It’s always a great pleasure and immense joy to meet a true genuine talent. We need bright stars in our profession to inspire our younger readers and to challenge those who have achieved the highest goals and ambitions already. Tamara Borisovna Abramenkova is the teacher with great experience in dealing with children of different ages. But what is more, she is an incredibly gifted person. Writing poems and rhymes in English is one of her many talents. “With the help of one of Tamara’s talents, poetry, she shares her emotions and experience, her wisdom and philosophy of life with readers.” (Maria Podushko, former student) On the 4th of Novebmer 2011, Tamara Borisovna Abramenkova, a teacher from Kramatorsk, Donets’k region, presented her new book “English With TAMRA is Fun” at the All-Ukrainian Day of Preschool Education organised and held jointly by Publishing House “Shkilnyi Svit”, editorial board of “Dytyachiy Sadok” and Kyiv Teacher’s House. After her presentation Tamara Borisovna kindly agreed to answer the questions posed by the literary editor of the English. Could you comment on your teaching experience? How long have you been teaching? What methods and approaches do you use in your lessons? The pleasure is all mine. First of all I am grateful to you for so nicely expressed words in my address. I am not doing something special, I have just fallen in love with children. I have been teaching since I had graduated fromGorlovka’sInstituteofForeign Languageswhich is supposed to become my destiny from then on. Now I have come up to understanding that I have enough to share and I am willing to do it. Friendly relationships, mutual understanding in the idea “We need to talk”, interactive communication, positive thinking, giving every opportunity to follow me in developing speaking, reading, listening and writing skills on the basis of good grammar and vocabulary is, I think, my approach to mastering the abilities as for the usage of all these in practice. Then, I am sure, we have to give to learners of English the samples of native speakers’ pronunciation, which is possible while watching either films or listening to songs, or, as I use, traveling to Great Britain, if possible, living in the families. You will say this is “if you will but try” thing. Sometimes I invite English-speaking people, if any in our city, to my club to have a cup of tea. It is not a problem nowadays. Friendly atmosphere works for itself. You are the member of the Centre for spiritual development and creative initiative “Harmony”. Why did you decide to join this centre? How does it help you to be creative and innovative in your work? When I made up my mind to publish my book of poems in English, I started looking for a designer to help my idea to come true. By chance Natalie Veselitska, director of the Centre “Harmony” appeared at my personal exhibition, which was displayed in the city museum. It contained different paintings, batik works, collages, etc. (My hobby spreads beyond my professional activities). I then got acquainted with Natalie and got to know that she is a designer, who answers my points of view. When two creative people meet, you know, they give birth to creative product, like when small stars are hand in hand, constellations appear, and the night becomes bright light. It happens because of the stars being cooperatively added and made into positive effect. Look, when you have one horse force, you can run one speed, but if you have multiplied horse forces, you can strive forward. Thus, I found my reflection with the “Harmony”. What age are your youngest learners? When do you think children should start learning foreign languages? My youngest learners are five. They are ready to divide their mental perception of mother tongue and foreign language. But if the members of the family with children have the possibility to use some English as a role play in everyday life, I suppose it can be much earlier. How do the rhymes and poems you compose help you in teaching? I use every opportunity for kids to memorize quickly. Not experimenting too much, I try to use rhyming words, which come naturally together. I involve grammar patterns here, easily reaching the results. Sometimes I use repetition with the purpose. Very often I use the possibility to show words in connection with either prepositions or other parts of speech in the form of “spider” or “twist” constructions, extracting them from the poems. Some of my rhymes I give for translating into native language for competitive purpose on higher levels of learning. What, in your view, makes teaching and learning English an enjoyable and pleasurable process? My answer rests in my poem from the book “English with TAMRA is fun” “My Advice”. I address it to teachers. Everything depends on talent and devotion and great love to what you do. When you approach activities you use with all your creativity and stay on the students’ side you will reach the goal. I wish success to all the teachers, who are aware of new teaching techniques, and who understand the importance of being honest. Thank you for you cooperation.
Prepared by Issanna Beregovaya