At the beginning of September, The VICI Language Academy held a fantastic language festival providing workshops, demonstrations and one-to-one consultation opportunities to both children and adults interested in the 11 languages we offer. It was a truly rewarding event, and I came away feeling tremendously energised and enthusiastic about the brilliant field I work in.
For me, this wasn’t just a means of talking about how fabulous The VICI is – I always love having the chance to meet others, discuss my passion for languages and find out from real people what is driving them to learn a language, what challenges they face in their efforts and what they are looking for in terms of solutions.
It’s a great way for me to keep my finger on the pulse of what the market needs and ensure that the services we provide are keeping pace.
At the festival I kept hearing the same theme cropping up in conversation after conversation with people who hadn’t heard of The VICI Language Academy, and wanted to know more about what we do
“I’m struggling to find a language provider who can tailor their services to my needs.”
“The course I’ve been doing is fine… but it’s not exactly the progress I had expected.”
“My children enjoy speaking languages, but the school aren’t getting the best out of them”
“I just haven’t found the right fit yet. It would be great to find something more bespoke.”
All these brilliant, motivated, ambitious people I was talking to were so keen to take their language learning to the next level but were feeling let down by a one-size-fits all approach that was pigeon-holing them, putting them in boxes and expecting them to learn according to an inflexible approach that wasn’t suiting them.
For me this subject is as fascinating as it is vindicating, because it absolutely reflects a school of thought that we are wedded to at The VICI:
Everyone has their own personal story as to why they want to learn a new language.
And every person’s learning needs are as individual as their story.
No two brains are alike, and today it’s only too obvious that we don’t all share the same learning mechanisms. This is why a rigid approach that seeks to treat all students in the same way is at best ineffective and at worst quite harmful.
For every individual who is excited and eager to learn to speak a new language, there’s someone who says, “Oh, languages just aren’t for me” or “I was rubbish at school, I’d be even worse now”. It makes me so sad there are so many who feel like their potential is limited by their capabilities (or lack thereof) when to me it’s clear that our school system – while very good at many things – isn’t always flexible enough to be able to cater to each students’ individual communicative style in a way that allows them to flourish in foreign languages.
Flexibility in this sense is a way of teaching languages whereby the learning is freed from limitations of time, place and pace of study and includes choices in relation to selection of learning activities and resources, mode and methods of communication and so on.
As such, flexible learning isn’t a mode of study – it’s more of a value principle.
And a value principle that is at the heart of what we do at The VICI.
The take home message here is not that school learning doesn’t work
It’s not the kids who aren’t progressing quickly aren’t trying hard enough.
It’s not that for some people, languages just aren’t their ‘cup of tea’.
It’s that when it comes to learning a language, one size does not fit all.
At The VICI, we understand that. Our priority is to understand what you want to learn and how you want to learn it, and work with you accordingly through our qualified, talented and experienced coaches. Every aspect of what we do is tailored to the student – whether the sessions are one to one or group. If they take place online or in person. Whether the pace is intensive or relaxed. What materials and resources are used. Which duration and frequency of programme is most appealing.
Our tried and tested approach works, and the reason why it works is that we listen.
Our priority is to understand what you want to learn and how you want to learn it, and work with you accordingly through our qualified, talented and experienced coaches.
I’m happy to say that following on from the language festival we gained a number of new students. But I’m even happier to know that the reason they signed up is because they were delighted (and relieved) to find an accessible, experienced, local organisation that has the means to put together flexible programmes based on their personal needs.
With The VICI, the world of languages opens up.
Why not let us open the door for you?