I have known Aline Defendi for over four years, not a day goes by that we don’t chat each other up about nonsense and as an American English major I have to admit that her English is superb. Over the past few years I have watched her English improve through her study of the subject and have come to understand that she is a very loyal teacher who will go out of her way for the sake of her students to make them feel comfortable and give them the best learning experience possible. She teaches all ages and designs the class to accommodate the age group and preference of each individual student. If someone doesn’t understand something she changes her tactics, sometimes even making a game out of it to get the student more involved.
Many times I have lent my voice for her to show to her students to help them with pronunciations for the individuals who learn better by hearing rather than reading. Hearing an American accent seems to fascinate the majority of individuals who I have spoken too. Even then she insists on personalizing the lesson by having me greet the student by name and informing me of their interests so that the conversation between myself and the student will flow easily.
CD recordings will vary per student as mentioned before. Depending on Ms Defendi’s instructions the student may have a chance to write down questions they would like me to answer and I will answer them as best I can. That CD will then be personalized according to the student’s questions, so no two students are likely to have the same CD.
If this is something you wish to partake in please do not let your doubts or fears stop you from requesting a quick talk. Most students who wish to speak with me in one way or another, either through a messenger program, voice to voice, or simply a recorded CD, seem to feel as though they have something to be embarrassed of. Some may believe their English is not good enough at the moment to be able to test it on someone who speaks English fluently but I promise you, as well as Aline, that I will never rush you and poke fun at you when it comes to speaking English. I am fully aware that it takes time to learn a new language and am patient with everyone. The main purpose of this is not to embarrass the student but to give them the experience to test what they know and hear the difference in accent and pronunciation. If it is a chat through messenger then the same concept applies, it is simply a way for you to express what you learned. Aline will of course be on the side lines, helping an individual understand what I am saying and at times make it clear to me what they are trying to say. She will overlook the conversation to make sure both parties understand the other and keep it in track with where and what the student is capable of discussing or saying.
Unfortunately, this is not an every class characteristic. Being as this is to let you express what you have learned you would of course have regular classes the majority of the time. We treat this more as a fun experience for the students; a reward for their hard work. We will try our best to make it as fun and light as possible for each student.
Kimberly LaTorre – PA – USA