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Dianna may claim to be a native of Toronto. Does she deny her Western roots because she is so drawn to the big city, or is it because this cowgirl is slightly traumatized by her allergies to horses and other furry creatures?
Regardless, she left her small-town life and enjoyed living in several large Canadian metropolises such as Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto.
After various visits to the Dominican Republic, she established herself in Santiago, where she currently lives with her husband and daughter. Her earlier training in TESOL methodology and her voracious appetite for reading well-written English books lent authenticity to her teaching.
She found her vocation to be teaching true beginners. The challenge of learning Spanish has enabled her to empathize and identify with those starting out on their personal language-learning journeys since she understands their fears and insecurities. Over the years she has banked a treasure trove of materials and techniques to use in the EFL classroom and regularly shares these in Professional Development Workshops with newcomers to the EFL field.
It's funny why she ever wondered what she would do one day to become usefully employed. Never much of an artist with a paintbrush, frustrated since kindergarten by scissors made for the right-handed, and after music lessons that allowed her to acknowledge the difference between learned and natural talent, it should have been obvious.
Words. Where they come from, why they mean what they mean, where they can take you; and eventually, and more sensible economically, language and languages, learning and teaching and the brain. Fascinating!
Of course there has been plenty of training and observing and experience acquired along the way. Her focus has been directed towards how to make language learning appetizing to the brain and what can help new language information stay there. Besides teaching English, Spanish, and American Sign Language in the class room, she has coached teachers and prepared and edited curricula and classroom materials and is also a Sign Language interpreter.
She stubbornly refuses to give up on the dream of someday drawing something called art, but for now, she is more likely to reach for her camera. As for music, she has wisely chosen not to perform in public at least for the present.
Give her a classroom full of apprehensive language students though, and stand back or risk getting zapped by all that synaptic activity in one room!
Since he was a year old, Winston Marcos would make small scribbles on everything. As his love for pens and pencils grew, his scribbles started to take shape and win fans worldwide. He never could have imagined that his art would have followers from more than 20 countries. Today, at all of 21 years of age, he no longer reaches for his colored pencils, but he still loves to draw and digital art has become his profession.
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Winston grew up drawing some of his childhood friends whom he calls the 'Winsteens'. Throughout the book 'First Impressions' you will see these same real-life characters as young adults... Winston being the principal character.
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