Interview with a student | Meet Mariam | What's Up!

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Interview with a student | Meet Mariam


Interview with a student

1. Hello Mariam! Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello everyone! My name’s Mariam, I’m 32 years old (I don’t have any problems with telling my age!), I studied Law and I work as an in-house lawyer in a multinational company. I love reading, doing yoga and speaking English, of course! 

2. Why are you studying English?

In the former position I held at work I used English a lot since I had to talk and relate to people from many different countries. I even had the chance to live in Switzerland and in Ireland for some time while holding that position, and that was great for my English. However, after some years, I was moved to my current position, which is very local, and I hardly ever use English – only written English and just from time to time. The thing is that I felt I was losing my level of English (especially oral English), due to the lack of practice – and because of all the activities I do, I don’t have time to watch TV (neither in English nor even in Spanish or Catalan!). I don’t have any contact with foreigners here in Barcelona either (apart from the staff in What’s up! now, of course!). That was the moment when I realised I wanted to «recover» my contact with English -a language that has brought many satisfactions to me, both from a personal and a professional perspective-, but not in a traditional or a very «academic» way. And that’s when I discovered What’s Up Vía Augusta!

3. Why did you choose What’s up! ?

Before joining the academy, I had walked by it many times, as my office is located nearby, and I had felt attracted to the colourful classes and the big windows! It really seemed to be a very different English academy. I took one of the leaflets to see how the system was set up and decided to ask for additional information. I was received by Rafa (one of the English Consultants) and I really liked the school’s focus on helping people learn and, especially, enjoy English. The attention paid to oral English was essential for me, and I can state it’s a reality – we talk, talk, and talk in all the sessions, it doesn’t matter what they are about! The possibility of scheduling your classes the way that best fits you also was a strong point in my decision, and I have to say that it keeps on being so. I do many things, so I really need to make the most of the hours of my day. Knowing that I can choose (and change) my classes gives me the freedom I need.

4. What are your thoughts about the classes we offer?

I love that the «Face to face» sessions are limited to six people – that’s fundamental in order to improve quickly and to make the teacher be aware of each student’s situation. The personal attention given to the student is one of the best things What’s up! has. I also like the «Living English» sesions, since you can meet students from other levels, which is also enriching, and the topics dealt with tend to be quite interesting. The «Have fun» activities are also good fun – they help you de-stress by using English in a very informal way, and, at the end of the day, I think that’s the objective: talking in English without any complexities or stress, living English in a natural and relaxed way. In any case, I would still like to have more sessions to talk, and talk, and talk – being able to feel like you live in an English-speaking country without leaving your hometown! Jugando a… Dalapapa

5. What can you say about our teachers?

I strongly believe that the teachers are committed to the project of teaching English in a very personalised way. The fact that the teachers have different backgrounds and come from different countries is very good. In my case, for example, I used to have a private teacher when I was a child, and she was from St. Alban’s (a city close to London), so the English I’m used to is really British. Therefore, American English is quite tricky for me, so being taught by teachers who come from the United States, for example, is helping improve my listening a lot. I also think that English Coaches are extremely important in each student’s learning process. The English Coach is with you all the time, and you can share with him/her any academic doubt you have, knowing that he/she will definitely help you sort your problem out. In my case I’m delighted with my coach, Andrea Bazalar – she always has time for me and listens to the worries or doubts I may have regarding my English or my learning process.

6. Can you tell us about your journey with us?

I’m definitely enjoying this journey a lot! I’m really glad with my decision of learning English in What’s Up». I don’t feel pressured or stressed at all- I define my own objectives and both my English Coach and the teachers are helping me reach them. In general, I think that English should stop being seen as a «problem» in our country, but instead as a chance to enjoy, meet people and obtain the satisfaction of communicating with others in a language which is not yours. What’s up! has the system to help you achieve these goals!

7. What are your achievements or goals? Any dreams? Any trips?

One of my main achievements has been finding a great man to share my life with! I have to say I feel so happy and grateful for it – that’s why my dream/project is getting married as soon as possible, probably next year. And, regarding trips, I’d like to go to the west coast of Canada. I would also like to go back to Japan and the Greek Islands, where I’ve already been to.

Thank you Mariam!


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