Sofia Language Center
SLC STUDENTS, METHOD, PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE
You might be a Belgian banker currently working in Bulgaria, a French or Japanese diplomat to Sofia, or an Italian university professor. You might be an American actor shooting movies in Bulgaria, or a Canadian, married to a Bulgarian. You might be a Russian looking to settle in Bulgaria, or an English person who has already done so.
Whoever you are, you are unique.
And so is your linguistic situation. Your lifestyle, your career and views make you a unique potential learner of the language with his or her own specific linguistic needs and individual learning pace, rhythm and style.
Method and Philosophy
Instead of pushing you to adjust to our teaching methods, we will adjust our teaching methods to match your learning style. And this is exactly what a boutique educational style is about.
What you actually get with us is language training designed especially for you.
We will work towards sorting out your concrete linguistic situation. All learners of a language with virtually no exception, want to be able to speak this language. You will need the foreign language for practical reasons, and our training focuses exactly on preparing you for your real life communication. One of our American students, for example, had taken up Bulgarian lessons mainly to be able to talk to her Bulgarian mother-in-law. (The young lady was very happy with her progress. And so was everybody else. The only problem was, though, that the mother-in-law would rather practice her English with the daughter-in-law.)
If you are in Bulgaria for a job, you will soon find out how useful it is to know and understand what is going on in your office among your Bulgarian employees, even though the language used in the office, naturally, is English.
We have often helped our ex-pat students prepare presentations in Bulgarian to make sure the message they have to their employees does really sink in.
A few years ago a French woman, who had brought her son to have English language classes with us, when trying to show appreciation of our work, pointed at a textbook sitting on a desk next to her, frowned and said: “This is school”. Then she pointed around at my office and said: “And this here is life!” I would say that the French lady was right! With all due respect to all textbooks in the world, they alone will not teach you to speak a foreign language.
No human being can learn a language (not even his/her mother tongue) if he/she is not given the chance to practice it. You might be a linguistic genius, nevertheless, you will never ever learn to speak a foreign language unless you are given the chance to open your mouth and speak!
If this does not happen you would find yourself in the awkward situation of somebody who is being trained to swim not in the swimming pool, but on the slippery wet tiles around it.
Our whole teaching process is organized around providing the best conditions for practicing the foreign language. Practice, practice, practice, from day one! Practice makes perfect.
Carrying out successful practice-oriented language training is an art and, like any art, it is difficult to describe. But like with any art, you can tell when it is real.
Good conversation classes don’t get simply conducted, they get created, and it takes a talented teacher to do that. An experienced professional language instructor knows what to teach, when and how. My teachers certainly do. They are specially trained for that.
Creating a balanced language learning curriculum is like creating a balanced diet. It is individually prepared, adjusted to the individual needs of the consumer, and it results in a healthy command of the body, in our case it results in a healthy command of the foreign language (or rather in a healthy command of the mind while operating in the foreign language).
This interactive experiential teaching style builds up an atmosphere of trust and creativity. Trust is a must in our work.
Language learners are not language machines. We recognize their vulnerability and do our best to help them be prepared for the tough linguistic environment in the big bad world outside, where they will have to swim on their own in the cold rough waters of real life communication.
At the same time we want our students to be comfortable. While learning you have to be relaxed. Tension and frustration are counter-productive, and hence non-existent in our office.
Some people think that fun and serious learning are mutually exclusive, but I am afraid they are very wrong!
Learning a foreign language is a long process and no way can you endure the days, weeks and months, or years of training unless you enjoy it. Nobody wants slow and boring lessons. I wouldn’t. What a drag! And since our students are very busy people, for maximum comfort and minimum stress we offer them flexible learning schedules. The process is well organized and runs smoothly. No stress.
In a relaxed easy-going, yet lively, joyful atmosphere learning is interesting and motivating, progress is steady and the best results are guaranteed.
If you are happy, we are happy
All our students are happy with their achievements. Some of them are so happy that they bring their friends and husbands or wives to learn languages with us, and of course their children, too.
We are only too happy to teach the children of our students and sometimes even their grandchildren! Three generations of students, isn’t it wonderful?
We have wonderful working relationships with all our students and with many of them our relationships have lasted for years. Very often our ex-pat students keep taking Bulgarian lessons with us for the whole time of their stay in the country.
Very often our corporate clients turn to us to organize language classes for their employees. And there was this French diplomat who had sent 3 out of his 4 daughters to learn English with us, plus his wife, pregnant with their 5th child.
Sometimes we are faced with the challenging task to organize simultaneous learning schedules for a family of 3, or even 4. So while you are having a class, your child is having a class next door. Kids don’t care but Moms adore it because it saves the extra trips.
Our students cherish our club-like, family atmosphere, and feel at home with us.
And feeling at home is good, even when your home is thousands of miles away.
Sofia Language Center