Today’s blog is a little different from our usual offerings. I chatted with my student, Erik, who has just reached the end of his Intrepid English Academy Success Path. He has reached his goal level in English – Congratulations, Erik!
I asked Erik a few questions about his experience of learning English with me over the last two and a half years. You can read his answers below.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions today, Erik. Could you please start by introducing yourself to everyone?
My name is Erik and I am a mature English student, I started having English lessons in my mid-fifties. I had one English teacher before I met Lorraine and I love meeting fellow English students online in chat rooms and forums. I feel that learning at an older age has benefitted me because I am more dedicated and have more time to learn. I study around 20 hours per week because I commute for 2 hours every day and I learn English in the evening and at weekends. English is my passion.
What was the biggest challenge when you first started learning English?
It was challenging to get back into the swing of learning again as I haven’t studied much since leaving school. I have dyslexia, so studying was always tough, but my English learning journey has been very different from my school experience because of one big factor: I love it!
Do you need to learn English for your job?
Not really. I work in IT for a federal organisation in Norway. I don’t use English day-to-day, but I have attended courses in English. In my field, it’s important to stay up-to-date with new technology, so learning English really helps in that regard. Occasionally, I talk with vendors and it’s nice to have some small talk with them in English to build a good relationship.
Before you started your course with me, how did you feel about learning English online?
Apart from a couple of ad-hoc classes with another teacher, having lessons with you was my first experience of learning English online. Before having lessons from Intrepid English, I had only looked for a face-to-face teacher because I thought that it would be more effective than learning online.
How many lessons did it take before you felt comfortable?
After a few lessons, I started to feel more comfortable. I remember one of the first lessons with you, we talked about Northern Ireland and the topic was controversial. We read an article about it and we discussed the issue. It was complex, but I was really pleased with my ability to understand the article and it was a big motivator for me. We have done lots of reading about a range of topics, so my vocabulary has increased a lot. My pronunciation has improved and I have studied grammar in my spare time to prepare for my lessons, too. The English Verb Tenses course from the Academy was particularly helpful because are a difficult area of grammar for me.
Now that you have reached your goal level, how confident do you feel speaking English?
I have had a lot of lessons, usually 4 hours per week, so my confidence has increased a lot during that time. I have gone from pre-intermediate to advanced level in just over two and a half years. If I hadn’t made the progress I have made, I would have quit, but seeing the progress has boosted my motivation. Celebrating the milestones also encouraged me to keep working hard.
Do you have any tips to share with other Intrepid English students?
You have to be patient because it can take a long time to really learn a language. To go from pre-intermediate level to advanced, it could take 1000 or more hours. It’s important to have that perspective when you start so that you don’t feel disillusioned if it takes time. Try to find a fun way to learn. I watch videos on YouTube and read articles on topics I am interested in. Have a variety of practice methods. Don’t just stick to what’s easy. If it’s difficult, that means you need to improve it. Many people work on their strengths, for example, writing, but they can’t speak English very well. Work on all areas to see an overall improvement. I also love to listen to the radio. LBC is my favourite channel because it’s all discussion. It also gives me a chance to listen to different accents. One more thing: Find a study mate who can chat with you in English outside of your lessons.
One last question, would you recommend Intrepid English to a friend or colleague who would like to learn English?
Yes. I have enjoyed our discussions about a range of topics, even when we have agreed to disagree. Haha. You have a calm way of explaining everything and you are very patient.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experience and well done for achieving your English goal. Feel free to chat with us in our Community any time!
As Erik mentioned, learning English doesn’t just happen overnight, it can take a while to reach your English-language goals. That’s why we have created the Intrepid English Academy, a library full of self-study courses to maximise your valuable studying time.
So, if you are still wondering if online English lessons are right for you, why not book a free trial lesson today and talk about your English goals with an experienced and friendly English teacher. It’s never too late to reach your English goals!
This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher and Founder, Lorraine.
Find out more about Lorraine on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.
Book a free trial lesson today and talk about your learning goals with an experienced native English teacher. Say goodbye to boring English lessons! If you’re not sure what you want to learn, let your teacher choose from the range of English courses that have been designed to help our students to achieve their goals.
Your personal path to success in English