That old Jim Reeves' song is ringing in my ears. So, as Big Jim sang, "Why don't you come on in…?"
At the same time, my heart is filled with love for the English language. But, now that I have become a teacher of English, I have truly learnt just how complicated, contradictory and counter-intuitive the language is.
From a traditional background, studying at Oxford University and working at The Times (London), I set out on a working life in the media and in marketing. Now I am ready, willing and able to teach English to Students of Other Languages – TESOL or TEFL as it is often known.
My aim is to combine my established skills in speaking and writing English with a new skill as a qualified teacher with a certificate from Trinity College, London.
My ambition is to celebrate simplicity in speaking and writing the English language,
My strong conviction is simply that English needs to be simple. This is because it has become the international language of business, and we owe it to people learning and speaking our language to make it easier to speak and understand.
It is also because we native English speakers tend to create misunderstandings with each other by obfuscations (using long words which are harder to understand) and jargon.
Having always loved the English language, I have read and written it from a young age. I developed a florid writing style first at school and then at Oxford University, where I read modern history. Then I "put away childish things".
I have deconstructed my English in order to make it easier to understand. After university, I trained as a journalist, where the rule was to make copy understandable to people aged 12. Then I worked at The Times for 10 years, where the target readership was only older by a year or two.
At The Times we looked enviously at the sharp headlines and smart copy from The Sun, our sister paper in the Murdoch empire.
This belief in simplicity has been confirmed by my subsequent career:
publishing books under contract to publishers;
producing B2B magazines for companies to give to their customers or their staff;
publishing community magazines;
producing copy and content for clients of a marketing agency where I was a director.
All this has provided me with a treasure chest of materials to share with English speakers all around the world. And that is why English is such a great language – because it is flexible and adaptable and takes inspiration from many other languages and native English speakers.
So, a big welcome to my world of English.