In 2002, Spes Musampa, her husband and their three children immigrated to Montreal, Canada because French was their second language. Spes worked as a sales representative for a large distribution company. When her husband was transferred to Toronto, Ontario Spes had to search for a new job. She had a great resume with loads of experience, but she spoke no English and was too self-conscious to try.
How She Heard about Us:
Speaking Canadian English (now known as Speaking Made Simple) was offered at a Sheridan College and it included the technical basics of speaking, expressions, opportunities to speak in class and mock job interviews.
What She Did:
Spes registered for the speaking program and bought English is Stupid, Students are Not the course textbook. As an educated woman Spes’ ability to read, write and even understand English was good. Her downfall was speaking. In class Spes learned her French accent was charming and minor grammar mistakes did not impede her ability to make herself understood. She developed her ear for word stress and expressions and she made opportunities to practice outside of class.
With the deep understanding of how conversation works and some strategies for self correcting Spes was confident in her job interview and able to let her past experience and ability shine. She got the job and works as a bi-lingual representative for a national weight-loss company. Spes manages a large sales territory – in English.
How Does This Story Affect You?:
Many adult ESL students can read and write English. That is what is taught in school. Without the distinction between written and spoken English traditional ESL programs expected fluency to follow spelling and grammar. It never does. In order to speak English you have to study speaking English and very few places can teach you that. Look for Speaking Made Simple online in December 2013.
“My colleagues understand me better, I am confident making sales calls and I have been promoted to Regional Sales Manager – in English”