Client Case Studies
”Once I told my teacher I was going to Chile, she arranged my lessons so I would learn information about the customs and people of Chile.”Learning Spanish to Move Abroad
Language Trainers: Good morning Joseph. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Joseph Mahaut: Thank you, yes my name is Joseph and I am a freelance engineer in telecommunications, currently living in France. My clients range from companies such as Nokia to Ericsson. Before this, I used to work for Accenture.
Language Trainers: Why did you choose Language Trainers for your studies?
Joseph Mahaut: I knew I wanted to have a native Spanish speaker teaching me but I didn’t have the time to commute to a class. I was referred to Language Trainers through a friend and tried out an online Spanish class via Skype –and it really worked for me!
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear. What about the online courses appealed to you?
Joseph Mahaut: A long time ago I studied Spanish in a classroom setting: I didn’t get the one-on-one attention I needed, I wasted time in the commute, and I’d arrive late to class and stressed. I found the classrooms usually had too many people, and didn’t allow me the opportunity to practice through speaking. I listened a lot to others talk, but that didn’t help me.
With my one-to-one online language course, I could get my tea,sit down in front of my computer, and begin face-to-face lessons with a certified teacher regardless of where either of us is located. My teacher was a perfect fit but was thousands of miles away in Texas. With Language Trainers’ online course, my personalized Spanish courses were possible.
Language Trainers: You said you attempted studying Spanish before. Why did you decide to begin your studies again?
Joseph Mahaut: Yes, I took a two-week classroom Spanish course before when I was dating an Argentine woman, and after those intensive 2 weeks I still was not able to speak. In my past work conditions such as at Accenture, it wasn’t necessary I speak in anything other than English even though the higher-ups received language courses.
But now I am considering moving to Chile to live and work so I wanted to improve my Spanish skills before leaving to take a quick trip over. After just 20 lessons with Language Trainers, I could read and write and communicate with people during my two-month stay!
Language Trainers: Over all, what would you say was the most helpful part of the course?
Joseph Mahaut: There were 2 things that really stood out to me. First is the fact that I got to be at home. Everything was so efficient and organized with my teacher. We had a set agenda and she helped me learn much more than in the classrooms I had tried before.
Second thing is that once I told my teacher I was going to Chile, she arranged my lessons so I would learn information about the customs and people of Chile. I learned about Chileans’ mild behavior, the area, and how to speak to people there. I felt comfortable visiting and am getting ready to move there soon. All with the help of my teacher! It was really the cherry on top.
Language Trainers: And on a final note, would you recommend Language Trainers?
Joseph Mahaut: Yes, I will for sure!
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Teacher Case Studies
Language Taught: English
Years of teaching experience: 14
What language do you teach, and why did you choose teaching as your career?
I teach mainly English for business. When I decided I’d like to live in Spain and learn Spanish, I decided to do a Celta. Instead of just staying for a year though, I ended up working for language schools over seven years. When it was time to come home to London, the first port of call work-wise was in teaching English.
Where did you study, and how long have you been teaching, and what age group do you usually teach?
I got my degree from Queen’s University Belfast. I had such a great time there. Being thoroughly English, and moving to a different place culturally helped prepare me for when I headed for Northern Spain later. I did my Celta at city of Bristol, and the Delta at International House London.
What do you look for in a student?
Since one-to-one teaching is inevitably an interpersonal exchange, I always appreciate a sense of humour. I think it’s crucial that learners are willing to take risks and not worry too much about mistakes –it’s the communication that counts. I also appreciate learners who are patient enough to get the most out of the teacher. It helps if each student is able to initially guide their teacher to provide what they want.
What should students expect in you as a teacher?
Professionalism for me means being able to wear a number of different hats and change roles as necessary, according to students needs. The basics include having clear aims, and a minimum level of organization and planning. Beyond that, students should expect their teacher to highlight not just meaning, but structure and pronunciation as well.
Describe your favourite aspect of teaching with Language Trainers:
I like teaching because you meet so many interesting people. I’ve taught quite a few bankers with Language Trainers, and they’ve always been a pleasure to teach. Among my favourite moments in teaching was when my student who was a trader came in, looking tired and worn. We began our lesson, then asked if he was okay. He confided, “You know Lehman Brothers? By Monday they’ll be bankrupt.” Talk about first hand breaking news!