Darren｜ Expert of English Teaching and Interpreting
With more than 20 years of experience, Darren has been remarkably successful in helping students achieve their goals, be it native-level fluency, profound understanding of English grammar, or excellence in academic writing. Some of his accomplishments are:
- In merely three months, he helped a student who had no prior experience scored 6.5 in the IELTS exam, with 6.5 in writing, the most challenging subject for most Taiwanese students.
- He assisted another student who had been struggling with the exam to score 6.5 in IELTS, with 6.0 in writing within three months.
- After a one-month intensive course, a high school student obtained the highest score in a national English competition, which helped him enter the university of his dreams.
- In preparation for a level three civil service exam , a student who had failed several times was able to double his score in the English exam with Darren’s help, achieving nearly full marks in translation (including English to Chinese and Chinese to English) and 30/35 in English writing. As a result, the student was able to land his dream job.
- Darren also provided his service for a researcher fellow in Academia Sinica, the most preeminent research institution in Taiwan, proofreading the professor’s presentation script and improving his oral fluency.
Who is Darren Hsu?
Darren is a Taiwan born coach specializing in using analytical methodology to assist Taiwanese students to overcome hurdles on their way to proficiency in English.
An avid learner of languages, Darren received bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and literature from National Tsing Hua University and master’s degree from National Central University with a thesis focusing on the cultural and political aspects of sci-fi movies. He also participated in a teacher training program provided by St. Giles International in Brighton, UK, where he performed so well that the teachers suggested that he should return to obtain a CELTA certificate, which he plans to do when the pandemic is over.
Aside from learning languages, Darren is passionate about contemporary Western culture. When appropriate, he likes to use song lyrics, movie quotes and bits from stand-up comedies in his lessons to further students’ grasp of the cultural dimensions of the English language, which he believes is the best way to achieve native-like proficiency.
Darren loves all kinds of music, especially rock. His favorite bands/artists include Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, and The Velvet Underground, while his top three movies are Fight Club, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, and Interstellar. On top of music and movies, he also loves stand-up comedy, especially the works of observational comedians such as George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Jim Jefferies, Bill Burr, and Bo Burnham.
Travel is also one of Darren’s passions. In 2012, he backpacked around Europe for three months, visiting countries like Germany, Italy, France, and the UK. In 2018, he did it again to visit friends he had met during the last trip, as well as traveling around Iceland for 8 days.
Darren is also a serious petrolhead, so much so that his daily driver is a car with a manual transmission despite the heavy traffic in Taipei (and no, it’s not a Mitsubishi Delica). In 2012, he went to the mecca of car enthusiasts, Nurburgring Nordschleife, where he sat in the passenger seat of a BMW M5 and witnessed the mind-blowing speed and agility of Bavaria’s finest offering, before trying his hand at high-speed driving in the Green Hell. He plans to go on the pilgrimage again in the near future.
Darren worked as a writer and editor in chief for major publishers and cram schools in Taipei City, including Ting-Wen, Taida, and AMC. During this period, he authored numerous top-notch handouts, articles, magazines, and books, earning praise from students and teachers alike. In addition, he has also been a free-lance translator for TV programs and software with clients such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Travel Channel, and National Geographic, to name just a few.
990 (full marks) in TOEIC in 2016 and 2018 (without any preparation)
Overall 8 in IELTS twice in 2018 (self-study)
L: 7.5 R: 8 W: 7.5 S: 8 / L: 8.5 R: 8.5 W: 7 S: 7
What can Darren Hsu help you with?
With years of training and work experience in the education industry, Darren has a thorough understanding of the English teaching materials used in the current education system, as well as the pain the system inflicts on Taiwanese English learners.
Darren is not a typical English teacher who uses outdated methods that require student to memorize everything from vocabulary to grammar rules.
Instead, Darren considers himself to be an ATYPICAL teacher.
He refuses to employ the traditional methodology for English teaching, where arbitrary grammar rules reign supreme and training in writing natural sentences is completely absent, let alone formal essays. Worst of all, such methods make learning English a dull, unpleasant, and fearful task.
In contrast, Darren strives to create greater familiarity with the LOGIC behind the English language by explaining the thought process of forming a word, a sentence and an essay.
For example, he will demonstrate how a noun clause is formed using basic principles that exist in both Chinese and English, allowing students to truly understand the logic of the said process and apply it in their writing, without having to memorize any grammar rule.
He is convinced that templates, commonly used by Taiwanese teachers in writing classes, are a cure that is worse than the disease, in the sense that not only does it lead to unnatural compositions but also exposes the lack of critical thinking ability, a main criterion used to evaluate IELTS test takers.
Darren believes in the creativity and individuality of each and every person, and what IELTS wants exam takers to demonstrate is exactly these qualities.
Therefore, Darren does not infuse templates or arbitrary rules into his students. He motivates them to express themselves and offers guidance along the way, in the hope of helping them develop confidence and abilities to use English in all kinds of situations.
Only through encouraging self-expression by offering guidance on the logic of the English language, he believes, can students learn to master the art of writing, speaking, reading, and understanding English, which in turn can help them easily obtain ideal test results and make these abilities long-lasting assets that can be of tremendous help later in life.
What Darren Hsu wants to say to students: Learning English does not have to be a boring and grueling task. Using the methods that I developed, everyone can learn efficiently, and the process can be extremely illuminating. I have helped many students find joy and achievements in learning English. Would you like to join me and see this language in a different light?