After a year of celebrations of being European capital of culture of 2013 it’s time to pass the baton on to Riga in Latvia.
Frankly, I couldn’t think of a more deserving place. I visited Riga about six years ago in the month of February and it is truly a marvelous place; combining the old and the new, a charming mix of paradoxes and curiosities. Riga is a fabulous renovated city center leaving many ex-Soviet neighborhoods somewhat dilapidated by comparison.
Think of it …their second world war only ended in 1991 after 51 years! I was staggered to learn, while visiting the Latvian independence museum in Riga, that Latvia had had one of the the longest occupations in Europe starting in June 1940 when Latvia was invaded by the military forces of the Soviet Union only to be “liberated ” in June to July 1941 by the military forces of Nazi Germany, only to be “liberated” again by the second Soviet occupation which sealed the fate of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania for the next 51 years. The occupation only truly ended after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
So it’s only recently the Latvians have enjoyed their new independence going crazy for European cars incurring debts for years but then with soaring, near 20% inflation you can understand why their credits got cheaper by the year. You can see photos of excited Latvians clasping their first euro banknotes from the cash points on the 1st January 2014. What a price they paid to be free! What a reward for the Latvian Capital to become European capital of culture on the same day it has switched to European currency !
As the Ukraine struggles between financial dependence on Russia, and the freedom of its people desiring closer relations with Europe (as Russia agrees to buy Ukrainian decks at cost of closer ties to Russia) you can see that the independence of Latvia was only possible by its financial independence and economic dynamics – making Riga’s title as European capital of culture 2014 a well-deserved reward.
I’m happy for them and I wish them well even so it is with a tinge of sadness that we wake up in the new year in Marseille having passed the baton on to another European city. The question remains: what do we do now ? Where do we go from here?
Having lived in Marseille for more than 20 years now and in 2013 I, like many other Marseillais ( in my case Marseillais with a broad British accent after years of professional English training), have loved the way Marseille has made such efforts giving many hope in such a tough economic climate.
The answer I suppose is simple …after a year of spectacular European capital of culture events where Marseille has distinguished itself as a truly European city, it’s time for Marseille to live up to its European culture. What better way than for Marseille to learn to speak English!
Let me just take this time to say that there’s something about the English that have always intrigued the French. From our accent, to our music culture, from Big Ben to our so called appalling food culture, the English have continued to fascinated the French.
Last year for the first time an English friend and I succumbed to our French friends’ invitation to try frogs legs, our protests about the animal and the meat association hang-up that we English have were not really listened to, and it became a showdown about “are you able to eat our food?”.
As I ate that strong, rich-tasting meat which seemed to me like duck on steroids, both of us gingerly declined a second helping and the job was done !
From then on, we could hold our head up high and say we are not afraid of French food and our friends were satisfied we accepted the challenge. Even then I mused about the huge culture difference between those opposite ends of 40 km of channel tunnel and the ongoing amusing love-hate relationship between the “roast beef” English and the French “frogs”.
So as we start this year of 2014 even if we are no longer the European capital, we are still very much European and being European it’s fun to learn English and enjoy that European cultural taste…
Why not then take an English course in Marseille and surprise yourself by digging up your old lost habits of speaking English ! If we’re honest all of us are proud to speak a foreign language, especially English, because it opens us up to the culture of not only Europe, but of the world as a whole.
I’ve been training people in English for 17 years now and I’ve noticed one thing: that be it in their place of work or in their homes and whether they’re children, adults , or older people, the French really enjoy learning the English language no matter what their level or their learning difficulties. Once they overcome the intellectual barrier which sometimes was inherited from school (flashback to the teacher saying “Your grammar is needs to be perfect then you can speak English perfectly! ”).
I guess that’s what we do best at English Coach We help you make English work well for you. We help you overcome the notion that grammar needs to be perfect to communicate. We help you enjoy communicating itself, worrying less about the odd mistake or two, and focusing more about the ability to express yourself with confidence and ease.
As training courses go you can find many different companies offering different quality of English courses in Marseille stage anglais marseille some of them so scholarly that you can see it’s going to be more of the same from school… more disappointment… more banging your head against a brick wall without getting the results you want… others still use methods which are only reading and listening… which is good in itself that doesn’t resolve the issue of developing confidence to speak English to others. Some people have bypassed professional english training being quick to go out and find a native English person in Marseille, but often they’ve got no teaching experience at all or at best a couple of years before they move on elsewhere ..which is not a problem in itself, but very often the English person feels to be taken seriously they have to use the grammar books approach expected by the French instead of sharing their English naturally though talking and explaining in English and answering the questions that the French may have… in a way it’s the English person doing English the French way (Oh la la quel dommage ! ) that is going into extreme details of English grammar ( lats face it English grammar is irregular enough without the French cutting it up cartisianly into even more complex irregular pieces! ) without equipping them to speak.
As a conclusion when you want to become truly European you need to speak English even if you don’t really appreciate those strange ”roast beef English fellows” you still need to learn the reflexes of speaking English with ease, so make sure that the English training course in Marseille stage anglais marseille that you take has really good native English trainers who have lived here for years’ worked through all the questions the French may have about the differances between English and French, people who are are more focused on empowering your communication rather than the holy grail of grammatical perfection. They then finally allow you to catch up on your grammar as your English level progresses.
While enjoying speaking it – it’s always easier to go back to a grammar book and ask yourself the question ”What I am I actually speaking now ? and why learning English grammar when you’re already speaking it seems to be a pretty easy thing …
So while am not boasting that the English trainers at English Coach are the best in Marseille… and there are certainly many other training companies out there in Marseille doing decent English training courses of good quality I guess I’m also saying that that the English training courses of English Coach are certainly not exactly the worst choice you could make for yourself
So why not get in contact and talk to us?
One of the things we love to do is to meet you and convince you we are worth our salt before you start training course in Marseille stage anglais marseille
Meet our teachers and have a great feeling as you meet them on the phone or in person before you commit to an English training course in marseille stage anglais marseille we love to demonstrates in the first free lesson of english that it’s worth working with us to improve your English fluency.
Give us a call or check out the vast range of English courses we have on our website which can then be tailor made to your own learning needs!
Tel: 04.91.22.52.37 or Mobile: 06.76.21.96.05 Website: http://www.englishcoach.fr
Happy New Year from us at English Coach !
Enjoy being European!
Love speaking English!
Do you speak English ? ( of course you do!) Maybe some of this article was hard to read ?
Perhaps you would like the French version ?