Today let’s learn about Smith’s School of English Katsura language coach, Tom Tichy.

Interview by Edward Iwaskow (EI).

Tom Tichy, SSE Katsura coach, and artist.

EI: Hi Tom. Thanks for joining me today.

TT: Hi Ed, Good Morning.

EI: OK. First question. Where were you born?

Tom Tichy (TT): I was born in the Czech republic.

EI: Where did you go to school?

TT: I went to school in my hometown village. Elementary school and junior high school in my hometown village then I went to high school not far away.

EI: What did you do after high school?

TT: After high school I did my civil service in my home country. And then I moved to England, to London.

EI: How long were you in England, and what were you doing there?

TT: In England I stayed for almost 8 years, over 7 years. Initially I went there to develop my English skills. Studied English there. I did various job in England, over the years. And I could get my Cambridge proficiency certificate there, before moving to Japan.

EI: Very impressive.

TT: Thank you.

EI: A little more casual. What do you do on your days off?

TT: I do cycling. I like to draw. And I often spend time with my family, my wife and my daughter. Preferably in nature.

EI: Excellent. Excellent. OK, now let’s get serious about English study.

EI: What do you enjoy most about teaching English?

TT: For me personally it’s the interaction with my students. I really enjoy that. And seeing the development [is] really something I can take home, as a feeling of really, satisfaction, probably. That’s really great for me.

EI: As a European, can I ask how many languages you speak?

TT: Sure. Fluently, two. My native Czech language and then English. I do speak Japanese but I wouldn’t call it fluent yet.

EI: I’ve heard you speak Japanese, I think you’re excellent.

TT: Thank you!

EI: What advice do you have for someone starting to study a new language?

TT: From my personal view and level I would say just go for it. Don’t worry about mistakes. Enjoy it. Find something related to the language, if it’s music, culture, something you really like. Anything you can make a connection with is great. Go for it. Don’t worry about mistakes. Enjoy.

EI: Your school is Katsura in Kyoto. What are the good points about your Smith’s school?

TT: Well I would say #1: it’s such a friendly environment. There is no pressure. Something I really really try to do with all my students, just relax and really enjoy talking and using the language. Enjoy talking and using the language. Lots of freedom in the way of students’ choices. Meaning, when my students want to travel, i do focus on travelling language. When my students are interested in their business, whatever it may be, i do focus on that of course. I never try to push on my students something, just what I want to do. Their input is as important as mine.

EI: Very Student centred.

TT: Yes, thank you.

EI: OK, now let’s get a little silly.

TT: Sure!

EI: What is the best music to relax to?

TT: In my view, for me, definitely it’s movie music. I love movie soundtracks. It can be a Sci-Fi movie, it can be a fantasy movie, or a drama. I love soundtracks, movie soundtracks, I can really relax with that. For drawing, absolutely great.

EI: What’s your favourite movie, or movie soundtrack?

TT: Well at the moment, Dune. Because it’s one of my favourite books, since I was, I don’t know, I first time read it when I was maybe 10 years old. With my daughter I would say Lord of the Rings. Excellent soundtrack, and excellent book.

EI: I just finished reading it to my kids, it took over a year.

TT: Awesome. Very good. Did they like it?

EI: Oh, they loved it.

EI: What is the best sandwich?

TT: BLT. Love BLT. Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato. Never had it when I lived in Czech. Moved to London, ate BLT.

EI: Describe a perfect Sunday morning.

TT: Sleeping late. Waking up maybe 9am. Really sleeping late. Have a nice breakfast with my family. Relax, and probably go out, see some nature.

EI: Describe yourself in 2 words.

TT: Positive. Maybe creative? Always thinking about drawings.

EI: Excellent. Thank you for your time Tom.

TT: Thank you for having me. Cheers Eddy.

in Katsura, Ohtsu, Teacher's Thoughts by Edward | January 20, 2020 | 0 comments

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