My English journey

by Louisa / 02 April 2013 / No Comments

By Menno Nauta, Teacher, the Netherlands

We asked Phone English student, Menno about his Phone English lessons and English journey…Skype English lessons

1. Why did you choose Phone English?

I chose Phone English approximately a year ago, because I failed an oral exam in June 2011. Since I am afraid that my original subject, German, will disappear from the Dutch schools in future, I have decided to start an English study in order to become an English teacher for the remaining years of my career. My oral proficiency has been my weak point up till now. According to my teachers I had a German pronunciation and I was aware that I made several grammar mistakes. In order to pass my oral exams I chose Phone English, especially after having got a tip from one of my fellow students.


2. What is your teacher like?

I think you mean David Allan, Louisa. He has been my teacher up till now. I have learnt a lot! It has always been very important to practice a foreign language with a native speaker. I have learnt several typical English expressions which I would never have learnt in a classroom with Dutch fellow students and Dutch teachers. David is – -what we usually say in Holland – typical English: polite and patient at any rate! He usually chooses his subjects on the spot, so I do not have time for preparing my conversation. it is the best way to check myself, whether I am able to speak proper English in every situation. Additionally, my friend and fellow student, Connie Kuipers and I have gained self-confidence. Especially Connie failed her oral exam twice because of lack of self-confidence. She has started her English studies at another school and passed her oral exams successfully!


3. What difference have your lessons made to your life/work

The first thing worth mentioning is my gained self-confidence. In contacts with Dutch teachers I had been afraid of making grammar mistakes since they only emphasise the wrong things we said. They were never positive or told us that we had improved. In the second place I would like to mention that because of the lessons I passed my oral exam and was allowed to continue with my study. In Holland we have got a new system which means that we are forced to stop studying if we do not have enough credits. Failing an exam means not getting the required credits. Furthermore, it is the best way to learn foreign languages (as said before): speaking with native speakers.


4. Any other comments

I would like to thank you for your really excellent service! Furthermore, I would like to thank David for his lessons. I always look forward to talking with him and afterwards I always have a feeling of satisfaction. I really did learn more English, although I am aware that I am not a native speaker and that I never will learn the language entirely and without an accent of my mother tongue.

Thank you, Menno. We hope you continue to enjoy lessons.

About the author:

Louisa is Course Director at Phone English. She helped start Phone English after many years of teacher training and materials development at

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