Catherine Sharpe

Bio

Born and raised in Phoenix, I got my bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University (ASU) and later went on to get my Royal Society of Arts (RSA) teaching qualificaiton in London, specifically for teaching English as a foreign language. The tale of my family background is that of an American Southwest experience: My Mexican mother grew up traveling with her family from Arizona to California for seasonal work picking fruit, and I, the 2nd to the youngest of 6 children, was the first in the entire extended family to get a university degree, financing my college career on my own. I worked in Sydney, Australia and in London before coming to Germany but, as they say, you can take the girl out of Arizona, but you can’t take the Arizona out of the girl. My dual-citizenship, bilingual daughter now giggles at my German, or at your English if you’re not a native speaker.

 

Teaching

By profession, I’m a language teacher. I’ve taught English for all nationalities, levels, ages, and purposes. This has ranged from intensive language and culture courses for Thai children to preparing business management students for London Chamber of Commerce Exams. At the University of Leipzig I dedicate my time at the Institute for American Studies to teaching writing skills, speaking skills, and integrate language acquisition with courses in American history, culture, and society.

 

Research

I have made it a point in years of world travels to collect and review variations in aspects of the English language in countries where English is the native language or where English is widely spoken. On a cultural level, I’ve also felt it important to travel the world in order to gain insight on how others perceive Americans and the US. The insight and depth this experience has, in turn, added to what I can offer on a teaching level is immeasurable and invaluable. Some countries I have traveled to include New Zealand, Kenya, India, and Indonesia (and don’t tell anybody, but Cuba, and, yes, they liked me and my daughter as Americans, and, no, they didn’t stamp our passports).

 

Community Service

In Erfurt, I was one of the founding members of the German-American Society there, where I helped organize English-language cultural events and was guest instructor for the Society’s English courses. For the business college I taught at in Erfurt, I organized, accompanied, and guided student groups on trips to London. Here in Saxony, I’ve taught various courses, including for the Regional Schulamt and the Bundeskulturministerium for primary and secondary school teachers continuing education, but also for preparing taxi drivers in English for World Cup business. I have furthermore done translation work for the Leipzig Fair.

 

Selected Publications & Papers

  • “The Grading of Pronunciation”. in Phonus: Proceedings on Workshop Pronunciation Training at German Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics, 1997.
  • “Measuring the Student’s Progress in Pronunciation”. in Phonus: Proceedings on Workshop Pronunciation Training at German Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics, 1997.

 

Selected Honors, Awards, Distinctions

  • Awarded Arizona Government University Grant for academic achievement
  • Arizona State University BFA degree Magna cum Laude
  • International Institute of Linguists Exam (German) with Distinction