“I have a problem.”
Petra walked into my apartment in Prague.
Today was her first lesson and she got right to the problem:
“I had a meeting with a big client from America and…”
She stopped speaking to search for the right word.
Her muscles were tight.
Her voice was weak.
She looked at the floor…
“And what happened?” I asked.
“My English was terrible! I feel like an idiot… My colleagues must think I’m an idiot… the client must think I’m an idiot…”
For millions of people around the world, English is a tool; they use English for work, travel, money, opportunities, etc.
For Petra, it was a nightmare.
(translation: a scary, frightening dream)
Petra’s English Nightmare Began In School
One day, when Petra was a teenager, her English teacher made her stand up and speak English in front of the class.
Petra made a mistake.
And everyone laughed.
Now, as an adult, that laughter follows her.
She worries about mistakes.
She worries about her pronunciation.
She worries about understanding the other person.
Sometimes her fear is so bad, she gets a headache when she hears English.
Sadly, Petra’s story is quite common.
Since 2004 I’ve heard many, many stories like Petra’s.
What I told Petra is the same thing I’ve told thousands of students since 2004
It’s not your fault: it’s your methods.
When you stop using the old school methods…
I’m talking about studying and translating and yes, stress.
And when you start using modern methods…
Your English will improve faster.
You’ll be surprised.
And best of all, you’ll enjoy it!