CHRISTOPHER HUNLEY


Director
at Novartis Vaccines, Italy

"Learning a language takes a lot of hard work [...]  But working with someone who inspires you to be great, and has the knowledge and skills to help you get there makes all the difference."

How to Become "One of Them"

"After trying to learn on my own with Rosetta stone (too boring and robotic), and trying an intensive group course (too slow and not fitting my work schedule), I decided a private teacher was the way to go.  I thought it would give me the best opportunity to get the most out of my time; with a pace and interactive atmosphere that would push me to improve.

Finding Dilyana was a matter of chance.  I did not get the opportunity to select my teacher, but she was the only one willing to have lessons at 7am!  And she even came to the place I worked, minimizing the impact on my schedule.  I knew immediately that our lessons were going to be fun when she came in full of energy and enthusiasm.  Every morning she put a smile on my face and made our sessions fun. 


Dilyana was constantly adjusting her methods and content based on my needs.  We started with some more traditional books and worksheets – my experience in school convinced me that this was the “right” way to learn something.  However, she was not deterred by my stubbornness, and continued to introduce different methods which really helped to push me on and prevent me from getting bored.  We played games, we went to the bakery to learn how to order a brötchen, and she recommended movies to see.  All of these things bridged the language learning with some cultural integration that helped me to feel more comfortable in a new place and gave me somefunny stories to try and explain to my colleagues.

 

The two biggest results I achieved in Germany both showed how far I had come working with Dilyana.  

 

The first was after a few months of working with Dilyana when a colleague told me “wow, I need to be careful with what I say in front of you…you understand us now!”  Another was near the end of my time in Germany when another colleague told me that I had become “one of them.”  For someone working on integrating into a foreign language, culture and work environment – there is no higher compliment!

The most incredible thing about Dilyana is her ability to motivate and inspire.  She is so full of energy, creativity and passion for what she does – there is no way to get bored with lessons, and I always came away knowing I had learned something.  When you have a teacher that cares this much about you, how can you not be successful?


Learning a language takes a lot of hard work.  There is no way around it.  But working with someone who inspires you to be great, and has the knowledge and skills to help you get there makes all the difference."

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