English Program Director: John Sheehan
My name is John Sheehan. I have been involved in English-language education since 1987--over 25 years. In that time I have taught in the United States, China and Japan, to child, youth, young adult and adult learners. In the process I have learned a language or two, written several books (and edited many) and started my own program to benefit people who wish to learn my language.
I come to this endeavor well-prepared and passionate. I fell in love with the written and spoken word at an early age and began to study English and pursue it's expression and have not stopped. My enthusiasm for English took me to UCLA, where I studied literature, film writing and the humanities. I became a writer for
major newspapers and magazines, and I aspired to write fiction. I traveled internationally and extensively on four continents and met many people from many places, listened to many tales and ideas, and developed intellectually into what I am today.
I believe in the importance of knowing English well, because it will serve well those who come to learn it. Particularly in the modern world, it is indispensable to those who work, travel or make friends internationally. A language is an outgrowth of a culture, too, and learning it properly teaches the culture it springs from, and vice-versa. English students whose cultures differ significantly from English-speaking ones are often at a severe disadvantage grasping English in their home countries and often learn from countrymen who themselves do not understand English well. I have experienced this firsthand in Asia, observing language classes taught by non-native speakers, who have neither language fluency nor knowledge of their target culture, and the poor results of using this method.
Our aim is to change that, by providing a real English-speaking environment where native speakers teach their own language. This direct, daily immersion is the best way to achieve natural language skills in a short time, and with it, the correct comprehension of the society that utilizes it: its morals, beliefs, traditions and lifestyles. It is only through actively participating in the life of a society that one gains a true understanding and appreciation of its language. There is no substitute.