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Thread poster: anetxu
Mar 23, 2009

Hello, my name is Ane, and I am from Bilbao. I have just finished my telecommunications engineering studies at university, specialising in electronics, and I plan to go to England in May, where I will be working in a hotel initially to improve my English, which is still at intermediate level. After a while, though, I would like to move on to some kind of work placement relating more to my branch of knowledge, share a flat with others, that kind of thing, and I want to know if anybody has any ideas as to associations, organisations or other bodies that provide channels for people like myself.



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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2007)
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Principal advice - keep a distance from Spanish speakers! Mar 23, 2009

I know it sounds hard, but I'm strongly advising you to go on your own or with help from an English (NOT Spanish) association; to find accommodation in a flat-share with no Spanish-speaking flatmates; to avoid all contact with Spanish speakers in your social life, even if your work involves speaking Spanish.

It certainly won't be comfortable to start with, but it's better than spending time and money on the trip, then finding that your English hasn't really improved very much.

That's what happened to one of my students (I teach English in France) - she worked in a bar in London and spent all day using the same expressions ("ice and lemon?"; "here's your change"; etc) then in the evening at the youth hostel there were other French people to talk to. In her own words, it was a complete waste of time and money, and she deeply regrets not making more of the stay.

Sorry, but I've been away from England for 15 years now so I can't help much with contacts etc, but I do know that (economic crisis apart) it's fairly simple to find a low-paid job in London and the main tourist centres (eg in a bar, hotel, shop). Of course, you'd be spending most of your pay on board and lodgings, but there are cheap ways of socialising - try the local launderette!

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English to Greek
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learning abilities Mar 23, 2009

I have been teaching English to Turks for 3 years now and no matter how much I tried not to say one single word in Turkish just because they know that I can speak Turkish they do not try hard enough.
It's a matter of courage,as I see it.
Insist on speaking English even if you feel that you will say something wrong. Nobody cares abouthow many mistakes you're going to make as long as you try to make yourself understood.
Through time as your confidence is building your language skills are building up,too.
Another small trick...try talking to children a lot. Children do not judge you, they are happy when you pay attention to them and they are willing to try either by using gestures either by drawing to teach you new words and phrases.
When I first came to Turkey my youngest student aged 6-9 taught me a lot!!!!!!!!

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Pilar Díez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:40
English to Spanish
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Some hints Mar 23, 2009

Hi Ane

I'm also from Bilbao and I work at the university of Deusto as an English teacher. Due to my job, I often find queries like yours. I guess you've already found a job placement at a hotel. I can give you some more hints if you write to me on my personal e-mail.
Good luck.


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thanks Mar 26, 2009

Thanks and sorry for my English, it's a disaster! The announcement has been written by one Englishman friend.
I will work in a hotel at a very small town and i guess that only few Spanihs speakers will be there.
Otherwise i will live in the hotel for as long as necessary in order to improve my English (hard task),
and later i hope seek a job in my branch of knowledge (electronics). Thanks for yours advices!

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