This week, 31 year old Gardener, James from the South of England, tells us how he transitioned from having no knowledge of any foreign languages to becoming a language enthusiast, thanks to learning with Coffee Break.
For the past 20 years, James has been making trips to his holiday home in Torrevieja, just south of Alicante in Spain. However, admittedly, it took him some time to start learning Spanish. He tells us how he came to the realisation that a little language goes a long way:
“It didn’t even occur to me to start learning Spanish because the natives are so keen to speak English to tourists and it didn’t feel overly necessary. One day however, I noticed that my brother was attempting to speak in Spanish to the waiters etc a lot more and with some success. It was on that holiday 7 years ago that I was first introduced to Coffee Break. Fast forward to today, and I am now able to speak, write and read Spanish very well and will be sitting my A-level exams this year.”
James also credits Coffee Break Spanish for playing a part in meeting his other half: “Coffee Break also played a part in me meeting my now fiancée, who is French, which we’ll come to in a moment. I’m a gardener and I listen while I work. I was working at her rented accommodation listening to CBS when she overheard the Spanish. Somewhat intrigued, this led to a long conversation about languages, which led to our first date and the rest as they say is history!”
After meeting his French fiancée, James felt motivated to start learning French with Coffee Break. “Given that I was now dating a French girl I felt I ought to make an effort to learn French. 5 years on and I’m now speaking French to a good standard, all thanks to Coffee Break French!”
He didn’t stop there! Having gained a solid understanding of Spanish and French, James felt it was time to try his hand at Italian. “The fantastic Coffee Break Italian has allowed me to reach a good standard of Italian”. James is fortunate enough to have 2 Italian clients with whom he can practise what he learns from the lessons.
With three foreign languages under his belt, James admits that he caught the bug for language learning and has now set his sights on learning German and Chinese: “I couldn’t resist Coffee Break German and Chinese and again, thanks to Coffee Break, I have reached a basic level of both languages.”
It seems that this is only the beginning of his new found passion for language learning as he shares his plans to use some of our other courses: “I was absolutely delighted to hear the news about Coffee Break English for Spanish speakers because I can learn from the Spanish spoken in the lessons! Also, the announcement that Swedish would be added to the Coffee Break family was music to my ears.” He had previously been learning Danish but after hearing news of Coffee Break Swedish he decided to take a different route: “Given that Swedish isn’t too different from Danish I have decided to switch to learning Swedish and I can’t wait!” James has also been learning Portuguese on the side and hinted that he’s awaiting a Coffee Break Portuguese course!
It is clear that James has a passion and enthusiasm for language learning which has benefitted him greatly. James reflects on what language learning has done for him:
“Being a gardener who often uses machinery such as lawnmowers and strimmers, I can often expose myself to up to 10 hours a day of language listening at work. Coffee Break has been a godsend to me in these hours and has turned me from somebody who knew absolutely no foreign language, to somebody who can now converse in over 7 languages. Perhaps even better though, is the fact that being able to speak the language of a country, it unlocks so much more culture that wouldn’t be available to anybody not able to speak that language. I was able to attend una feria in a small village in Almería where very little English was spoken, and really experience that aspect of the culture as a native would, just because I was able to speak with the locals.”
James finishes with the following message for the Coffee Break team:
“Thank you so much for all you do, to Mark and indeed everyone at Radio Lingua… it feels great to share my amazing Coffee Break experience with you all!”