Maria Glagoleva: it’s never too late to learn English!￼
Have you decided to learn English «from scratch» in adulthood? Learning a foreign language is never too late, but only scary. English is essential for every modern businessman.
We spoke with Maria Glagoleva, a Maria Gragoleva Language Center founder, director, English and German teacher, who convinced us that everyone can learn English; the main thing is to believe in yourself.
Maria, tell me, how often do adults come to study English?
The main audience of our school is definitely teenagers. Based on my many years of experience, I can say with confidence that they are the ones who come for a long time and rarely stop learning.
Adults also attend classes. But as soon as quarantine began, the adult direction stopped. Before the pandemic, the thought flashed through my head: «Have we really reached the goal, and now adults want to learn English?» However, the coronavirus has changed all aspects of our lives, including the study of foreign languages. People did not know what to do next, they lived for today.
This year adults are slowly returning. New groups are formed, consisting only of adults. For example, in mid-December, we launched a new group. This is surprising, since adults used to sign up for classes in September or after the New Year.
For what purpose do people come to study most often?
Everyone’s goals are different.
Someone wants to change jobs. For example, doctors want to take part in international conferences. Programmers also need English to work.
Once I had a group of adult female students. Our classes lasted 5 years. They started learning English «from scratch», and at the end they knew English fluently.
Some learn English for self-development, others learn English to travel, in order to feel comfortable in another country.
As for our school, we are a preparatory center for international Cambridge exams. Students come to us to gain knowledge and then pass an exam to find out their level of language proficiency and receive a certificate. Most often, adults need it to work in international companies. And we are proud to have helped so many people find their dream job.
There is an opinion that it is easier to learn a language in childhood. Do you agree with it?
I think this opinion is erroneous. Not everyone has the opportunity to learn English as a child.
I personally started learning English when I was a teenager, in the 9th grade. Most children now begin to learn a language when they are 5. It didn’t stop me from doing it, I just had to speed up.
Adults have one indisputable advantage – they come to study with a clear goal and the knowledge that they need it.
Is it true that after a certain age you can not even start learning English if you did not study any foreign language (or you had troubles with it) at school?
Anything can be learned at any age. The main thing is desire.
Life is too short to waste on thinking: to do or not to do. Do what your heart is in. Realize all your dreams!
Does it happen that there is absolutely no inclination towards languages?
All people have different abilities.
Someone is more silent, withdrawn, and they feel better alone with themselves. There are more open people who want to speak, express their thoughts in any language. They have better-spoken language skills, even if they speak with errors. Others perceive English well by ear.
I have never met people who had no inclination towards learning languages at all. The main thing is to find a teacher who will be happy to share their knowledge with you and to show your readiness to learn the language.
How to find suitable courses and understand that they suit you?
Listen to your friends’ recommendations. Come to the school you are interested in, write the test, talk to the teacher, understand if this is the right school for you, and enjoy the process.
As for our school, I can say with confidence that after passing the test, no one left us (Smiles).
How to find the motivation to study?
I prefer to use the word «desire». If a person has a desire and a goal, they do not need to be motivated. However, if there is no desire, then no motivation will help.
What advice can you give to those adults who are afraid to start learning a foreign language?
Let go of all prejudices and fears. Learning foreign languages is incredibly interesting; it’s a wonderful experience. You feel like a student again. It keeps us young. You will feel the drive of adolescence again. Isn’t it wonderful?
I love Chekhov’s saying: «How many languages do you know – that many times you are a man.» So get to know yourself by discovering new cultures!