Client Case Studies
”Language Trainers takes on [the difficulties of finding a qualified teacher who suits your learning style and schedule] on your behalf and manages them for you without too much of a price difference, while also allowing you to switch teachers if you think your current one isn’t suited to your style”A Japanese Course and Self-Study: Finding the Balance
Language Trainers: Good day, Alice! We’re delighted to speak with you about your Language Trainers experience! Maybe you could start by telling us something about you?
Alice Broadhurst: Absolutely! I currently live in the UK and I am a lead programmer who creates various applications for clients.
Language Trainers: And why did you want to learn a language, and which one did you choose?
Alice Broadhurst: I chose to study Japanese. It has always amazed me and I have a great amount of exposure to it, with it being prevalent in the games and anime I enjoyed. I always wanted to understand it a bit more, even at university, but I was too busy with my studies and working to support myself to attend any of the courses they offered. Once I had graduated and felt stable within my job, I finally decided to pursue my interest in Japanese. I used many apps, such as Kanji Teacher, Memrise and Kana Drill. I began to learn simple words and their meaning and I was making good progress. Also, I began to pick up some words from Japanese media; however, I noticed the spoken words often didn’t match the subtitles. I knew at this point there was no going back: I wanted to understand Japanese, so I could understand the true meaning behind the words. I tried another app called Busuu, which helped me to learn some new vocabulary and how to write. However, I began to realise how important Kanji (Japanese characters) is to the context of the word. I wanted to learn but many apps are peculiar about how Kanji is learnt and Busuu couldn’t help me. While searching through some online forums, I found a lot of people suggesting two things: first, learning from a Japanese teacher is better than learning from a robot; and second, speaking Japanese to learn it is important. So, I decided I needed to invest myself more into the concept of learning Japanese and to take some official classes.
Language Trainers: Wow, so this really is a language you feel passionate about! It certainly is better to learn a language from a teacher, but why did you choose a programme by Language Trainers?
Alice Broadhurst: I had a few problems learning Japanese. I didn’t live close to anywhere that offered classes. Plus, I rent from my parents, so it was unfair to ask them to accommodate a teacher coming to the house at least once a week. In the end, I found two options that allowed me to video chat with a Japanese Teacher: iTalki and Language Trainers. iTalki was difficult: I would have to find a teacher that was qualified in my language, had the same ideas as me and could match my schedule. Language Trainers takes on those difficulties on your behalf and manages them for you without too much of a price difference, while also allowing you to switch teachers if you think your current one isn’t suited to your style.
Language Trainers: We certainly do our best to make your language learning experience as easy and convenient as possible! And would you say Language Trainers was worth the investment?
Alice Broadhurst: Language Trainers are definitely worth it! And fortunately, I never had to switch teachers! My teacher was amazing from the start. And I really like that Language Trainers value loyalty to their service.
Language Trainers: I am pleased to hear you say that! We try to match our clients with their ideal teacher from the start, so it’s nice to know we got it right for you first time! Can you think of some helpful and rewarding parts of the course to your language development?
Alice Broadhurst: The most helpful things about the course is that it gave me a place to start and establish a routine for my language learning. I definitely noticed an improvement. Since September last year, my teacher has guided me through Genki 1 and I’m ready to move on to Genki 2; something I never imagined I would be doing within the same year. I know this because I recently passed an N5 practice test. Although it was close, it was something I never thought possible as people usually say you need to complete Genki 1 and 2 to pass the test. It felt rewarding because it is proof that I am making progress.
Language Trainers: Would you recommend Language Trainers?
Alice Broadhurst: Yes, although I would always recommend that people do some self-study before jumping into Language Trainers. Language Trainers works best if you are committed to your language and willing to put in extra time to complement your classes.
Language Trainers: Thank you so much for telling us your story and experiences, Alice! Lastly, we like to finish by asking each student what is their favourite saying in their new language? Have you got a favourite Japanese phrase?
Alice Broadhurst: “頑張って!” (がんばって)” which means “do your best”. Learning a new language is difficult and a lot of people have many different preferred ways of learning. The teachers at Language Trainers are willing to tailor the lessons to your learning style, so if you think you can learn something more efficiently by taking a different approach, just speak to your teacher or advisor and they will help you figure something out!
” Language Trainers is a great platform for people who are completely new to a language and the flexibility of being able to have lessons online and at different times was amazing. I think you are an excellent option for people who have busy lifestyles but really want to make a start in learning a language”Dutch Flemish: A Birthday Surprise
Language Trainers: Hi, Kate! It’s great to speak with you today! Would you mind starting off by telling us a bit about you?
Kate Adley: Hi, of course! I am an international recruitment consultant living in London, but I lived in Prague for 3 years previously, working for an international company. I find I have a very diverse mix of nationalities around me all the time and am constantly surrounded by different languages. My mother is also fluent in French and German, so languages have always been a big part of my life!
Language Trainers: It sounds like you had a lot of languages you could have chosen to study, then! Which one did you settle on with us?
Kate Adley: I contacted Language Trainers because I wanted to study Dutch Flemish. My motivation was my boyfriend, who is Belgian, and I wanted to surprise him for his birthday [Laughs]
Language Trainers: That’s so sweet! I bet he loved that! Why did you choose Language Trainers?
Kate Adley: Language Trainers has really positive reviews and I liked that I could have a taster lesson first before committing to anything. The flexibility was also really important to me as I have quite a demanding job, so being able to find a teacher who could fit the lessons around my schedule was super helpful, as well as being able to have lessons remotely.
Language Trainers: I’m delighted we could be so accommodating. So, Language Trainers was worth it, would you say?
Kate Adley: Yes, for sure. It was great for me as a complete beginner. I really liked the flexibility of the lessons, the ability to go back over things that I had initially found difficult and that my teacher, Chris, was so amazingly kind and patient, even when I wasn't so patient with myself!
Language Trainers: If it makes you feel any better, I think every student feels moments of frustration when learning a language. It’s one reason we try so hard to find such experienced and good-mannered trainers. With everything you mentioned in mind, what was the most helpful part of the course?
Kate Adley: Chris could easily see in each class how much I had absorbed from the previous lesson and I liked that he didn't overwhelm me with information. We went at a pace that worked for me and often revisited lessons as needed. I have certainly noticed an improvement in my understanding of Dutch and it was hugely motivating to discover how much I could understand when with my boyfriend and his family.
Language Trainers: And what's been your most rewarding experience from all this?
Kate Adley: I would say the confidence it has given me to keep going with Dutch, even when it seems really challenging. It was also really satisfying to see my progress as the lessons went on and that Chris was enjoying my progress with me.
Language Trainers: That’s wonderful! It’ll be great to get to know them even better! Well, it sounds like you have had a great learning experience, but would you recommend Language Trainers to others?
Kate Adley: Yes absolutely. Language Trainers is a great platform for people who are completely new to a language and the flexibility of being able to have lessons online and at different times was amazing. I think you are an excellent option for people who have busy lifestyles but really want to make a start in learning a language.
Language Trainers: And finally, what's your favourite Dutch Flemish expression that you like to use?
Kate Adley: “Ik ben zo blij”, which means “I am so happy!”
Language Trainers: An excellent choice! Thank you so much, Kate!
” It is so useful to have someone speaking to me in Greek… I’m now beginning to recognise words more easily but also understand that there is a burden on me to practise, practise and practise”Conversational Greek for Idyllic Holidays
Language Trainers: Good day, Neil. How are you, today? Thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Neil Hendriksen: I’m well and thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be of help.
Language Trainers: Firstly, would you mind telling us a little about yourself? Who are you, where do you live, etc?
Neil Hendriksen: I’m a former education consultant and school inspector, now living on the Isle of Wight. Previously, as a teacher and headteacher, I worked in the UK and overseas. Wherever we have lived, I have tried to acquire at least a bit of the local language.
Language Trainers: So, you’ve worked all over. How did you decide which language to study, then?
Neil Hendriksen: We spend a reasonable amount of time in Greece each year, and while I can put together enough sentences to just about get by, I am very aware of my lack of understanding and poor Greek conversational skills. I decided that I really needed to address this. (My guilt was increasing every visit!)
Language Trainers: And why did you choose Language Trainers to help you achieve this target?
Nel Hendriksen: I was looking for a company that could provide a native speaker and offer this locally. I wanted one-to-one lessons and some flexibility.
Language Trainers: Was Language Trainers worth it? What did you like most about our service?
Neil Hendriksen: It absolutely fits the bill! Unsurprisingly, Southampton is the nearest location to the Isle of Wight with an available teacher. The standard and quality of my tutor (Penny) is first rate. She is flexible and adaptable to ensure we get the best from each lesson while keeping it relevant and enjoyable.
Language Trainers: And what has been the most rewarding experience to come from your Language Trainers experience?
Neil Hendriksen: The flexibility and adaptability of Penny and her ability to recognise how best to cater the course for my needs and ability, especially during these Covid-19 days.
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear! So, would you say the course has been helpful to your language development? Have you noticed an improvement with your Greek?
Neil Hendriksen: It is so useful to have someone speaking to me in Greek. The default position, if you are a tourist or visitor to Greece, is that while you may try your Greek, the locals are very happy to reply in English (or in Greek at 400 km/h). I’m now beginning to recognize words more easily but also understand that there is a burden on me to practise, practise and practise some more.
Language Trainers: So, would you recommend Language Trainers?
Neil Hendriksen: I have already done so!
Language Trainers: That’s wonderful, thank you! Well, thanks so much for your time, Neil. Before we let you go, we would love for you to show off some of your new skills for us. What's your favourite saying in your new language?
Neil Hendriksen: ’Να παραγγείλουμε’ (To order) simply because I’d never known how to say it before. I could also include, merely for the sound of it, ‘έτσι κι έτσι’ (so and so). Come back later for something more intellectual!
”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!
Took Spanish Courses in Liverpool
Took English Courses in Brighton
Took French Courses in London
”The course is going very well! I am happy with my teacher and I think he is happy too. I am learning a lot of new things and my English is getting better.”English course in Online
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.