Hi, my name is Jennifer and I work as an executive assistant to the CEO of a medical group. I have 2 grown children and a wonderful boyfriend. I have been trying for years to learn Spanish, needless to say that I have been unsuccessful. I’ve always wanted to learn another language as I was envious of those who could speak multiple languages. However, it has always been said that the older you are the less likely you will be able to learn a second language and language learning is best taught/learned from a very early age. But I didn’t let that stop me from trying.
I tried books, tapes, CDs, programs like Rosetta Stone, a private tutor and even had my friends trying to teach me. Unfortunately, when I would talk with them in Spanish, or at least try, we would go right back to English. Nothing worked. I gave up until I started going out with my boyfriend who is, as well as his family, native Spanish speakers. Well that was certainly a shock when I would go to family functions. This made me realize how little the previous methods I tried didn’t work. Those methods did not train me for Spanish as it is spoken amongst native speakers. Not only was I not prepared at family functions, the many trips that we have made to Mexico were also a clear eye opener. There I am either at a family function or on vacation not able to communicate or understand what is going on around me. I had had enough. I became very committed to learning the language.
Now my starting point was using Google to find out how others had learned languages. I read and read and read and I came across some very interesting articles, one of which was italki. I created an account and browsed their website but was a little hesitant to Skype with someone I didn’t know. I just didn’t feel comfortable with it so I didn’t do it. Well, weeks, months went by and one day I told myself, sometimes you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, that’s the only way things change if you step outside of your comfort zone. So I scheduled a half hour trial. The day of the trial, I was extremely nervous because I had never been comfortable nor had the confidence to speak Spanish publicly, but I went through with it. The teacher I chose was very sweet, kind, reassuring and patient. From that day, I’ve averaged about 3 to 4 half hour sessions per week and it’s been about a month and a half since I started fully utilizing the site.
Each session is fun and interactive. I get instant feedback from the tutor and it is increasing my confidence immensely. For me, this has been the best thing I’ve found. It is very inexpensive and I look forward to each session now unlike before when I was extremely nervous not knowing what to expect. I would highly recommend this site to anyone who desires to learn a language. I have come to love learning Spanish and look for new opportunities to use what I’ve learned as I continue my journey to fluency.
Currently I am utilizing 2 tutors that have 2 different teaching styles both of which are very helpful:
Berenice, has a more structured class where she will send you materials as well as exercises to increase vocabulary as well as grammar. She is extremely sweet and will make you feel comfortable.
Sandrah, has regular conversations with me which really helps me improve my listening and communication skills as well as helping me with vocabulary and grammar. Sandrah has a great sense of humor and excellent teaching skills as well being patient and kind.
I am proud to say that at the age of 46, I am learning a new language thanks to my tutors at italki!
Jennifer joined the italki in July of 2013, she is learning Spanish at italki.