About Genki English & Who is Richard Graham?
As CEO and founder of GenkiEnglish.com, Richard Graham is the leading authority on teaching in a fun, exciting and “genki” way.
Or for a more low-key description of things…
I found school really boring.
At 16 I started teaching, and found that really boring too. The traditional ways were switching students off left, right and center.
I quickly figured out the key was to listen to what students want to learn and then find or create the most fun and motivating activities for them. Just like you learn the lyrics to a favourite song or the latest baseball statistics. You do it because it’s fun. It becomes easy to learn.
I got a First Class honours degree from the University of Leeds and the Universite Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. I learnt to ski, became fluent in French (so I could follow my studies), took a Tae Kwon Do instructor’s course, taught a course in Space Science for the UK’s Air Training Corps, won a presentation prize from Arthur Anderson, and played keyboards in pubs and clubs on a Saturday night to pay for it all. When I graduated I was invited to spend a week with every living Nobel Prize winner in Germany. That was fun.
Then I spent 3 years teaching full time in 3 Japanese schools. At first that was really boring. Students were sleeping or not learning anything. So I become fluent in Japanese and began transforming my way of teaching for languages, English and International Understanding Education. After the Nobel Prize gig I felt I had a responsibility to help.
That’s where I found out my way of teaching had a name: “Genki”, Japanese for “fun”, “exciting” and “full of life”.
After quite a bit of success on TV, magazines (I also taught NASA science projects in junior high school) and helping other teachers become “Genki”, in the year 2000 I founded GenkiEnglish.com
Thanks to governments such as Thailand who have put Genki English into every school in their country, there are several million students learning with Genki English at the moment, in lots of different countries, so I still feel a big responsibility to help.
I’ve also been working with the UK’s University of Newcastle on “Entrepreneurship for Development” & “Private Schools for the Poor” where children in developing countries who can’t afford to attend public school are taught in the community. We have implemented Genki English curricula in schools in Tanzania, India and China as well as providing training for the teachers. The University then evaluates how effective the methods have been. The results are still coming through, but so far they are astounding.
These days half my time is spent travelling around the world giving workshops and lectures for universities, education centers, boards of education, and schools on how to really motivate students to get the best of out their lessons. I do big huge conferences, but I also visit the tiniest schools in the middle of nowhere.
The other half of my time is spent researching, developing, testing and refining new Genki teaching materials. It’s an ongoing process and there’s always something to learn. After finding out how to use games and songs to such great effect, I’m always looking for the next “magic idea” that will make things even easier to teach and understand.
Genki English takes up just about all of my time, but seeing new teachers in Asia, India or Africa light up when their students begin to take an interest in lessons again really makes it all worthwhile.
I still personally answer all my emails so even though it may take a little while for me to reply, please feel free to contact me if there’s anything I can help with!