Tell us who you are, where you live, your nationality and how long you’ve been learning a language with us.
I am Gail, originally from Glasgow in Scotland but living in Switzerland for the last 7 years. I have been learning with CB courses for about 6 years.
Which language or languages are you learning with Coffee Break?
French and German
What experience have you had speaking and learning other languages?
I did 4 years of German at school but never really got into it. When I moved to Italy to teach in an international school, I did Italian evening classes and learned just by listening and being forced to use it as English is not so common in Italy. I then moved to Switzerland for a new job where I stared to learn French. That is when I started using Coffee Break French. I took a 3 month intensive course there as well and topped up and practised with CBF. I then moved to the German speaking part of Switzerland again for a new job but continued French as I arrogantly thought I’d be fine with my German from school. A year in and with many local friends, I started learning German, not out of necessity as everyone speaks English but because I felt I should. So I started Coffee Break German. I have also taken evening classes and summer courses. It’s challenging as Swiss German is very different to High German. I understand somewhat but definitely feel better about my skills when I go to Germany.
What are your favourite memories of learning a language?
The coolest thing is knowing some vocabulary that perhaps you would not pick up in a normal class and using it to people’s surprise. The lessons where Mark looks at interesting language points in the dialogue is really useful for expanding that vocabulary.
Where would your ideal coffee break be, and with whom?
Having a conversation in French with a former French colleague who I used to only be able to speak to in English. I think they would be impressed!
What’s the best language-learning tip you have found works for you?
To listen to lessons rather than read from a book, or do both. It’s important for pronunciation and I remember it better. Also, you need to use the language – once you use a word you will remember it.
Quick Fire Round
• Your favourite language: French
• Your favourite word or phrase in the language: Donc
• Do you have a favourite film, TV show, book or singer in the language? Singer, M. Pokora
• Your favourite destination to practise your language: French part of Switzerland
Please finish off with a message to your fellow members of the Coffee Break community and the Coffee Break Team.
Coffee Break courses bring language learning to life!