March 23, 2019

ABOUT BERNARD

My name is Bernard Parniewicz (PhD, MSc in TESOL).
I am an academic tutor, educator, and researcher.

WHAT DO I TEACH?
I prepare international students for English-speaking universities.
I teach Academic English, writing academic projects (assignments, dissertations, and theses), qualitative and quantitative research methods and academic software skills (Citavi, Zotero, Scrivener,  SPSS).

WHAT AM I INTERESTED IN?
Many different things: education, first and second language acquisition, independent language learning, developing learning autonomy, English language education, bilingual education, literacy, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, academic writing, cognitive learning, educational technology, CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning), study skills, quantitative and qualitative research methods, Randomized Controlled Studies,  developing knowledge management skills,  statistics, educational software.

MY LEARNING BELIEFS

WHAT ARE MY TEACHING METHODS?
I employ a principled eclecticism in my teaching. I am flexible in the selection and application of methods, approaches, strategies, and tools. My approaches are usually aligned with the cognitive principles of learning, evidence-based practice and deliberate practice.

I teach students Academic English through content-based instruction and meaningful exposure to authentic approaches and task (e.g. critical evaluation of journal articles, TED talks, writing a 5,000 words research project, preparing an academic presentation, looking for bias, evaluating evidence). I focus on building bridges between ‘reading, writing, listening and speaking skill’, ‘colloquial and academic language’, ‘descriptive, analytical and critical writing’, ‘pre-existing and new knowledge’.

I teach reading for writing (finding information quickly in texts, evaluating the text, skimming for gist, scanning for information), simultaneous reading, note-taking, outlining, referencing and writing. I develop knowledge management skills (software supporting and accelerating writing academic papers e.g. Citavi, Scrivener, Zotero, Mendeley, OneNote). I teach academic writing as a process (selecting a topic, undertaking a literature search, evaluating sources and evidence,  using catalogues, books, periodicals, formulating research questions, selecting methodology, organising PDFs, books and notes, reading interactively and critically, collecting notes, writing a literature review, outlining, integrating notes into writing, structuring arguments, managing tasks, referencing, producing a first draft, revising). I also teach academic writing as a product: syntax, grammar, vocabulary, paraphrasing, summarising, synthesizing, analyzing, linking ideas etc.

I believe that English language competence is insufficient for academic success.  Academic performance depends on a range of academic skills which students should be taught as early as possible, within their chosen area of study.  I develop students’ learning skills by explaining the principles of cognitive learning. I point out ineffective (feel-good) learning strategies: e.g. highlighting, re-reading, cramming, writing after reading. I present students with strategies and tools decreasing cognitive load and multitasking, improving attention, encoding, and retrieval, reducing complexity while reading or writing, promoting higher-level processes: analysis, synthesis, criticality  (e.g. spaced-repetition, building schemata, incremental reading, cognitive categorization, deep processing, elaboration, practice retrieval, chunking, comprehensible input, automation, academic workflows, interleaving,  deliberate practice, feedback). I teach students to accept mistakes and tolerate ambiguity.  I help students understand the importance of time-on-task, deliberate practice, 80/20 principle, deep learning, self-evaluation, self-reflection, and feedback. I help students to understand when and where to look for help.

I help students develop SMART goals. I use authentic materials and tasks, develop self-efficacy through mastery experiences, develop students’ awareness and knowledge of cognitive learning processes, language learning methods, approaches, and tools, propose actionable steps and solutions, harness assistive technology (e.g. language learning, knowledge management, writing & reading software).  I believe that ‘digital tools’ are important for all students but critical for international students since technology can decrease extraneous cognitive load and compensate for linguistic deficiencies.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN INDIVIDUAL LESSONS OR MY COURSES?

Contact me :).

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