Hi! I’m Catherine (Cathy) Simonton from EnglishHints.com. I love studying languages and teaching English! I have been speaking English all my life and Spanish for most of it.
(I've also studied a little Chinese, Portuguese, German, and a tiny bit of Ukrainian-- just enough to know how much I don't know!) I studied a little Latin in high school. just for fun, but I never guessed how useful I would find it!
I'm guessing you're interested in languages, too-- unless you just HAVE to learn some English. Let me know in the comments!
I started this website at the end of 2011, (with the much-needed help of the site-building tools and advice of SBI*), but I’ve been teaching English since 2003.
(For a couple of years before that I subbed in classes from elementary to high school, especially in junior high.
My credentials include a clear adult ESL designated subjects credential from the state of California, and a 120-hour TEFL certificate.)
I’ve taught adult ESL for beginners, intermediate-advanced students, and multi-level classes.
I’ve also taught Mexican nurses preparing for the NCLEX exam. (I have a little background in nursing and a lot of reading in the health fields. I've wanted to understand rheumatoid arthritis, which I've had for years, and what scientists have learned both about treating disease and about restoring health.)
immediate inspiration for this website was the difficulty my students
had with the NCLEX. They were well-trained, experienced nurses who had
studied some English, but they needed a much better understanding of it
for questions testing their thinking-in-English and judgment.
I realized the need for lots of reading, both for vocabulary and for the way thoughts and instructions are expressed in English.
Later I was impressed at how many words from the first five or six levels of the Academic Word List showed up on sample NCLEX tests, everything from 'accurate' to 'indications' to 'requirements.'
In fact, for almost anyone who wants to study or work using English, conversational English isn't enough.
That's why so many pages on EnglishHints teach academic vocabulary as well. (See English Vocabulary as well as Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes and TOEFL & IELTS Vocabulary Practice for links to lots of academic vocabulary help and practice.)
I want to share with you lessons and exercises designed to increase your English comprehension, vocabulary, and test-taking skills.
One wonderful benefit of learning (or teaching) a language is the chance to share insights and experiences with people of very different cultural backgrounds.
In Spanish there is a proverb that says “cada cabeza es un mundo”-- every head is a world. Listening and responding to people of different perspectives opens new worlds to us. It greatly enriches life!
Reading is another way to learn about someone else’s world and outlook-- as well as to greatly increase English vocabulary and fluency.
I was fortunate to work in a public library system for almost ten years after I graduated from college. (This was before the Worldwide Web, when libraries were the main source of information for research.) I loved helping people find the books or information they needed.
The Internet makes so many resources easily available now! When I started teaching ESL it was difficult to find materials to supplement the textbook, and there were few websites where our students could practice after class-- since some wanted extra practice.
Now there is almost too much available, but finding the best lessons and practice materials is still a challenge. One purpose of the English Detective newsletter is to suggest useful websites and materials for studying (or teaching) English.
I also try to share the best I've found in ESL Lesson Plans for Teachers and the pages it links to. Materials I've made-- often starting from pages on EnglishHints, but especially adapted to classrooms-- are mostly on the pages linked from ESL Worksheets.
Recently I also started offering coaching in English specifically for international researchers and scientists. If you read and write technical English well but need to work a little on your pronunciation and English-speaking skills, contact me below for a free 30-minute strategy session to talk about your specific needs.
I owe a lot to medical researchers and an glad when I can help you work even more effectively with English-speaking colleagues!
I’m happily married, with one daughter who is a high school English teacher. We live in California, very near to the border with Mexico, so we can visit friends on each side of the border often.
What about you? Where do you live? How long have you been studying English? What are your interests and goals?
Do you have any suggestions about how EnglishHints.com could be more helpful? You can leave a comment below if you use Facebook. You can also contact me directly (& privately) using the form above, to make suggestions or just tell a little about yourself.
Home >About me.
If you have ever wanted to make an Internet-based business based on sharing what you love, (either part-time or with the ultimate goal of making your full-time livelihood from it), it's worth looking into Solo Build It (SBI).
It helps motivated people turn what they know and love into a paying business. It's a lot of work but it is very possible with the tools and information they provide.
(Incidentally, Solo Build It tools and advice are in English, but many Solo Build It owners are not native English speakers. If you can understand most of EnglishHints, you’ll understand Solo Build It—and SBI’ers are some of the most helpful people I’ve known. If you have questions, just ask in the forums-- or ask me on the contact form.)
If I can do it, anyone can-- I'm strong in language skills but very weak in marketing and technical knowledge. Even so, in seven years online I've gone from 0 to 1,500-3,000+ site visitors a day, with growing business prospects selling lesson plans and exercises, and now online courses. The biggest motivation and reward for me has always been helping people use and enjoy English, though.
(I would like to mention that I do not earn any affiliate income or get any other benefit from recommending SBI here-- I just feel it is a great company for someone who wants to build an online business.)
Check out more about Solo Build It/Sitesell here. Try it risk free for 90 days—they will refund your money if you decide it is too hard, or that it won’t work well for you.
Incidentally, I just wrote a more detailed Solo Build It review-- worth checking if you are considering an online business.