Yesterday I was working at the school, which meant a mix of sitting in an empty classroom with my laptop computer and helping out on reception, chatting with people, giving information and so on.
Someone called from England to ask when she could start her course. A very keen American couple came in, late afternoon, having missed their flight and so the first day of lessons.
But also, we have a bunch of Swedish ladies in the school at the moment, so I chatted to them in their own language, which was fun and satisfying. People appreciate it when you take the trouble to learn their language.
Later, three Turkish students wanted information about individual Italian lessons, so that was another opportunity to practice: “Welcome”, “Pleased to meet you!” in Turkish – they’re just standard phrases, but ones that trip off the tongue much easier SINCE I’VE BEEN TAKING WEEKLY LESSONS.
I live in Italy and have done since 1998. My kids were born here, I run a business here, so of course I’m not learning Italian, or at least, not anymore. I got to the point when I could get by, and after that never bothered.
But being a language teacher by profession I always had a nagging doubt that I really should be learning myself, or how else to understand/empathise with clients?
My half-Italian wife’s mother is Swedish so, a couple of years back when I took the leap and publicly pledged to study another language, club members voted that I should take up Swedish. Just to provoke me, I suspect.
An earlier wife, back in my ‘twenties, was Turkish. We met when I was living in the Turkish capital, Ankara, at the start of my teaching ‘career’. Back in the day, I could get by pretty well in that language, especially as Ayşegül (note the accented characters, I’m getting pretty good at those…) didn’t initially speak any English.
But then stuff happened and we got divorced. Twenty-five years passed without me speaking a word of Turkish, which you’ve got to admit was a shame.
Learning Swedish was hard at first. While I got through Duolingo easily enough, I literally couldn’t say a word in the language, or understand much or any of what was said to me.
So, more by way of market research than anything else, I decided to take some online lessons, with a competitor. That was in November, two years ago.
I’d estimate that my speaking is now a B1 (intermediate). As for listening, which I practice a LOT, B2.
After a year or so of Swedish lessons, buoyed by the feeling of making good progress, I thought I’d have a go at reactivating my Turkish using the same approach – weekly online conversations with a native-speaker.
Which brings us up to date. I do Swedish on Thursdays and Turkish on Fridays, and look forward to each.
I’m no linguistic genius, though. It’s just practice – with online teachers, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, hours and hours and hours in total.
It’s not rocket science – it’s regular EXPOSURE that makes the whole foreign language thing a normal part of your life. And if you don’t want the foreign language you’re studying to be a normal part of your life, then why bother?
The title of this article is “I am feeling a lot more confident with speaking and listening…”, which is a quote from a customer review of our online Italian lessons.
Which is itself quoted in an article I wrote for one of our previous sales, I forget which one.
The gist, if you’re pressed for time, is that taking one-to-one online Italian lessons will make you feel better.
And how buying some during the sale will save you money.
The article is pasted here below. I’ve updated the coupon codes to the ones for the current offer.
Our Autumn/Fall Sale is proceeding apace.
Many of our regular online students have been stocking up on lesson credits, enough to see them through to the next sale in December/January.
At a great 20% discount, of course!
The next sale is 13 weeks away so, assuming you’ll take a lesson a week, but skip the occasional week due to sickness or holidays, 10 lessons should do it.
If you prefer two lessons a week, then better get 20!
Normally 10 x 30-minute lessons with one of our (“patient and understanding”) online Italian teachers would cost £150.
But this week, assuming you remember to use coupon code ( Autumn-Sale-2019 ), that would be just £120.
Like a lot of fantastic opportunities, you have to know that it’s going to work for you, right?
Most of our sales since yesterday have been to existing students, who are clearly already convinced.
Few, perhaps none, of the buyers have been NEW students, taking the plunge for the first time.
Why would that be, if not because of the price?
If you ask me, people are (quite naturally) uncertain, apprehensive, even downright frightened.
And I should know!
Because a couple of years ago I was in the same position myself – nervously considering taking my first online lesson via Skype (in Swedish – since then I’ve done hundreds…)
I bet it was worse for me, though, as I’m a teacher. And the prospect of reversing roles and being the student was quite unnerving!
I wrote about all this during last year’s promotion.
The article is here: Summer Sale: Questions about Online Italian Lessons answered
(n.b. If you read the article above, be aware that last year’s coupon code doesn’t work any longer… you have to use this year’s code – see above or below.)
Beh anyway, I’m no longer a nervous, newbie online student, so I won’t repeat myself again this year.
But why not take a look at some of our genuine, unedited reviews?
I’ll quote a few of the recent ones (thanks to everyone who took the time to help us out):
- “I am feeling a lot more confident with speaking and listening…”
- “I’m supposed to be reviewing the teacher here – she’s great!”
- “My italian has progressed immensely since I started skype lessons.”
- “My husband and I are loving our lessons…”
- “I find it extremely helpful to have someone to converse with in Italian.”
- “I have never before engaged someone with whom I can practice speaking the language I am learning.”
- “We cover a wide range of topics which of course increases my word knowledge.”
- “…we don’t pre-plan the conversation therefore it is like day to day conversation with someone you meet up with.”
- “On a recent visit to Italy I found it so much easier to communicate…”
- “I can understand anyone being nervous about starting on- line lessons. It is just you and a teacher! Remember though this is how they make their living and they only want to help plus the only way to get better at speaking Italian is to speak it.”
I just copied and pasted a line or so from each of the first ten reviews in date order – there are seventy-nine older ones like that.
Browse them all here.
Where are the bad reviews?
There aren’t any.
I didn’t delete them, promise. There just aren’t any.
Perhaps people are just kind, I don’t know.
Or perhaps our teaching manager, Lucia, does a great job in selecting teachers and dealing with any issues our students have.
Here’s the information about the Autumn/Fall Sale, summarised from yesterday:
Everything in our online shop is 20% off this week:
- online Italian lessons with a club teacher
- self-study workbooks
- Italian easy readers (including our ‘Day in the life of..‘ series and our Classic Italian Movies series)
- Italian-English parallel texts, of which we have 21, at different levels
- and more!
The coupon code you need to get your discount is: Autumn-Sale-2019
On our catalog page there are links to all of our ebook titles along with links to FREE sample chapters, so you can evaluate the type and level of the material.
Make your selections of ebooks and online lesson credits from our online shop.
Then proceed to your shopping cart in the usual ecommerce way.
Don’t forget to copy and paste the coupon code ( Autumn-Sale-2019 ) into the box where it says ‘Apply coupon’.
Hit the ‘Apply coupon’ button then scroll down to check that the cart total has been discounted BEFORE you proceed to the payment stage.
The prices of individual items in your cart remain unchanged but the cart total is reduced, see?
Any problems, just email me!
- Coupon code Autumn-Sale-2019 gets you 20% off everything!
- This sale ends at midnight on Sunday 29th of September 2019
- There’s no minimum or maxium spend
- You can use the coupon as often as you wish, while the offer lasts
- The coupon code works on items which are already discounted, such as ebook multipacks
- But it can’t be used together with other coupons
- Select from a range of payment options (Amazon, Paypal or bank transfer)
Don’t forget, the next offer won’t be until the end of December. Stock up now!
Here’s that coupon code again: