I am a linguist, perennial language learner and educational software developer / digital educator based variously in Birmingham, Edinburgh and London. My chief work is the creation of interactive activities to help students of all ages learn through fun. I focus mainly on Modern Foreign Languages, but have also created material for many other subjects at all levels, including Maths, English and History. I develop primarily with Haxe / OpenFL for HTML5, Swift / XCode and Java / Android Studio.
Amongst the many apps I have worked on over the years are the highly successful Linguascope range, as well as a wide range of other tools for students. I have been lucky enough to work with a range of partners, developing apps as diverse as radio players, bespoke events management tools and more.
I am the lead content developer with Linguascope.com, the UK’s best-known site for language learning and teaching in schools. Along with that site and other providers, I have nearly twenty years of experience developing interactive, dynamic content for learners and educators, as well as training others to do the same.
I graduated from Oxford University in 1999 in Modern Languages (German and Spanish). As part of my degree, I spent a year living in Klagenfurt and Salzburg in Austria. My passion for languages continues today, and I continue to learn and practise foreign languages in my spare time. I am especially enthused by the recent emergence of a polyglot / language-hacking community online. If only that had existed in my pre-Internet youth! Always ready for a new linguistic challenge, my current projects include Icelandic, Norwegian and Polish, as well as maintaining my German and Spanish.
I am a passionate advocate of lifelong learning and personal development; in 2014, I was awarded my second undergraduate degree, a BSc in Social Sciences with Psychological Studies and Sociology with First-Class Honours from the Open University. Returning to formal studies as an adult has given me completely new perspectives on learning processes, which have, in turn, informed and improved my work in resource development and training.
I was born with a cleft lip, but was lucky enough to be born in a country where repair of cleft lips and palates is routine. Having that chance isn’t a certainty for many children, however, which is why I support Smile Train. This charity funds surgical teams in some of the poorest areas of the world, offering the life-changing reparative surgery to children who would otherwise have to grow up with an unrepaired cleft. If you are looking for a new international cause to support, Smile Train is a very worthy option to consider.
I am also a keen musician, and cannot be kept away from any piano in the vicinity! As a lad, I played all the way to Grade 8 under the tutelage of the brilliant teacher Gwendolyne Johnson. Music remains a very important part of my life today.
Oh – and I love Eurovision! 🎵