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 three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese, but I speak six (Italian, French and German). I was brought up as a polyglot; we spoke several languages at home and I studied at international schools at home and abroad. I always felt that it was a privilege to be able to speak many languages and wanted to share my knowledge. Teaching came naturally to me, as people were always asking me to correct their homework or to explain grammar or pronunciation. <br/><br/>When I started teaching, I was on an exchange programme in Brazil where I was improving my Portuguese. My students were university lecturers and I was teaching them English. At first, I was terrified as I was going to teach such well-known individuals but that fear soon disappeared as I was confident in my knowledge and simply loved the experience. Teaching is incredibly rewarding and it gives me great pride to say that many of my students now live abroad and some even teach languages themselves.
Where did you study, how long have you been teaching, and what age group do you usually teach?
I have studied at several schools abroad, as well as at Malvern Girls College and Cheltenham Ladies in the UK. For the past fourteen years, I have had the privilege of teaching adults and children of all ages and abilities in Spain, Brazil, Panama and the UK.
What do you look for in a student?
Students that succeed in language training have great determination, focus, and are able to fit learning into their schedule. A great student is one that can relax and see the chance to learn a language as one of the most rewarding opportunities they will have.
What should students expect in you as a teacher?
My manner is jovial and I have a good relationship with my students, and make sure that they are able to relax and enjoy their journey into becoming proficient in a language. I always adapt the classes to students’ needs. If they have to make a presentation in the target language, for example, I will work along with them to ensure they succeed. Likewise, students will be able to do well in exams and day-to-day encounters abroad.
Describe your favourite Language Trainers teaching experience:
I have taught hundreds of students and always feel it is a privilege to accompany them during their learning progress. Even after many years, students have maintained contact and some have become great friends. There are many success stories amongst these people but the one I remember vividly is when a student wanted to get a job as an engineer in a well-known multinational company. She had the appropriate experience for the job itself but her language skills were not at their best. She came to Language Trainers, and began daily classes during a span of three months.Not only did she get the job that she wanted, but she was promoted soon after and her career is now growing. I feel proud to have helped achieve her objective.