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!
” “I had worked through a couple of language apps but it soon became obvious that I was missing out on actual conversation. I tried some online lessons but, frankly, they were too easy to miss or not take seriously. I needed the interaction and accountability of a face-to-face teacher; one I could build a rapport with””A second home in Greece
Language Trainers: Hello, Caroline! Thank you ever so much for agreeing to be interviewed today. Can you begin by telling us a little about you, the language you chose to learn and why?
Caroline Anthony: I am 55, a housewife, mother, accountant and I live in Essex, near the coast, in Maldon. A few years ago, we bought a house in Rhodes, Greece, and although all the Rhodians speak excellent English, I decided I wanted to learn Greek, so I could talk to my new Greek friends in their own language as well as being able to speak to the people at the bank and in the shops, etc.
Language Trainers: That’s very commendable! And what brought you to Language Trainers?
Caroline Anthony: I had worked through a couple of language apps but it soon became obvious that I was missing out on actual conversation. I tried some online lessons but, frankly, they were too easy to miss or not take seriously. I needed the interaction and accountability of a face-to-face teacher; one I could build a rapport with. So, I researched online and found Language Trainers. They did all the hard work of matching me with someone suitable and setting up the lessons.
Language Trainers: Can you summarise the most helpful aspect of your course?
Caroline Anthony: The best thing about studying with my teacher through Language Trainers is her understanding when I struggle and, therefore, the speed at which I have improved. My confidence has grown and I am now much more willing to have a go at speaking in Greek. I also really believe that it is the best kind of ‘brain-training’ as I am learning in a fun and supported way and acquiring lots of new vocabulary!
Language Trainers: Similarly, what is your favourite thing about studying with Language Trainers?
Caroline Anthony: Easily, my favourite things are the flexibility and adaptability of the individual lessons, along with the friendliness of the teacher and her genuine desire to see me grow in confidence in speaking, understanding and writing Greek. I really like and need the face-to-face lessons as these really have given me what I hoped for, which is the accountability to keep going!
Language Trainers: What has been your most rewarding outcome from this experience?
Caroline Anthony: I have been speaking with and writing to my Greek friends and they have all been very complimentary on my accent as well as the amount of vocabulary I have and the understanding of more nuanced phraseology. I still have a long way to go before I’m thinking in my new language but some words and phrases are ‘just in there’, so I am confident I will have a competent degree of fluency in the future.
Language Trainers: I have no doubt! It sounds like you have the perfect combination of the correct attitude and excellent support. Finally, why should other students enroll in a language course with Language Trainers?
Caroline Anthony: I would personally recommend enrolling with Language Trainers as the administration aspects are very efficient, the staff are easy to get hold of and friendly and I believe I have experienced very good value for money with the standard of teaching I have received
” 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!
”"Language Trainers is very quick to respond to enquiries and keeps you up to date on when you will receive your lessons. This makes them a very easy company to deal with"”Learning Korean to get her dream job
Language Trainers: Katie, thanks for speaking with us! Can you tell us the language you chose to study and why you chose to learn with Language Trainers?
Katie Taylor: After discovering an internship in South Korea that gave me the opportunity to practise my dream job, I decided to start learning Korean to give me a greater chance at getting the internship. But apart from simply learning the language, I also have a huge love for the culture and, so, I wanted to find a tutor who lives in South Korea to teach me the most up to date cultural information and adaptations of the language. Language Trainers was able to find me a teacher who lived in Seoul and this gave me the opportunity to ask questions, during my lessons, about the country and what it is like living in South Korea. In addition to this, Language Trainers was also able to find me a teacher who suited me and gave me the option to change teachers, if I found the teacher was not right for me. Luckily, my teacher is a perfect fit, with many years of experience in teaching both English and Korean.
Language Trainers: That’s excellent! Most of our students are satisfied with the first teacher we match them with, but there are occasionally exceptions, so it’s great you were so pleased. In general, what is your favourite thing about your Korean course?
Katie Taylor: I like that Language Trainers keep in regular contact to ask how your lessons are going and if they can do anything to improve the learning experience. This is quite refreshing because some other learning providers are lacking in their communication.
Language Trainers: What is the most useful thing about learning with Language Trainers?
Katie Taylor: Having the ability to contact my teacher or Language Trainers whenever I need help or support remains the most helpful aspect because I know that if I am stuck, either will respond very quickly.
Language Trainers: And do any especially rewarding experiences spring to mind?
Katie Taylor: My rate of progression and how quickly I could start having conversations in Korean has been so rewarding. Learning a language is always hard but when you look back and see how far you've come in such a short space of time, you begin to believe that you can go even further. My teacher is so kind and patient and always supports me in my journey.
Language Trainers: Do you believe your language ability has improved? Have you had an opportunity to use your new skills in the real world?
Katie Taylor: When I first began learning Korean, I was a complete beginner with no previous experience of the language. Now, I am able to read, write and hold a conversation quite comfortably, which has happened very quickly (within a space of 2 months). I have not had a chance to use my skills in the real world just yet but I am moving to London very shortly and am planning on dining out at a few Korean restaurants to practise my skills and my accent.
Language Trainers: Would you recommend Language Trainers to other learners?
Katie Taylor: Definitely. Language Trainers is very quick to respond to enquiries and keeps you up to date on when you will receive your lessons. This makes them a very easy company to deal with.
Language Trainers: Thanks so much for your time and honesty, Katie! Finally, do you have a favourite Korean word, phrase, or expression?
Katie Taylor: 잘 먹겠습니다 - it means "I will eat well". It's a polite term to use when dining in a Korean home. It is a way of thanking someone for their efforts and saying that you will eat well because of them. I thought it was a very sweet expression.
” 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!
”It was very useful that the classes were conducted as much as possible in Portuguese. This gave me the opportunity to use my new skills in the ‘real’ world”Business Brazilian Portuguese Classes With an Amazing Teacher
Language Trainers: Hello Victoria! Thank you for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions today. Could you begin by telling us a little about you and why you decided to learn Portuguese?
Victoria Collins: I am a lawyer, working with a human rights NGO. Part of my work involves travelling to Brazil. I discovered last year on my first trip to Brazil that it would be useful to know at least the basics of Portuguese. I already speak French and Spanish, so I thought this would be manageable.
Language Trainers: That’s very true! Speaking the local language is a great asset when doing business. And why did you choose Language Trainers for your Portuguese course?
Victoria Collins: I was attracted to learning Portuguese with Language Trainers because of their flexibility and the option of online courses, especially in a time of COVID-19, but more generally because the flexibility of taking online classes is an advantage. You don’t need to leave your desk, and the class times can be easily adjusted. I also found the Language Trainers team to be helpful and efficient. From the moment of my first contact, the staff was polite and friendly. Then, throughout the course, there was good follow-up and communication.
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear! And what has been the most rewarding aspect of your classes?
Victoria Collins: The whole language learning experience with Language Trainers has been rewarding. The thing that stands out the most for me are the lessons with Cristiane, my teacher. Also, I believe that my language ability has improved thanks to Language Trainers. In particular, I feel more confident when speaking the language. I have picked up some of the basics which are important for speaking the language, and that is thanks to my teacher. It was also very useful that the classes were conducted as much as possible in Portuguese. This gave me the opportunity to use my new skills in the ‘real’ world. It was good to be able to ask a native speaker about specific grammar points, especially regarding topics that are specific to the country where I will be travelling and working.
Language Trainers: I’m very glad to hear that! Our teachers are one of our greatest sources of pride. Would you recommend taking a class with Language Trainers to another student? Why?
Victoria Collins: I would highly recommend other students to enrol in a language course with Language Trainers for all the reasons I mentioned before, especially the flexibility of the lessons, and the teachers’ professionalism. I can, of course, only speak about Cristiane.
Language Trainers: Certainly, Cristiane has been a very important part of your learning experience. Could you tell us a bit more about her and her teaching style?
Victoria Collins: Cristiane was always a good teacher, in my opinion. She explains and describes things well, and she has varied teaching techniques, such as repetition, and making corrections in a gentle way! Cristiane is very friendly and cheerful. We always laughed a lot, which helped me relax and learn more easily. We really had fun in our lessons. Besides, she prepares the lessons well. I could see that she put a lot of thought into what I needed to learn, and why I was studying the language. This is why we focused on improving my skills to be able to engage in basic communication when I’m in Brazil. It was great that she expected me to be able to have impromptu conversations on particular topics in Portuguese. Because she encouraged me to speak, even at a basic level, I had the courage to engage in conversations, despite my mistakes. It was also good that she corrected these gently as I was speaking. She also brought to class a diverse range of fun and useful activities. These made the lessons interesting and fun. The topics and grammar activities revolved around everyday situations, like buying food in a restaurant. This helped me see that I was getting ready for real life situations. Cristiane is also reliable – if she says she will do something, like sending material, she does it. The classes always started on time, so it was easy to organise my day around them.
Language Trainers: We are so glad you have so many good things to say about Cristiane. And of all the things you learned with her, do you have any favorite expression?
Victoria Collins: Yes, my new favourite expression in Portuguese is “Deus te abençoe!”
Took French Courses in Reading
Took German Courses in Glasgow
Took Spanish Courses in London
”My teacher is great and I am optimistic about the progress I will make with teacher and lessons.”Flemish course in Exeter
Teacher Case Studies
Language Taught: English
Please can you tell us a little about your teaching experiences with Language Trainers, Terry?
I consider myself fortunate to work with Language Trainers. I mostly teach English to company employees working in warehouses in Dunstable and Hemel Hempstead in the UK. All of students are admirable people with a real desire to improve their communication skills.
What do you tend to focus on in your courses? What are the goals of your students?
Each of my students has their own goals and they range in ability from basic and intermediate to so advanced that sometimes I even learn things from them. Some seek formal, recognised qualifications, to whom I teach courses devised by Cambridge English Language Assessment, an organisation operating under the auspices of Cambridge University. These courses culminate in invigilated exams and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) qualifications. Others prefer to learn for intrinsic benefit and fun without the stress of examinations. I fully respect and cater to both choices.
Do any of your students or teaching experiences stand out as being especially memorable?
Oh, yes. Many. One of my students chose to study for an IELTS qualification. We did exercises from the Cambridge Assessment A2 book covering listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar at the intermediate level. She had a very original sense of humour, so I devised custom supplementary exercises to make her laugh. They didn’t work for other students, but we had a lot of fun and I was overjoyed when she got a distinction. Another student went through a dispirited patch, disappointed with life in England, a country she had hoped would be rather more elegant than the surroundings in which she found herself. My sense of national pride kicked in as I insisted: “But England is elegant.” I introduced her to the works of Jane Austen and I prepared vocabulary, grammar and elocution exercises based on excerpts from the Pride & Prejudice novel and TV series. My student enjoyed the lessons so much more and has cheered up, even going so far as to earn a promotion at her work. Finally, another student who comes to mind was too advanced to be excited by standard English course work. She was extremely demotivated as a result. But she was also highly articulate, knowledgeable, and given to strong opinions. So, after I assessed that she mainly needed to improve her writing, I de-emphasised the course work and instead asked her to produce written opinion pieces prior to lessons. Then, we analysed the content, structure and grammar during the lessons. Specifically, we focused on her main area of interest—Polish history and politics—which was all new to me, but really helped to keep her motivated.
Those are truly wonderful examples of your flexibility as a teacher, Terry. Well done!
You’re very welcome! It’s been a pleasure to get to know all the 18 students I’ve taught since I started working for Language Trainers. I’ve enjoyed their company immensely, and I’ve enjoyed adapting lesson plans to suit each student’s varying abilities, interests and personalities. Plus, I’ve certainly learnt as much, if not more, from them as they have from me. It’s been quite the privilege.