Table of contents
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am 34 years old and I work for a telecommunications company in Russia. At work I am required to write many emails in English as we have partners outside of the country. In my free time, I like to read books about art, design, and fashion history, cook or spend time with family.
Can you tell me about your language learning journey?
I have been learning English since the first grade at school, as studying a foreign language (sometimes 2 or 3 languages) is mandatory in Russia. After that I continued studying English at university. Nowadays I watch a TV series in English and read business books every 2-3 months to keep my English skills as I have to use them at work.
What have you found the hardest thing about learning English?
Pronunciation and intonation. I recall being corrected by my teachers more often than my classmates so I started to think that speaking was not my cup of tea and neglected their advice (the worst thing to do). Though it is absolutely normal that for some people imitating accents comes easier, I was very concerned about my speaking and eventually gave up on this skill.
What's your main goal for improving your English?
Pronunciation and intonation :)
Occasionally, I have to call my existing or potential partners to discuss business matters verbally. Therefore, it is extremely important for me to articulate well and speak persuasively. Additionally, I would like to enrich my vocabulary and develop writing skills. There are plenty of resources for beginners but I see a lack of resources for intermediate and above levels. I was very happy to find Leonardo English.
Why did you decide to become a member of Leonardo English?
As I was interested in improving my pronunciation, I heard about the shadowing technique and searched for details on the internet. One of the sources that I came across was Leonardo English website. Leonardo English offers some podcasts that you can listen to and shadow for free. I tried once and it turned out that I can really enjoy working on my pronunciation.
I work on one episode per week. I spend 2-3 hours on a new episode on Saturday or Sunday to get a good understanding of it, choose the vocabulary that I would like to learn, write a summary and personal opinion, and do the shadowing 2-3 times. During weekdays I do the shadowing twice during my lunch break. At the moment I work from home.
What's your favourite English Learning for Curious Minds episode (and why)?
Honestly, it is hard to pick one. But if I have to name one I would go with "Winston Churchill & The English Language".
I am interested in politics and often read biographies of famous politicians so I found this episode to be fascinating and learned new things about Churchill and his public speaking skills.
Alastair from Leonardo English says:
It's so great to welcome Nadia, and she is clearly a determined and strong-willed English learner. She has a clear goal in mind, which is one of the most important things when it comes to motivation, and I have no doubt that she will manage to achieve it.