Greg Byrne has loved words, languages, stories and the smell of books for as long as he can remember, and is grateful that he can combine this passion with his other, teaching.
In short, his qualifications and experience are
1983: Bachelor of Education (Edith Cowan University)
2002: CELTA (Phoenix College)
2016: Master of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (University of Western Australia)
2012: CSA conference (Perth, for primary teachers)
November 2014: WATESOL PD Fest (Perth, ESL)
March 2015: Queensland ESL PD Fest (Brisbane, ESL)
October 2015: SETESOL Regional Conference (New Orleans, ESL)
November, 2015: Melbourne PD Fest (ESL)
September 2016: LATESOL Conference (New Orleans, ESL)
January 2017: TESOL Seminar (Philippines, ESL)
October 2017: CIEC workshop (Cambridge, UK)
September 2018: North Metro TAFE Symposium (Perth, Australia)
Greg has also done numerous Gramatica Professional Development sessions for primary schools and ESL teachers around Western Australia and in the USA.
2003-2008: Eurocentres Perth
2008-2009: Central Institute of Technology, Perth
2010-2016: Kaplan International College, Perth.
2018: Kingston International College, Perth
Greg has also worked on call at other ESL colleges around Perth.
Greg was approached in October 2015 to develop a 20 week ESL curriculum for a Perth college in order for students not proficient in English to do the course, gain IELTS 5.5 and then enter the college's regular courses.
This course was approved by CRICOS and ASQA, the federal government regulatory bodies, and is now part of the college's curriculum. In November 2016, negotiations were underway to open this course in a partner Sydney college.
1984: Year Four teacher (East Wanneroo Primary School)
1985: Year Three teacher (Millars Well Primary School)
1996-1987: Year Four teacher (Forrestfield Christian School)
1990: Senior primary teacher / relieving principal (Calvary Christian School)
Tertiary experience (Edith Cowan University)
2011-2017: Sessional tutor, lecturer, unit coordinator.
The chronological version of events is as follows.
After qualifying with his teaching qualification, Greg began as a primary teacher in 1984, first at East Wanneroo and then at Karratha and Forrestfield before realising that, while he enjoyed primary teaching, it was not his main passion.
After marrying in 1987, he then resigned from the Education Department and joined his father's educational travel business, where he organised and led primary and high school cultural and educational trips to Japan and Indonesia, and also organised similar programs for visiting school groups from Japan, Africa and Indonesia. (He speaks a little Japanese, and one day plans to renew his study.) During this time, he taught English to Japanese school groups.
Greg continued with the family business, and also spent a happy term as a relieving primary principal. (He has taught in the State, private and Catholic systems.)
In the early 2000s, Greg decided to expand his training and completed his CELTA, the qualification necessary to teach English as a Second Language. Shortly after, he started work at a Perth ESL college, where he discovered that teaching our baffling but beautiful language English to overseas adults was what he enjoyed most professionally.
He also began to put his thoughts about teaching grammar on paper, gradually adding lesson ideas, snippets of grammar, principles and structures, and classroom successes, many of which he still uses today.
University lecturing and tutoring
Early in the decade, Greg began sessional tutoring at Edith Cowan University in a wide range of subjects in the Bachelor of Education program, from Language and Literacy to Society and Environment, from Health and Physical Education to Assessment and Classroom Management. Although he started with sessional work with primary B.Ed students, this has spread to lecturing and unit and course coordination in primary, secondary and graduate diploma courses.
In 2014, he also began a Masters of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Western Australia, a subject that deeply fascinates him, particularly the linguistic roots of English. He enjoyed every minute of the course, and graduated in June 2016. His dissertation was on the Old English classic poem Beowulf and how the 8th century poet apparently used modern scriptwriting techniques.
It was his university teaching that sparked the birth of Gramatica, which was originally called Shoebox Grammar, particularly as he realised that the perfect storm of the demands of the Australian Curriculum, the current educational environment of teaching grammar and the historical lack of grammatical education meant that his years of experience would be of benefit to the educational community. The snippets of grammar he had scribbled down years ago coalesced to form over a hundred grammar texts and resources for ESL students.
He also began the Gramatica consultancy, offering training for primary teachers in Gramatica knowledge and methodology.
This expanded later into training for ESL teachers, and both sides of the consultancy have extended into presentations at teacher conferences, the first at the 2012 CSA Perth conference (for primary teachers) and also at the Perth WATESOL PD Fest in November 2014 and the Queensland ESL PD Fest in March 2015. He presented in New Orleans at the SETESOL Regional Conference in October 2015, and the Melbourne PD Fest the following month.
Following the tremendous response from the New Orleans 2015 conference, he was invited back to present again in September 2016, when he also presented Gramatica to elementary, middle and high schools across the state and held a Professional Development session for ESL teachers.
He is married to a teacher, with three adult children, one of whom just graduated with her teaching degree, and he is enormously proud of all of them. In the little spare time he has, he writes novels. His first novel, the supernatural thriller Nine Planets, was released in November 2014, and he is currently plotting his second, a Young Adult thriller called Ally Jones and the Hidden City.
At the time of writing, Greg is working on several Gramatica projects: the online ESL course materials for teachers and schools across the world, and a revised Gramatica program for writing and grammar at Australian primary schools.