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Jack Newcastle


Teaches:

English

Also Speaks:

French, Italian

Specializes In:

Pronunciation / Accent Addition; Business English; Pragmatics and Language Psychology

Fields of Expertise:

Information Technology; Psychology of American Business Culture, American Cultural History

Degree:

Master of Arts, Linguistics
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics
Queens College, City University of New York

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    Jack Newcastle

  • Educator Details:

    English

  • French, Italian

  • English

  • Information Technology; Psychology of American Business Culture, American Cultural History

  • Too often in language classes, vocabulary related to a certain subject, such as film, cooking, or health, is learned by the student one week and then forgotten the next. The material and the instructor do not reinforce the new vocabulary throughout the course, and so the brain is not committing the words to long-term memory.

    To improve long-term memory of new words, Jack continually reviews and uses the vocabulary of past lessons, thereby leading the student to easily recall word meaning and start using that word in conversation. For example, one week there might be a lesson on banking, and the student will learn words like "interest" and "mortgage." If these words aren't reviewed in future lessons, or if the student doesn't have the opportunity to use them, the student will easily forget them. This is because the human brain is naturally designed to get rid of information we don't need so that it can make room for information we do need in some current situation. Unfortunately, however, we can't somehow force the brain to retain information that we don't need at the moment but really might need in the future, such as a word like "mortgage".

    Jack's method, then, is to casually use some of the words learned in one lesson over a series of lessons. For example, two weeks after the banking lesson, he might suddenly start talking about a friend who is trying to buy a house and cannot get a mortgage. The instructor will then ask the student if he or she understands what is meant by "mortgage", and hopefully, the student will recall the word from the previous lesson. If the student does not know, however, Jack will have another short review, and this process continues until the student can easily recall and use the word in conversation.

    Jack's other core method for instruction is role-play. We have all seen those conversations in text books, where two people are, for example, trying to order at a restaurant. Due to the nature of books and audio lessons, these conversations can only follow a script, but as we know in real life, speakers don't follow a script, and then we either don't understand what is being said or are unable to reply.

    By using extensive role-play, Jack gives his students the opportunity to interact with everyone from forgetful waiters, helpful store clerks, irate customers, nosy co-workers, and demanding CEOs to a wide range of characters you will find in almost every business meeting. During their lessons with Jack, students have discovered that role-play is not only one of the best methods for practicing their conversation skills, but is actually the most enjoyable part of the lesson!

  • Education

  • Master of Arts, Linguistics
    The Graduate Center, City University of New York

  • Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics
    Queens College, City University of New York

  • CELTA

  • Professional / Academic Memberships

  • TESOL International Association,
    International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IETEFL),
    Linguistics Society of America

  • Notable Achievements:

  • RMA Hall Award, Queens College, City University of New York

  • "The Fine Art of Mixing Girls" (Grand Prix Press, 2011)

  • Biography:

  • A former New York businessman in the Information Technology sector, Jack Newcastle returned to university later in life to study linguistics. “I had always been in interested in language,” he says, “and especially in the mind and the difficulties adults faced in learning a new language. It was while I was taking a French class, wondering why a certain classmate could never correctly pronounce “femme” no matter how many times the instructor corrected him, that I realized I needed to close my IT consulting firm and follow my three passions in life: words, language, and linguistics.”

    After first earning his Bachelor of Arts in the field, Jack attended The Graduate Center, City University of New York to focus on Second Language Acquisition for Adults. His coursework included “Seminar in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism”, “Seminar in Bilingual Perception”, and “The Neurolinguistics of Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism”, and Jack applies to his language lessons the theories he both learned and formulated during his graduate studies. Moreover, by working with hundreds of students, he has spent the last two years developing a highly effective course in English pronunciation.

    His experience in the business world and his advanced knowledge of the mind in relation to language has allowed Jack to help learners in every sector improve not only their grammar and pronunciation, but their business skills, as well. “Facebook, Microsoft, Google,” he says, “I’ve helped many of their employees reach their goals of improving their presentation and management skills, so that they may, in turn, increase their career opportunities.”

    Finally, there is Jack’s adherence to the methodology of role-play, which he believes is the most helpful method to his students. “I had actually started out in theatre, and I was in bands, playing loud rock and roll for a long time. After that, I performed stand-up comedy in New York, so I’m accustomed to being on stage and playing many parts. Nothing seems to more beneficial to students than to have them interact with everyone from a forgetful waiter to an irate boss. It helps them develop and maintain the “scripts” that all native speakers of a language carry around in their heads, and that learners need to acquire.”

  • Special Interests and Hobbies:

    Film (especially classic film of the 1920s - 1970s), 20th century British Literature, Art, Music (Jazz, Classical, Rock, the Great American Songbook), Comedy, Psychology, Formula 1 Racing

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