There are a lot of reasons to learn English. You probably have your own goal! Maybe it’s for a business opportunity or a career change. Maybe it’s for a personal reason, like making new friends, preparing a travel, talking to your spouse’s family… Or maybe it’s just for fun, you just want to watch TV series in English!
All goals are valid. But at some point when learning English, you’ll probably find that you’re frustrated. You feel limited in what you can say. Like you’re missing out on something. You can be cool, smart and confident in your own language – but when you try speaking English, it all disappears!
Well, at least that’s what I felt – except I was learning French. I felt blocked, and frustrated, and just… not the same person, you know?
Hi, I’m Christina, your American Business English teacher.
Today, let me tell you how teaching business English in France inspired me to create Speak English for Christina.
1. Before teaching Business English: My Story
Back when I was young in the US, I always loved other cultures, and other languages. I learned French in high-school, and I really loved the class. I got good grades and everything.
But I really wanted to live the full experience. So I moved to France! It was exciting, I was finally going to apply what I learned, for real!
Well… I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be easy. In the real world, French people don’t speak the way they do in language classes. They speak fast, they don’t all have the same accent, they won’t stop when you don’t understand… I really wished real-life conversations had subtitles!
I “knew” that when learning a new language, you never feel as funny, spontaneous, or natural, as in your own language. But I didn’t really think it would really happen!
Well, it did. It was hard to feel like myself, in French. Hard to fit in, to make friends…
Of course, I was living in full immersion, so it’s a great way to learn. But I took special lessons to improve my French as well. I learned a bunch of new things.
And now, I feel much better!
The extra mile:
You can use this lesson today to start improving your English: there are many idiomatic expressions in here (such as “a bunch of new things” etc.)
2. Teaching Business English: What I learned
My own experience taught me a lot about what it takes to really feel like yourself in another language. What you need to learn, what people often forget, what you need to hear.
So I started teaching business English, here in my French city, for local companies, for business executives and employees living nearby.
I gave lessons to older business people, in high positions. And they had the same hesitations that I experienced, the same problems when speaking English than I had when speaking French!
In English, they didn’t know how to react to some situations – that they can deal with in French. Like:
And so I realized: “I’m not alone! And they’re not alone!”
It wasn’t just me, who felt like a little kid when speaking English. It’s a universal feeling!
That’s what really drove me to teach business English to a lot of people here.
After some time, I also learned that business people are… busy. There’s always a business trip, a new problem, or a special meeting! A lot of my clients had to miss their lessons sometimes, for business reasons. But they really wanted help in English!
I asked myself: “Well, what can I do to help my clients learn?” And I started to film a few video lessons on the Internet for them.
The first ones were really bad, but like everything, the more you do it, the better it gets! I learned about video, about editing, I bought a better camera and a microphone… And then people from all around the world started contacting me.
And that’s how “Speak English with Christina” was born.
This content was originally published here.