How do you measure success when learning a language? For some people success is measured in exams, certificates and qualifications, for others it is more a question of gaining confidence to be able to do things which you couldn’t do before – like ordering a coffee or reserving a hotel room. This is the story of one of our past students, Andy.
Andy started beginner German classes with Language Learners in early 2015. He was planning to take ski instructor training in Switzerland and wanted to get a head start on the language. Here is what Andy himself had to say about his first set of lessons with us:
“I had never spoken German before and needed to learn a lot in a small amount of time. In the space of just a few months Teri had me confidently speaking the language to the point I arrived out here and became the person who had to do all the translating and question asking! Teri’s lessons were great fun and really well structured. From tenses and grammar to specific lessons on Ski vocabulary, she really took into account my requirements and level. When I come back next year I will definitely be continuing the lessons and improving my language skills further. Thanks a lot Teri!”
Did Andy return for more lessons? Yes, indeed he did. He came back at the end of the ski season and continued learning in preparation for a return to Switzerland in the next ski season. We continued with focussed classes on grammar and ski vocabulary including naming eight different types of ski lift, and practising how to call for medical assistance. In fact, he was so inspired that he also took the Goethe Institut A1 level German exam in London shortly before the 2016 ski season, which he passed with a good mark.
There was mixed news about Andy’s season. The good news was that he felt confident in his language and really enjoyed his time there. The bad news was that a ski accident saw him “enjoying” the Swiss medical facilities rather more than he may have wanted. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we were delighted to get a message from Andy to say that the medical vocabulary we had covered had been really helpful and that he had managed to complete all his own medical forms, in German, despite the pain!
Andy recovered from his accident and completed the ski season. He has now returned to the UK and has moved away from the area to start a new job.