What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are languages, music, belly dancing and travel.
What was your education?
I trained as a linguist/teacher at the universities of Keele, Paris, Munich and Hamburg. B.A.Hons. (French and German) and Biology as a subsidiary subject. Cert.Ed. with Commendation
What was your greatest academic achievement?
My greatest achievement was 3 grade As in English, French and German at A Level in 1964, when a pass was good enough. I entered the London Grammar School system as “Mistress for French” on graduation.
What is your background in teaching?
During my children’s school years I taught English as a foreign language privately. As a supply teacher, I taught all things to all ages at all levels.
What is your greatest achievement in education?
My greatest achievement in education was assessing the level and knowledge of my pupils and rapidly filling the gaps with maximum encouragement.
Can you tell us about any projects you have done or are working on?
My books “Ann Steps Up” and “Speak French Now!” reflect my fun filled approach with a serious basis.
How do you feel about one-on-one tutoring?
One to one tutoring is the ultimate luxury. I love it.
What is your area of expertise in reference to education?
My expertise lies in analysing my pupils’ needs, supporting and instructing them.
What are you MOST passionate about?
I am passionate about using languages to increase a person’s ability to express himself clearly, thereby increasing his influence and confidence.
Do you have any great stories about your educational experiences?
“OH! Do it again Miss!” Such was the plea to repeat my lesson on German numbers to 13 year olds. Not sechs (6) as one might have supposed, but zehn, (10) complete with stretch grimace and mad eyes.
How do you help your students become better readers?
My message is to start at the very beginning and ram home the basics repeatedly by different means. Hence the publication of my phonetic reading scheme to teach the sounds of the alphabet. Mastery of German depends on it!
Do you use Social Media?
I use Twitter and Facebook.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to education?
My wish is to teach the (third) world to read.
Joan Thomas, Author of "Ann Steps Up"
*Mrs. Joan Isabel Thomas (neé Cox) holds an honours degree in French and German, and also a Certificate in Education with commendation.
Having taught English, French and German as foreign languages for 40 years, she found that there was an absence of any systematic scheme for parents to teach their pre-school children to read, and as a result, found it necessary to write “Ann steps up”, to ensure the mastery of basic alphabet phonemes.
Joan engaged the whole Thomas family in the initial word collection and then again recently in the production of the comical illustrations. She is indebted to her husband Roger and son-in-law Chris Sedlmayr for their technological assistance.
Visit http://www.readingscheme.co.uk/ to learn more about Joan Thomas and her Phonetic Reading Scheme.