Quality results at a steady pace

How long it will take you to learn a foreign language depends on many things:

  • Your current level of the language
  • The level of language you need (Hint: for most people, upper-intermediate is enough)
  • Which languages you already speak
  • If you’re living in the country that speaks the language
  • How much time you dedicate to your formal studies or how much exposure you get, through series, music, videos, for entertainment or leisure
  • How committed you are to your learning process
  • How much you practice
  • How much consistent correction you get
  • How good you are at learning languages

If your schedule doesn’t allow for many hours of study, keep a steady pace within the time available.

You can achieve quality results at your own, consistent pace.

And here are two different experiences. First, from a beginner who learned French in a year. That was pretty fast. Specifically, a year is the average amount of time it will take an adult to become fluent enough to work in English if he starts as a beginner and studies at least 5 hours a day. But everyone is different.

And I’m proud to say that this learner, my daughter Cecilia, went from knowing nothing of French to scoring well in the mandatory fluency test to be admitted in the university, test after only one year, but studying 8 hours per day, 7 days a week.

The second experience was with a former student of mine, Danielle, who finished her English studies at a very good English school in the town before we started working together. Back then, she also fit traveling, reading, watching TV series and movies in her routine. All that, at her pace, but a steady exposure, produced the same result, that is fluency, but after some years, since she shared her time with other demands.

It was so generous and sympathetic of Danielle to acknowledge the result of her studies, as well as how much she is enjoying her fluency. We don’t work anymore. For years now, she doesn’t need my advice. I’m very happy about the way things turned out to be for her family and how important the English language and culture became for all of them, in the end. 

I’m embarrassed to share her acknowledgment, but it’s beautiful, and she allowed me to do so. 

Thank you very much, Dani. I’m very grateful for the bond we established once through our shared interest and that somehow we’ll have it forever.

So, it just depends on your needs or goals. You sure can feel comfortable with a foreign language either in the short or long term. And even before your goal is reached, don’t forget to enjoy what you’re becoming along the way!

To err is human, to correct is divine

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

It was written by the English poet Alexander Pope, in his poem An Essay on Criticism, in 1711, at age 23. A wise young man who remained in ill health throughout his life, read avidly and was able to support himself as a translator and writer.

But, would the “error”, the “mistake” be the problem?

Wouldn’t the problem be in the “judgment” we make on ourselves as well as on others?

According to the National Science Foundation, the average person has around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are apparently negative and 95% of our thoughts are repetitive.

This is also true for our learning process, where “judgment” can do a lot of damage. We all make “mistakes”, as we are all, as human beings, “works in progress”.

What if we were able to stand back (not judge) and see that we are on our journey and that not choosing the best way sometimes, allows us to get to know a better one.

First let’s look at this proverb.

Below is very good listening, vocabulary, and content practice. You will hear a lot of the words and expressions we have been learning (task, figure out, solve, on the flip side, struggle, look at, discussion, looks like, procedure, leftovers, approach, worth it). Watch carefully. Take notes of the words you identify. Turn on subtitles if you need them.

To err is human – and can promote learning | Nikol Rummel shines a new light on failure in her talk and focuses on its productivity for learning. She argues that struggling can help activate relevant prior knowledge and allows us to gain a deeper understanding of a problem, and can thus prepare us for learning more successfully from subsequent instruction. 

Dr. Nikol Rummel says:

“Struggle is not only okay, it is in fact productive for learning”.

Take part in it!

The following words guide my teaching since day # 1:

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

William Butler Yeats

And that’s what I believe in!

I’m committed to making you take part actively in your learning process, to become involved in a way we can light the fire, we can clear a pathform a connection and develop a genuine interest and passion for communication, for exchange in the English language. 

And I truly hope you grow stronger in the knowledge of our amazing English-speaking world as well as to your full potential!

And try not to focus only on the journey’s end, but instead, enjoy what you are becoming along the way.

I welcome you all! We’ll create magic! At least for me: this is magic!

Andrea Althoff

Commit and succeed

Success is a journey and no doubt that we all want to be successful in whatever we do.

Your goal is my goal and I’m commited to helping you get there.

To become each day more comfortable with English, you need to commit and understand the learning process, for which you also need:

Time

Exposure

Practice

Consistent correction

Gavin Roy is an American who decided to teach English on Youtube, in a natural, good-natured, and humorous way, to Brazilians, after committing himself to learning Portuguese on his own.

This a motivational and entertaining talk, part English, part Portuguese. And Portuguese natives learning English may feel surprised by the difficulties a native English speaker goes through when learning Portuguese. He points out pronunciation problems, gives grammar tips, talks about American and Brazilian culture, and shares the learning tools and techniques he used.

He teaches and entertains at the same time, and that’s the key, learning without having to engage in a tedious task.

Listen carefully to what he says, but you can skip the end. In the final 10 min maybe, he explains why he got so many subscribers to his channel. Take notes of everything he says about language that you feel surprised about. Let’s discuss that!

“É melhor existir com imperfeições do que nem existir”.

That’s what Gavin Roy said. I agree that this is a good start!

Possibilities and opportunities

Hi everyone!

We now have the opportunity to go on with our studies, growing in knowledge and ability to communicate better in English each day!

Hurray! A fresh start to our dream!

Two of the words given above confuse learners: warranty and guarantee.

Learn the difference between a warranty and a guarantee, because it might save you a lot of money. And before you buy that new shirt, watch this vocabulary lesson so that you can ask if the store will allow you to return it for a refund, an exchange, or credit.

Get your notebook, listen carefully, and take notes.

So now, are you ready to go shopping? Test yourself.​

Okay! Concerning our English studies, I’ll provide you with possibilities and opportunities to apply what you already know and to develop and broaden your knowledge of the language. If you are fully committed to our work, results are guaranteed!