CASTLETON, VIRGINIA – Monika was unusual.
She graduated from high school.
But she never had one English lesson!
Instead, she chose German.
Oh well, we all make mistakes when we’re young.
And now she desperately wanted to improve because she had a new job.
She was a producer for an American company that made commercials in Prague.
Film and entertainment were her passion.
As part of her job, she had to talk with her new American colleagues.
And so she had to improve ASAP (as soon as possible).
We began lessons and she made fast progress.
One month later, her English was better.
And three months later, it was much better.
Then she got too busy at work and didn’t have time to come to my apartment anymore for lessons.
But sometimes I would run into her around town.
She would tell me about her latest commercial and about Cannes and other film festivals she was attending
And she would tell me in very good English.
So what was Monika’s secret?
Was it motivation?
Lots of students want – some even need – better English. But few improve as fast as Monika…
Was it hard work?
Did she study hard? Did she do hours of homework every night and pass the CAE?
Not at all.
She usually went to parties in the evening.
Her superpower was this…
Monika was not afraid.
Yes, she was an extrovert. But I’ve met many extroverts who were also shy.
You see, if you’re shy, if you have fear, you don’t talk to people.
And if you don’t talk to people, you don’t make friends.
And if you don’t make friends, you don’t have many opportunities to speak.
And if you don’t speak much, well… maybe you know how that is.