Client Case Studies
”"My favorite thing about working with Language Trainers is that you were patient with me. When one teacher did not work out, you searched for another until I found the one who I work with now, Vumilia"”Learning Kiswahili for Humanitarian Reasons
Language Trainers: Hello Rebecca! Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Could you begin by telling us what took you to learn such an exotic language as Kiswahili and why you chose Language Trainers for that?
Rebecca: I have chosen to take lessons from Language Trainers as you are the only provider I could find with continuous training in Kiswahili. I have been working towards learning Kiswahili on and off since late 2017. I originally chose to learn Kiswahili when I was visiting Tanzania for the first time as a volunteer in December 2017 for a month. I have since become very involved in the women’s/children’s shelter that I volunteered at. I have returned two more times, volunteering for a month at a time and raising money for this shelter, Pippi House. I now have a non-profit and need to speak to many people in Kiswhahili when I go.
Language Trainers: That’s an amazing story and a very heartwarming reason to learn a language. And in your experience so far, what has been your favorite part of studying with Language Trainers?
Rebecca: My favorite thing about working with Language Trainers is that you were patient with me. When one teacher did not work out, you searched for another until I found the one who I work with now, Vumilia. She is a highly professional and wonderfully trained teacher. I couldn’t ask for more from an online situation. She is entirely flexible regarding my needs, but demands that I really learn what she is teaching me. She is rigorously thorough which I completely appreciate. Vumilia is always ready for a challenge and if I had the time to put into learning, I know I would be speaking on a higher level. The most helpful part of the course for me is combining listening/speaking skills with writing and grammar. I would highly recommend other students seeking to study Kiswhahili to ask for Vumilia as she is a true teacher, including her endearing attitude.
Language Trainers: Vumilia certainly seems to be a very capable teacher. Out of all the things you have learned with her, which is your favorite word or phrase?
Rebecca: One of my favorite phrases in Kiswhahili is “Moja kwa moja", which menas "one by one" (like step by step)
”"I have already recommended Language Trainers to at least ten people since doing the program"”Learning French for his Family
Language Trainers: Good morning, James. How are you?
James: I’m good, thanks.
Language Trainers: Would you mind telling us a little about yourself?
James: Yes, well my name is James, and I'm a 28 year old US Army Officer in the California National Guard and a Web Producer for Cal State University.
Language Trainers: And when did you start studying with Language Trainers?
James: I started In June 2011.
Language Trainers: James, which language did you study and why?
James: I studied French. My wife is from France, and her family —my in-laws—do not speak any English. I wanted to learn some basic French in order to be able to communicate with them.
Language Trainers: So why did you choose Language Trainers to begin studying French?
James: I had used a few self learning programs out there like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, but I just was not learning as fast as I wanted to. When I heard about Language Trainers and how they recruited tutors from actual educational institutions I figured it was worth a try.
Language Trainers: Was Language Trainers worth the try?
James: Yes! I studied with the tutor three times a week for 2 months and learned enough in that time to hold short conversations with my in-laws in their native tongue. I was really surprised how fast I was able to start applying the language. I was extremely pleased by the results of the program.
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear! What was the most helpful part of the course to you?
James: The teacher was amazing! She tailored each lesson based on my needs and focused specifically on topics that I would need. And she adjusted to my unique learning style, as well. I'm a kinetic and auditory learner so we did muscle memory and listening exercises over flashcards.
Language Trainers: Would you recommend Language Trainers?
James: Absolutely! I already have to at least ten people since doing the program.
Language Trainers: And on a final note, what's been the most rewarding experience to come from your Language Trainers experience?
James: I traveled to France a week after my two months of tutoring and was able to hold conversations with my in-laws. They were very impressed, as they knew I spoke no French at all prior to that trip.
” "I have learned conversational Japanese, as well as how to write basic Japanese characters in only three months"”Learning Japanese & Taking Business Abroad
Language Trainers: Hello, Cheryl. Thank you for agreeing to share your thoughts and experiences with us, today! It’s great to talk to you! Would you mind telling us a little about yourself? Where do you live, and which language did you study and why?
Cheryl: I live in the Central Valley in California but I wanted to learn Japanese as I have a global skincare business which is expanding to Japan in 2020. I wasn't sure how to get started or where I could find classes, but [I decided on Language Trainers] after doing my research online and multiple communications via email.
Language Trainers: Wow, congratulations on the success of your business. That’s quite the target you have set yourself. There are other language teaching businesses available; so, what made you choose Language Trainers? What made our service stand out?
Cheryl: The in-house staff were easy to work with and I love my tutor. She is very patient and works with me at my pace. In addition, she customizes my lessons, so they really are what's best suited for me.
Language Trainers: I am thrilled to hear that, Cheryl! And is the course working? Have you noticed an improvement?
Cheryl: I have learned conversational Japanese, as well as how to write basic Japanese characters in only three months. Of course, I practice a lot and try to take two classes per week, my schedule permitting. I am pleased that I have accomplished my language goals.
Language Trainers: Well done! That is excellent progress and a real testament to your commitment. And would you recommend Language Trainers to friends and family?
Cheryl: Language Trainers is not inexpensive, but assuming cost is not someone’s primary factor, I would recommend Language Trainers to them. And I like that customers can pay on a payment plan, if it helps.
Language Trainers: That’s great to know! And how would you persuade them to choose us?
Cheryl: If you are looking to learn a language, what better time than now, when so many of us are sequestered in our homes. It is always good to expose yourself to new challenges, and I think learning a new language is always great.
Language Trainers: We couldn’t agree more! Well, good luck taking your business to Japan, Cheryl! What are some of the phrases you think you will use most often out there?
Cheryl: I have several new phrases I use often, but my favorites are: Konichi wa! O genki desuka? (Hello, how are you?) Tanoshimi ni shitsteimasu! (I'm looking forward to it!) Tsukareta, oyasuminasi. (I'm tired, good night) Arigato gozaimasu! (Thank you very much!)
”"Yes, the program has been extremely helpful. My teacher was the most helpful and useful"”Rediscovering the Spanish Language
Language Trainers: Good afternoon, Bob. How are you doing?
Bob: Good afternoon. I’m good, thanks.
Language Trainers: Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?
Bob: My name is Bob, I am 50 years old, and work as a CPA. I began studying Spanish with Language Trainers in November of 2013.
Language Trainers: And why did you begin studying Spanish? What were your reasons and goals?
Bob: Ten years ago, I was living in Guatemala. I became conversationally proficient, but after I left I did not keep practicing. Although I should have. In Tampa we have several stations that broadcast the same shows —including news programs—in both English and Spanish. I began because I wanted to be conversationally fluent again.
Language Trainers: So, why did you choose Language Trainers?
Bob: My employer found the company and picked my program for me.
Language Trainers: And did you find Language Trainers helpful?
Bob: Yes, the program has been extremely helpful.
Language Trainers: What was the most helpful part about the course?
Bob: My teacher has been the most helpful and useful. My challenge isn’t vocabulary, it’s conversational: I can hear a word that I know, but still not recognize it immediately. My teacher helps me overcome this.
Language Trainers: Do you think you would recommend Language Trainers?
Bob: Yes. Yes, I would recommend Language Trainers!
Language Trainers: And on a final note, what’s your favorite new expression in Spanish?
Bob: Well, I’d be better off not to say. It’s a funny expression, but after translating it literally to English, I might get slapped!
”"My rather ambitious goal was to be able to speak, read, and write Italian and Lia has helped me work towards that"”A Passion for Italian
Language Trainers: Good morning Luvaghn, how are you?
Luvaghn: I’m well, thanks.
Language Trainers: Good to hear. Thanks for taking the time to chat. So, tell us, which language did you study with Language Trainers, and which level were you when you began your course?
Luvaghn: I began studying Italian about three months ago, after being referred to Language Trainers by a friend. I wouldn’t say I was a beginner, as prior to that I knew basic words and phrases, but Lia, my trainer, helped bring it all together.
Language Trainers: Why Italian? What was your reason and what were your goals?
Luvaghn: I’ve traveled to Italy a few times and plan on going back in the future. It’s beautiful there. I love the people and the food. While many speak English in the larger cities, the next time I go I want to be able to speak with people in the small towns we visit. Also, I have friends who are Italian and who speak Italian, and I want to converse with them in their native language.
Language Trainers: How have the classes been going, then?
Luvaghn: They’re going well. My rather ambitious goal was to be able to speak, read, and write Italian and Lia has helped me work towards that. I renewed my classes with her because she was such a great teacher. She uses different materials during lessons: movie clips, slide shows, poems, history and entertaining sayings I translate.
Language Trainers: You said you have friends who speak Italian. Have they commented on your progress? Do you now speak Italian with them?
Luvaghn: Yes, while my speaking ability is still a bit limited, we converse in Italian and they, like Lia, are very supportive and have noted my progress.
Language Trainers: What would you say was the best part of your Language Trainers course?
Luvaghn: Lia, my instructor. It’s tough to put in a nutshell just one reason why she’s been so helpful and motivating. There’s a lot. One of the things I most like is that she keeps me interested by varying the lessons so that I learn about the people and the country as I tackle difficult aspects of the language; like verbs! Her lesson plans include different cultural aspects of Italy. She makes it so much more than just about seeing Italian words on a piece of paper.
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear from you and your friend had such a good experience with us. Would you, in turn, recommend Language Trainers?
Luvaghn: Yes, I would recommend Language Trainers and Lia to anyone interested in learning Italian.
Language Trainers: You’ve mentioned your interest in a lot of the different materials Lia uses during your lessons. Before concluding, tell us, is there anything you’ve read — a certain cultural aspect you’ve studied or interesting text—that really sticks in your memory?
Luvaghn: There were several; a poem and slide show about the central square in Bologna, the difference between how Italians use their fingers when counting, a beautiful piece, Il vero anonimo mago, about a UNICEF worker, and a very informative piece about the history of Rome, Roma: un museo all’aperto!
”"We wanted to come to Peru with the confidence we could have small conversations with the people here. We knew that not only would it be helpful, but it would also enhance our experience and make us get more out of the trip"”Spanish for an Amazon Adventure
Tarran Kent-Hume and Olie Hunter Smart are two adrenaline-seeking adventurers who have dared to take on the western hemisphere’s longest and largest river, the Amazon. For five months, the two will be kayaking the 6,500 kilometer course of this gigantic, unpredictable river. While planning the adventure, the two enrolled in a 10-session online class with Language Trainers to learn Spanish before heading to South America. We caught up with them to chat about their trip and their experience with our online Spanish course.
Language Trainers: Good afternoon guys, how are you?
Olie Hunter Smart: Hi, we’re good, thanks! We’re currently in Lima, the first stop on our trip, and just finished a Google Hangout with a bunch of kids to talk to them about traveling and our adventure.
Tarran Kent-Hume: We’ll be here until Sunday or Monday and then we’ll be packing up and beginning the first part of our adventure at the Mantaro River here in Peru.
Language Trainers: Wow, I can imagine you’re excited about your upcoming kayak adventure down the Amazon! I know you’re probably busy with preparations so thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the adventure? We’ve been reading about your project and we’d love to hear more.
Tarran Kent-Hume: After six years as an investment banking headhunter, I knew I needed to make a change. I just turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and I wanted to do something big. I’m an adventurer: I practice Muay Thai fighting, I’ve climbed Mont Blanc, and now it’s onto conquering the Amazon. While I was in Thailand, I became fascinated by the rivers there and since I’d never been to South America, I figured the Amazon was the perfect next stop.
Olie Hunter Smart: When I was 18, I went to the Belizean jungle and it blew my mind. The scale of the trees and the peacefulness of it all really captivated me. I have been working in advertising in London for the past 10 years and wasn’t liking it. I thought there must be more than sitting behind a desk. Then I went traveling through Russia and South America with my girlfriend – it was incredible! When I got back, however, I went straight back into the world of advertising and got into the internal politics again, ending up right back where I was. I thought, “Nope! Can’t do this!” I needed to escape and live my life properly. I went camping with a guy who knew Tarran was going to be kayaking the Amazon and two weeks later, I met him and we began planning this trip together.
Language Trainers: So that’s why you began studying Spanish, right? To prepare for this trip?
Tarran Kent-Hume: Yes, we wanted to come to Peru with the confidence we could have small conversations with the people here. We knew that not only would it be helpful, but it would also enhance our experience and make us get more out of the trip. Also, if you speak someone’s language, they’re a lot more likely to help you out.
Language Trainers: What was your Spanish level beforehand?
Tarran Kent-Hume: I didn’t know much Spanish at all.
Olie Hunter Smart: Since I had traveled around South America before, I knew some and could understand when people talked. But it was frustrating because I didn’t know how to respond – I couldn’t put sentences together.
Language Trainers: And now that you’ve finished the course, how has your Spanish improved?
Tarran Kent-Hume: The classes helped massively. Plus we received homework outside the course which helped us process what we learned. We would write in Spanish and put thought into what we were writing, how to structure sentences and what we wanted to say. I know how to order food, ask for directions, and have short conversations with people – before I couldn’t do that!
Olie Hunter Smart: Right, and I liked that the class was more about conversing than specific vocabulary words. That really helped me get better.
Language Trainers: That’s great to hear. Have you been putting your new language skills to use?
Tarran Kent-Hume: Yes, in the past few days we’ve really been immersed. I listen to what people are saying and can pull out words I recognize, and piece together a response.
Olie Hunter Smart: Our knowledge of Spanish has already helped us out a lot here in Lima but it’s going to prove invaluable in the more rural parts where no one speaks English.
Language Trainers: What was your favorite part about your classes with us?
Tarran Kent-Hume: I liked that we could take the class together and online. After the class ended each time, I’d call Olie and we’d review our notes, converse in Spanish to practice, and talk about the homework.
Olie Hunter Smart: And our teacher was great. She knew why we wanted to learn Spanish and helped us make a list of keywords and phrases to know. For example, we know how to say “Please don’t shoot!” if we need to use it.
Language Trainers: Would you recommend Language Trainers in the future?
Olie Hunter Smart: Yeah, I would. We learned a lot in the short time we had. It has given me the confidence to talk a bit more and not rely on other people while I’m traveling.
Tarran Kent-Hume: Definitely – I already have recommended Language Trainers!
Language Trainers: One last question – do you have a favorite word or expression that you learned in Spanish?
Tarran Kent-Hume: “Vivir” – to live. It’s so beautiful and it has to be my favorite Spanish word.
Olie Hunter Smart: “Mañana” – tomorrow, why? Because everything that happens here happens mañana.
Took Spanish Courses in San Diego
Took German Courses in Denver
Took French Courses in Brooklyn
”I enjoyed my first English lesson and Jane is an excellent teacher for me. She could understand me and what I need in order to enhance my English skills. I'm looking forward to the future lessons.”English course in San Francisco
Teacher Case Studies
Language Taught: English
Years of teaching experience: 13
Language Trainers: Hi, Erin! Can you tell us something about your teaching background? Why you teach, your qualifications and history, and what attracted you to Language Trainers
Erin: Hello! Yes, I teach English. I have CELTA certification in English as a Second Language and have worked as a teacher since 2008. I have taught classes online, and delivered face-to-face courses in company offices and language schools. I chose a career in teaching because I enjoy meeting people from different countries and, also, I wanted a job that allowed me to travel. Language Trainers offered me the opportunity to work one-to-one with students (online and face-to-face) and gives my students and me flexibility on how we want to schedule our lessons.
Language Trainers: What is your favorite thing about working with Language Trainers, and can you think of any fond moments from your time working with us?
Erin: The communication is very good between the management and the teachers. And anytime my students and I play Taboo to review new vocabulary is fun and memorable.
Language Trainers: What are your expectations in your classes? What should your students bring to each lesson, and what do you expect of yourself?
Erin: I enjoy working with students who enjoy talking about various subjects and are also comfortable working on grammar production, or grammar in spoken context. Meanwhile, my students can expect me to place lots of focus on speaking production, correct sentence structure and new vocabulary.
Language Trainers: It sounds like you work hard to give your students a solid foundation of language knowledge. Are there any fun expressions you like to teach, as well?
Erin: Oh, yes. English is full of them. Just today, I discussed the expression 'hit the nail on the head' with a student, which means to find the exact right answer.
Language Trainers: Would you recommend all students to study with Language Trainers?
Erin: Definitely! The one-to-one interaction with a teacher makes the experience very personal. Students can communicate directly to their teacher about what specific things they need help with.