I retired two years ago after a career including 20 years in the Army, 16 years in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, six years as a head of a global department for HSBC and 8 years as Chairman of a company based in London and Hong Kong.
I currently enjoy teaching Chinese to a company in Guildford and to Year 10 and 11 students as an extra-curricular activity at the Ashcombe School in Dorking.
Chinese is self-evidently a hard language: its tones, characters etc make it a challenge to learn. Interestingly, I find that as a non-native Chinese speaker I can more easily help students through some of the difficulties, as I had to face the exactly the same challenges when I was learning the language.
I like to teach in an informal and relaxed environment so that the student can gain confidence at the earliest stage. I am always willing to be guided by the student`s requirements as to methodologies, speed of progress and areas of vocabulary needed.
Availability: As I am retired I can be extremely flexible on timing of lessons.
Willing to travel: 15 miles
Experience: I learned Chinese whilst in the army doing a three-year full-time course in Cantonese, written Chinese and Mandarin. Following this I qualified at Grade 1 Interpreter in Mandarin and Cantonese, was a member of the Civil Service Mandarin examination board, and achieved a distinction in the Institute of Linguists Oral Final Diploma.
I have spent 10 years in Hong Kong using my Chinese both as a government servant and businessman, regularly travelling on business in China. In addition, I did two years of charity work in Hong Kong as the only non-native speaker in the organisation supporting poor families who had no English.
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