My name is Andrea and it’s my job to teach Mark German in the second series of Coffee Break German. I knew about Coffee Break for a few years before I joined the Radio Lingua team in 2016. I am a qualified language teacher, translator and interpreter, but I started out in a completely different career when I did a degree in hotel and restaurant management in my early 20s. When I am not recording Coffee Break German, I will probably be at The Language Hub C.I.C., a social enterprise offering language classes to children and adults. In my free time, I enjoy hillwalking, eating good food and spending time with my family.
What is your role in Coffee Break?
I work with Mark on the Coffee Break German lessons. While Mark writes the content of the lessons, I help to come up with the examples for each lesson. Mark really is learning in each episode – I can’t let him see everything beforehand! Together we work out the best way to explain grammar points, rules and any tricky language or pronunciation.
What experience have you had speaking and learning other languages?
At school in Switzerland, I studied French, English and Italian in primary and secondary school. It was easy to practise French and Italian, as Switzerland has a French and an Italian-speaking part, which I visited occasionally. Later, I spent some time in Scotland to learn better English and I spent a few months in Spain to learn Spanish. Having studied at universities in Italy and Scotland, these two languages have become languages I feel quite confident in. I also studied some Farsi (Persian) and some British Sign Language as an attempt to keep my brain active. Both languages posed challenges I had not experienced before. Now, I work with people from all around the world and can keep my language skills active on a daily basis, which is brilliant.
What are your favourite memories of working with Coffee Break?
I love recording Coffee Break with Mark. Although we try to be very efficient, we still manage to fit in a few laughs. And I enjoy our chats over lunch time.
Where would your ideal coffee break be, and with whom?
My ideal coffee break would be on top of a Swiss mountain on a sunny day. I would not even need anybody else to be there. Maybe my mum’s dog Cooper.
What’s your best language-learning tip?
Just talk to people. Don’t worry about sounding silly or making a mistake. Everyone will applaud your efforts. Also, why not watch some DVDs in the language you want to learn? You can get well-known TV series that have been dubbed. As you already know the content, you may find it quite easy to follow, even though you don’t understand every word. Or you could get films and series that are originally in the language you want to learn and then switch on the subtitles.
Favourite word/phrase in the language
Schadenfreude (what else?)
Favourite film / TV show / Book / singer?
I have to admit that I love Star Trek and I have seen all episodes and films!
Do you have a message for the Coffee Break Community?
Thank you for listening to the lessons. I hope you enjoy your language learning experience and will soon have the possibility to put your skills to the test on a holiday or a business trip.