English Language Courses:

New English Language groups are offered to learners monthly!

See for yourself - try out our courses for a week FREE OF CHARGE!

Find out your English level! Take our online English test now and win an opportunity to study English for 4 weeks FREE!

Other languages:

Russian Language courses

German Language courses

French Language courses

Spanish Language courses

Italian Language courses

Norwegian Language courses

Swedish Language courses

An interview with one of our teachers from Great Britain - Bethan Burnside. She has been living in Latvia for a number of years and a few years ago passed the nation's language test at Level B

-Tell us a little about yourself - how  and why you arrived at Latvia, how long you already teach in NH.lv and what you did before? 

I’ve been teaching at NH.lv for just under a year, after having already taught in a number of different situations.  Many people ask, ‘Why Latvia?’  Especially as a Brit, with many Latvians living in my motherland, it seems a bit of an interesting choice.  I was chatting with another expat the other evening, an American.  ‘I didn’t exactly choose Latvia...’ I said.  ‘Latvia chose you?’  ‘Exactly.’  I think many immigrants here can relate.     

-How would you describe a typical NH.lv student - main characteristics, attitude, maybe even appearance? 

There is no typical student.  Most of them are adults, although we do teach teenagers, too.  The majority are eager, curious, and interested; excited to figure out new layers of meaning and understanding.

-What do you enjoy in your work the most? Maybe there was something really cheerful and positive that remains in memory? 

I love it when students tell me how much coming to the course has helped them to improve their English, or to feel more confident using it.  I can be rather critical of myself as a teacher, and I think we all have those days where we feel that we somehow want to give more to our students, so to hear and see them really gaining that self-belief and assurance is just such a joy to see.  There’s a really relaxed atmosphere in most of my classes which the students have mentioned as well; we just all really have a lot of fun learning together, and most of the students really are an absolute pleasure to teach. 

-Which rule of English grammar, in your opinion, is the most illogical? And how best to learn it? 

This isn’t so much illogical – it makes sense once you understand it – but one thing that students usually struggle with is conditionals.  It gets a little easier, though, once we start putting it into practice, writing examples using our own real-life examples.  For example, I ask them to finish the Fiddler on the Roof musical’s song ‘If I were a rich man...’ to describe their own ideas using this conditional.

-What is the most common question that students tend to ask during the classes? 

Many students ask about new pieces of vocabulary they come across in the books, or expressions they’ve come across outside of class.  But students really ask all sorts of things; about grammar, pronunciation, a bit about my life and where I’m from, when to use certain phrases and the differences between similar words...

-Is there any ritual or special preparation process what you do before classes? 

When I’m going through some material for the first time I go through what I’m going to do, the evening or morning before a lesson.  I feel very comfortable with my material by about the third group I do it with; by then I know it back-to-front, and am aware of the types of questions the students will ask before they come to asking them.

-What are the TOP 3 things what anyone who wants to learn English should take into account?

You can really see the difference between the students who simply come to classes, and those who take their homework seriously; both the self-study workbook and their own personal method of immersing themselves in the language during the months that they study with us at NH.lv.  I always ask my students to do three things.  Read modern, relevant books at a level which will expand their vocabulary and yet won’t frustrate them.  Immerse themselves in the language by listening to English radio and watching English films.  And practice speaking as much as possible.  I give suggestions, primarily Latvian-based, for these three things; local book shops, good films, radio stations, conversation clubs... Students need to take into account how much they have progressed.  It’s so easy to be critical when learning a new language but I try to remind them of where they were at at the beginning of the course, comapred to where they’re at now.

See for yourself - try out our courses for a week FREE OF CHARGE!