About Me

My Life and Work

0020My name is Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat. I am a freelance English Language Trainer. I was born in London, UK but was brought up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where my father is from. My father’s family is originally from Sri Lanka and my mother is Italian from Milano, Italy. I live in South East London with my husband, David.

I grew up in Malaysia and in Italy before moving to the UK to attend university. I studied Politics and International Studies at the University of Southampton. After university, I started working  in the Financial Services Industry and for the next 20 years had a varied career in life assurance, stockbroking, investment management and finally wealth management all around the UK.

In 2009 I decided to change career completely. I re-trained as an English Language Trainer (English as a Foreign Language – EFL) specialising in Business English, and I haven’t looked back since. I absolutely LOVE my work.

I teach business people on a 1-1 basis online and offline. Over the past six years I have met and trained many interesting people, from paratroopers, CFOs of multinational companies to world famous fashion designers. Some of them have stayed with us for 1-3 weeks, whilst others I have taught on extensive courses either face to face or via Skype. I have created a three-day Business English Writing Skills course that I deliver to business clients at their offices. I have given webinars aimed at teachers.

I am a member of the online team of the Business English Special Interest Group (BESIG) of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language). I am also a member of the Gallery Teachers Team (a department of Gallery Languages).

Each and every one of my clients gives me the inspiration and materials for our lessons. After all, they are far more interesting than any textbook could ever dream to be. I am a huge fan of using technology in my teaching and in this fast growing world of technology, the available resources are fantastic and really stimulating.


My Passions

Apart from my husband (!), I adore our five nephews, two of whom live in California. We have our dog, Buster who, typical of couples with no children, is our baby. buster3

I love literature and am an avid reader. I enjoy mainly contemporary fiction. I don’t have favourite authors. I like to discover as many new authors as I can, so any suggestions would be greatly received. As a fluent Italian speaker, I try to maintain my language skills by reading as much as I can in Italian. My next challenge is to improve my French by reading more.

I am a real theatre buff and am very lucky as London has some wonderful theatres. Among my favourites are The Old Vic,  The Donmar Warehouse, Trafalgar Studios and The Almeida.

I love cinema especially European cinema. One of my favourite films is La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) by Roberto Benigni.

As I have got older, I have developed a love of cooking. I really enjoy preparing all sorts of dishes and trying out different cuisines.

Why this blog? 

I have been thinking for a long time of starting a personal blog. What I would like to do here is to write down and share all the random thoughts I have about my enriching experiences as an English Language Trainer; what I love about the English Language and Literature; what my clients teach me; what is wonderful about learning any language and also to share with my readers the different ways I teach the English Language.

I truly believe that learning a language opens your world to so many opportunities be they job, cultural or travel. And if you embrace the learning process as an enriching and fulfilling journey, the world will definitely be your oyster.

I do hope you will join me on this journey.

Welcome aboard!


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