Matthew Male BA (Hons)

Matthew Male is a language graduate of the University of Wales, having studied French at its Bangor college in north Wales. He has extensive knowledge of English (specialising in grammar and syntax/structure) and French, with a working knowledge of British Sign Language, German, Italian and Welsh. His studies of language structure also include Chinese and Russian. His education was spread between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Matthew is widely travelled and inquisitive, enjoys absorbing knowledge and always looks forward to learning new skills. Exercising common sense and initiative at all times in his work, he is adaptable to new environments, situations and requirements. He enjoys mixing with people of all ages and has taught those of a wide age range, from four to eighty.

Degree details

Matthew has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree second-class division one, single honours, reading ‘French & Modern France’. This four-year degree incorporated modules in the following: au jour le jour (studies of media), Camus and Sartre, commercial French, decadence to Dada, enlightenment and revolution, French art, French history of various periods, French literature of the post-Renaissance period, modern French theatre and modern French cinema, as well as German, Italian and Welsh. It also included a year’s teaching in France, during which time Matthew took on additional private pupils, tutoring in English grammar, syntax and speech.

Employment

Having worked in various organisations (including a managerial post at WHSmith’s head office) and gained a wide range of skills and knowledge, it became apparent that there was a general lack of understanding, in the business environment, about the English language and its structure. Matthew created a consultancy to cater for this, making use of his expertise and attention to detail, in order to help others with their communications skills and document production.

Self-employment – current professional position

Matthew practises professionally as an English grammar consultant and tutor, specialising in vetting organisations’ written communications and teaching middle to senior management about English grammar and the written word, their structure and foundation.

Having made studies of eight languages, Matthew is well aware of the importance of the written word and its impact on the reader. Well-presented documents in flawless English will make a significant positive impact on the reader’s perception; if the English is neglected, that impact will be switched from positive to negative.

When producing a document written in a foreign language, a specialist in that language is often engaged to ensure that there are no flaws in the grammar. Yet, when documents are produced in English, the job of checking the final draft is frequently left to the employee who is considered to be ‘the best’ at English. Sometimes, it is passed ‘around the office’, so that the benefit of everyone’s opinion can be incorporated. The problem with this is that people have their own subjective opinion of what is right and wrong. It is usually overlooked that English, like any structured (yet growing) language, is governed by a complex set of rules; not by opinion. Matthew’s function is to apply those rules, without altering the intended impact or style of a text, to achieve accuracy, quality and consistency for both his clients and the intended readers.

Matthew has worked with and advised many organisations, from government agencies, ‘standards’ councils and charities to translation and multinational public limited companies throughout the world. He has also vetted and advised on texts for professional proofreaders and copywriters themselves, as well as vetting trainers’ teaching material, to be used as teaching aids for their own courses on English grammar and punctuation.

Tutoring middle and senior management, on a one-to-one basis, is another particularly rewarding part of Matthew’s work with professionals.