Carinne came to me eight years ago desperately wanting to learn how to speak English. She had learnt some German at school, but had never had the opportunity to learn English. She felt frustrated because she couldn’t help her children with their English homework, she felt left out when she travelled abroad with her family, where English was always the common language for communication and her husband did all the talking and the laughing. At work she felt helpless when an English speaker was on the other end of the phone and she would panic and quickly hand the phone to a colleague.
Apologetically Carinne asked if there was any way I could teach her to speak English given that she was a complete beginner. Of course my answer was, “yes”.
And so the story began. We started with the basics getting her to talk about herself and her family and her work. I built the whole course around her experiences. We followed a course book so that Carinne had a logical, structured progression in her learning and so that she could do listening exercises and learning activities in her own time to reinforce what she had learnt during the lesson with me. From the beginning I explained that two hours a week of intensive lessons with me was enough as long as she worked everyday on her own too. I regularly post extra online language learning activities on my Facebook page for all my students and Carinne found these particularly interesting and motivating.
Her motivation to learn and my method were the keys to her success.
I saw Carinne twice a week for four years and she made phenomenal progress. At first she felt inhibited trying to pronounce unfamiliar sounds, but I always encouraged her and helped her gain confidence. After a couple of years she felt that her rate of progress was slowing down, that she had reached a plateau. She became frustrated with herself. I was able to reassure her however that this was perfectly normal and that in fact she was just becoming more aware of the errors she was making. She felt that she wasn’t progressing when actually she was improving. With my patience and reassurance she overcame this feeling and went on to study up to an advanced level.
The big test came when Carinne went to Scotland for a holiday with her nephew. She knew she could speak English with me, but was worried about trying to speak with other people. Her trip was a great success. She was so thrilled because not only was she able to understand what people said to her, she was also able to have real conversations with the people she met. She was so proud of herself and I was proud of her too.
I taught Carinne for four years and then her workload increased and her level of English was such that she no longer needed me. We went through the whole programme from beginner to advanced level. I’m pleased to say that she has taken my advice and has managed to maintain her English by watching English films in their original version and by making the effort to understand the lyrics of her favourite songs. She reads regularly from English websites and at work she is proud to answer the phone in English and send follow up messages by e-mail.
Above all what she gained from her lessons with me was the confidence to talk to people in English and this opened up a whole new world for her. Well done Carinne!“I was on holiday in Scotland and talked in English to a lot of interesting people. It feels great, I am so proud and very happy. Thank you so much for your patience.” – Carinne read more testimonials