Chartered Accountant Rico Christin had the opportunity to learn English with Rosetta Stone at his workplace. He explains, how he rediscovered that learning a language can be fun and why the e-learning course motivated him so much, that he decided to continue it privately for himself.
“My employer has managed to make learning English fun again.”
What were your previous experiences learning English like?
I don’t remember enjoying studying languages while I was at school, although I had English up to my final exams in secondary school. I always found the lessons rather boring and far removed from real life. I just thought that I didn’t have a gift for languages.
Why did you start to learn English again?
About two years ago, my employer offered an online English course to all employees. Our company has a lot of international contacts, and we wanted to improve communication with our foreign customers and service providers.
As you see it today, how has language learning changed for you?
I was very pleasantly surprised, because the online English course was so completely different from the lessons I remember from school. The direct relevance to my daily work motivated me in particular from the start. I used to think that learning a language was just about words and grammar, but now I know that this is only a part of it. You suddenly have access to people, learn a little about their cultural backgrounds, and just gain a broader perspective. That’s why I even decided to extend the company’s course privately for myself.
How does Rosetta Stone Advantage differ from other language learning programmes?
The Rosetta Stone® Advantage method is structured so that I can easily integrate study units into my daily working life. I’ve worked through 181 video lessons in 19 months and have been immersed directly in the language during these lessons, which made it easier for me to pick up vocabulary and grammar. It has worked well, especially as I was able to coordinate my study time specifically to my workday, and I also learned a lot at the weekend, for example. The course is very varied, switching continuously between reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Even relatively soon after starting the course, I was able to read English literature, websites, etc. I also booked coaching and telephone lessons which were incredibly helpful in improving my oral communication skills and fluent speech. This enabled me to reach level B2 relatively quickly.
“The coaching and telephone conversation training were particularly helpful for me.”
Which elements of the programme package did you find particularly helpful?
To learn a language well and effectively, you need a lot of discipline and perseverance. In my opinion, if you don’t have enthusiasm for the language, it won’t work. I had 36 coaching hours as part of my package, and a telephone training session every two weeks. My instructor Julia Weiss and my coach Kristen Hanson really motivated me, because I knew they would continuously challenge me. I found the conversational training on the phone particularly difficult at the start, and it took me a lot of time to prepare for that. It quickly got easier from lesson to lesson, and I looked forward to every session because I could always keep working with the same coach.
“When I travel to the U.S., I’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream.”
Do you have private plans for your English skills? Yes, when I travel to the U.S. this autumn, I’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream. I’m spending the first weeks with a host family so I can refine my language skills even more. Then I’ll be touring the southern states on my own. I’ll be travelling for a total of two months.