Monday, 20 April 2015

Learn the iFriendly way...

What is the best way to learn a language?

Sorry, but there is no easy way to answer this...

However, I do believe that finding out what makes a student tick, what sparks an interest in them, is the key to helping them learn.

From my experience a good way of finding out what pushes their buttons is to give them a projects instead of a text books.  Sometimes a book can offer lots of different subject matters that could appeal to a wide range of students, but will that small section of the text book capture their imagination? I seriously doubt it. Text books have a place, they live in the classroom.  I rarely come across a student who reads their text books for fun.  I don't argue the fact that they are a good learning tool, but they belong in the classroom. iFriendly believes that project work is the best way to learn outside the school as an extra-curricular activity.

From my experience project work has the ability to bring out the best (strengths) in people and the worst (weaknesses). If you can identify your strengths early on in life then that will be a  fantastic advantage in many aspects of your life. The same goes for your weaknesses, if we can identify our weaknesses early on we can try and improve on them. iFriendly believes that if we don't improve on our weaknesses then they could turn into fears. 

When we start work on a project, we must think of;

How to go about it?
Where to start?
What tools are needed?

These questions alone give us the motivation to start work on the project and discover what we are good at along the way. As an individual working on a project, we could discover that we are good at prioritising, organization, research, etc.  As part of a team we could discover if we have leadership skills, or if we are good at building rapport.

During the chosen project you will find that you learn English in a natural way, not because you have to fill in the gaps or answer a difficult grammar question about the 3rd conditional, but because you have had to read about the given subject, research and investigate the ideas in order to complete the project. The end result is a finished piece of work that you have learnt from and above all you are proud of your effort.

I recently watched a video about an educational programme in the United Kingdom, which has been an inspiration to this iFriendly project... 

Please click on the link below:

I do believe that taking anyone out into the wilds or countryside could have a tremendous affect on their self esteem. Learning out in the open through project work could bring out other qualities you didn't know existed! Whether you or your children are learning a language... iFriendly wants to help you find out how you can learn and enjoy learning. 

About Me

My photo


If you have read my blog and want to know more about me ... please read on!

Where are you from?

The short answer would be the south of England, but this is not strictly true.  I was born in Bahrain, and I've lived in Spain, Scotland and England.  When I worked for First Choice (Tour operator), I was sent to work in Almeria, Tenerife, Malaga, Corfu and Bulgaria! Then I moved to Brighton. I had a great time there and met some amazing people (you know who you are)! From there I moved to Alicante to become a teacher.  I got a better teaching position in Toledo with Cambridge English plus, there I spent my days correcting exams, teaching kids and Adults... and now I am residing in Ciudad Real with my life partner.

Why did you become an English teacher?

I've always liked the idea of teaching, but I figured it was a good idea to get some life experience before trying to teach. So, that's what I did! I have worked in tourism, insurance, marketing, health and safety, bars and restaurants! Work experience gives you heaps of anecdotes and stories to teach your students about real life!

Why did you decide to become self-employed?

Well, it was an easy decision, I wanted the freedom and flexibility to teach English through numerous activities, cooking, wine tasting, playing games, etc.  When you work in a school/academy/college you teach the same thing day in day out, students get bored of sitting down at a desk with a book open in front of them, having done this during school hours as well. Through experience I've learnt that it's easier to learn a language when you actually live it! Kids in Spain learn grammar at school, they know how the language works, but they don't get the opportunity to speak.

Why online classes?

I wanted to be able to teach other nationalities and maybe provide a service to people who can't leave their house, or live out in a small village where they don't have access to a language school. Teaching online is intense, it doesn't suit everyone, but the students I have are happy with the classes.

Are online classes better than in person?

If there is a good internet connection, and the student is keen to learn online, then it can be good, but I wouldn't say it was better than in person. Learning online is intense, you have to constantly pay attention, your teacher is able to provide you with visual aids, class notes, etc. You save money on petrol and you save time! When technology improves, it will be possible to join a group, which should be cheaper for you and give you the opportunity to meet other students from around the world!

How do you fill your time?

Well, I keep a blog for my students, the number of readers are increasing everyday, which is encouraging. I won't talk about politics, religion or any subject which may offend any nationality. It's purpose is to give students something to read, which may interest them. Helping them to learn new vocabulary and expressions. I also teach at a nursery in the mornings, and one evening a week I teach children and their parents together! This gives parents the opportunity to learn with their children, making it easier to practise at home. English can become part of your everyday lives!

My teenage group are new, and I love teaching them!

iFriendly Summer project:

Every year I look into summer camps and the options I have to teach during our long hot summers... I have to say there is quite a wide variety of summer camps here in Spain, United Kingdom and Ireland.  I have worked for the Junta de Andalucia and Combination Languages in the U.K.

I love Castilla La Mancha and I would rather stay and teach closer to home... I think I have found what I am looking for.  A stunning little village not 50 minutes from my City... Saceruela.

This year I intend to set up a summer camp for kids, aged 10 -16 from the local schools and academies. In 2016 / 17 I intend to attract students from the U.K and Ireland, those who want to learn Spanish, so that we can teach both languages together.  This will enable iFriendly to provide activities for both nationalities and give everyone the chance to learn from each other. A similar set up to my 'Invasion Friendly' project in Brighton, where Spanish speakers and English speakers got together every week to learn from each other in a social environment. This will also be available for adult learners, but on weekends throughout the year.

Invasion Friendly "To promote cultural integration and change. Give the word invasion new meaning. A safe way for travellers to learn languages."

Check out this stunning village

I teach English through wine tasting events in Ciudad Real, at Taberna Vinalia Check out our events on Facebook.

From April 2014 to December 2014, I worked on a Tourism project in Toledo, due to the long commute I no longer teach the course.

And last but not least, I teach English online!

For Skype English classes Contact Lisa Jane by email