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Former SVAE student promoted after improving her English

Laura Castillo

Former student Laura Castillo was recently promoted from finance analyst to head of finance at her job because she improved her English in two months at SVAE, where she was a student in ESL teacher Marion Clark’s class. Laura works for an international company and all employees communicate in English, the international language. 

The class helped overcome her intimidation and build her confidence when speaking English to her customers. She also now feels comfortable considering living and working in her company's other offices in Europe or the United States. 

“Laura was a joy to teach because she was engaged and eager to learn,” Marion said. “In particular, Laura enjoyed our mixed small-group speaking activities because she got lots of practice listening to others' opinions and expressing her own thoughts. The fact that she could make herself understood by other non-native speakers really boosted her confidence. It wasn't just me, the teacher, understanding her - it was the whole class!”

In Marion's class, they study everything to learn about daily life from casual conversation to parts of the body, to using music and dance to articulate movement and the English language. They also learn about American culture, but also the culture of each student in the class in order to truly understand the language. 

About her class, Marion explained: “It provides a cheerful, safe and supportive learning environment for adults of all ages and from all around the world.  People arrive with different learning experiences and varying levels of confidence yet we come together as a friendly and supportive group. This is key to progressing in the English language because we need to be able to take risks and try new things.” 

Shannon Carr