you are more of a beginner, choose a book for children aged 8-10 years old, or for teenagers if your level is the famous "intermediate", (e.g. Harry Potter). Read this book out loud (not silently, or even quietly) for at least ten minutes per day. Speak loudly and clearly, as if you are talking to a room full of people and you want the person at the back to hear.
The point of this exercise is to practice speaking perfect English, not to learn lots of new words, which is why it is better to choose a book for younger people, or an article in a newspaper. You should not need to stop and check a dictionary too often.
2. Practise thinking in English. This is simple to do, but takes a while to explain, so have a look at this article for more details:
3. Listen to something in English, like a radio station that is mostly talking (e.g. BBC Radio 4), not music, or a podcast, preferably one that is an interview with two or more people talking. You can do this listening exercise in two ways. First, you can sit and actively listen for at least ten minutes per day, giving the audio your full attention. Second, you can play the audio while you are doing other things and listen passively; your brain will naturally pick up pieces of the sentence structure, and pronunciation.
4. Watch English films/TV with English subtitles. Avoid Lektor and Polish subtitles. Cartoons are great because they are short, the characters tend to speak quickly but clearly, and of course they are fun. Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is good for American voices, and Danger Mouse for British accents.
If you want to meet English speakers casually, you could try these regular, informal, free events in Poznan:
Monday evenings: English Johnny's Cafe - www.facebook.com/englishjohnnypoznan/
Tuesday evenings: Miasto Bar - www.facebook.com/eventspoznan/
Thursday evenings: Bunuba - www.facebook.com/groups/lec.poznan/
Also on Monday evenings is the Toastmasters meeting. You can visit for free as a guest before paying to join:
So, if you are practising some or all of those four habits every day, and going to at least one of those meetings, then you will get the best value from a teacher, and, to be honest, you probably don't even need a teacher for conversation :).
OK, now about me:
I am from London and I came to Poland in 2013. I have been in the English teaching industry in one way or another since 2008. I have been self-employed for most of that time, working with private clients, and I have also worked in language schools in London, Poland and Turkey.
If you would like to know more, let's talk over a nice cup of tea.