English Success Stories - Alexandrina
Short interview with a Brazilian to talk about how she learned to be fluent in English
Interview with Alexandrina
Alexandrina is Brazilian, lives in São Paulo. She works for a multinational company and her English is excellent. She studied most of time in group classes at school and university, but always chose to make an effort in class to participate as much as possible to get the most benefit from them. Here is the interview we had this week with Alexandrina about her path to fluency.
Richard/Hoppler: Do you like to study English?
Alexandrina: Yes I do. I love to travel and learn different cultures.
RH: Do you use English apart from travelling?
Alexandrina: Absolutely. I work for a multinational company and I need to report to colleagues in New York so I use it almost every day.
RH: How long have you been studying English? Where did you originally learn?
Alexandrina: I started at 11 years old and I’ve been learning my whole life. I studied at school and just had the basic course up to 18. I also did Instituto Universal Brasileiro correspondence course for 2 years at 14 because I had the idea that I wanted to work for a big company and the school English wasn’t enough. It was a really good course. I then went on to study literature at university so we had a lot of English. I was pretty good at conversation and I really like to get involved in the class – the teachers were really good.
RH: Have you ever had classes in a large group? If so, what were the benefits?
Alexandrina: In Brazil in 5th grade, I had a great teacher with a good graduation. She gave us an opportunity to speak and got us to like the language. I tried to be actively involved in the class and I made sure that I participated as much as I could so for me it was like a private class. At university the class numbers were lower but the teachers were very good.
RH: Have you ever had classes with a private teacher one-on-one? If so, what were the benefits?
Alexandrina: I dated an American for a couple of years and we spoke English all the time, so it was similar. I also worked for a company before where I am now and we had private classes and I loved it. A learned about making presentations and the teacher gave us handouts according to our needs.
RH: Have you ever done an Interchange or visited an English speaking country to study or travel? Alexandrina: Not to study but I’ve been to the USA many times but mainly for work. My English helped me to get my job. I’ve been here for 10 years and I like it a lot. RH: What were the activities in a class (group or individual) that you most enjoyed? What were the ones that taught you the most and why?
Alexandrina: liked listening, reading and watching videos and then studying vocabulary and after talking about the subjects.
RH: Did you do any activities to improve your English outside the classroom?
Alexandrina: I love reading in English and listening to music. First I listen without lyrics then after with lyrics, then after without. I can really notice the difference..
RH: If you could recommend any activities to other learners of English to help them, what would they be?
Alexandrina: Watch videos, look at pictures and scenarios and practice talking about what‘s going on. Grammar is complicated though. For idioms the best way is to make sentences. I recommend actively participating as much as possible in classes and having foreign speaking friends to help practice conversation.
RH: Thanks very much Alexandrina, it was great talking to you.
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