Confident and competent

Looking across Cardiff Bay to Penarth, the Barrage and the sea by Andrew Davis

People often ask about the content of my intensive English courses in Wales. The answer is that the materials and activities are unique to each client. A one-to-one schedule allows flexibility but most clients benefit from pronunciation training and confidence coaching. After all, the main purpose of language is speech and oral communication.

I have helped many individuals who had lived, worked and studied in the UK, the USA, Australia or New Zealand before turning to me. Sometimes they simply want to refresh their skills. More often, they feel that the experience of living in an English-speaking country has underlined how much work they still have to do. A university lecturer, for example, who had spent a year conducting research at Cambridge University, knew that he needed regular lessons with me before applying for a teaching post there. We enjoyed in-depth discussions on history, literature and current affairs, rehearsing presentations, practising Q&A sessions and carefully selecting the best words to convey particular concepts.

I have worked with philosophers, translating and editing academic papers, helping them to formulate and debate ideas or plan lectures. At this level of academia, many clients say they value the opportunity to discuss their ideas as much as the support they receive with their spoken and written English. Those ideas might come from the world of medicine, veterinary medicine, law, sociology, linguistics, architecture, science or maths. Each client has distinctive needs.

Whether you’re an executive or an academic, you could benefit from a period of immersion in English, with individual guidance through bespoke activities aimed at improving your fluency and confidence. The key to my tuition is that we use the language in real life situations, visiting public buildings not just as sightseers but as part of the experience of engaging with the soul of the country and its people.

Whatever line of business you’re in, I can guarantee you’ll leave Wales more fluent, more competent and more confident in your English.

From behind the cliffs at Penarth
From behind the cliffs at Penarth by Ben Salter

Here’s a bonus confidence booster! Most of the native speakers of English you meet won’t be able to speak your language. Even if they’re running a business in your country, they might not speak any of the official languages. They rely on the fact that English is the international language and they just don’t bother to learn any others. So you already have an advantage.

This is worth remembering when facing an interview, an important meeting or a presentation. You hear your own mistakes and panic. They hear somebody who’s making a good job of speaking a foreign language, a talent they may not possess. If they can understand you, they’ll be happy. If they can’t, they’ll ask for clarification. Just as they would if you were also a native speaker of English. We always want to be sure we’ve understood the details correctly before reaching an agreement, don’t we?

Wouldn’t you like to feel confidence in your competence?


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