Goodbye to the eclectic teacher who helped us to get by with English language
John Peter Sloan, a great singer, a theatre actor, a comedian, a book writer but above all an eclectic and excellent English teacher died suddenly on 25th May (at the age of 51) for serious breathing problems while he was in his house in Melfi (Sicily).
The Birmingham-born teacher had lived in Italy for thirty years now and was working on several projects, including online lessons from the schools of English he founded based in Rome and Milan, temporarily closed due to the lockdown.
He became soon popular because he was able to teach English in the best way that is involving the students with English and a smile, trying first of all to create an emotional and human bridge between English and Italian culture. That bridge then made access to English grammar more agile which, according to John, is often taught in a peremptory and boring way in Italian schools.
He landed in Milan for the first time in 1990 with his band “The Max” with which he had several concerts scheduled. As soon as he set foot at Linate airport, John noticed that “people didn’t talk, they screamed. Since than he decided that the “Belpaese” would become his new home.
He was immediately one of Zelig’s (the stand-up comedian broadcasted on the Italian channel Italia 1) most loved faces. His English lessons became a cult.
The success came in 2010 with the publication of an English tailor-made course for Italian speakers that became the Best Seller “Instant English”, with the sale of about 300 thousand copies of the first edition. All the gains were then reinvested in the schools of English he founded and directed. His famous method: the “Sloan Method” was based on irony and charisma an integrated approach with non-formal education which combined play and smile with rules and vocabulary.
We hope, as students, that his brilliant ideas, criticisms, methods and proposals can have a following and a development, always seasoned with some laughter and with the sweet memory of his figure.
And I can say that your way of teaching that was a real labour of love, is for me as you would say “a big feather in my cap”.