As the tender age of 11, Nathalie decided exactly what she was going to be when she grew up.
With every fibre of her being, she knew she was going to be a Police Inspector. And this wasn’t just a flash-in-the-pan idea – she really meant it!
In France, this is a position which necessitates a law degree and, having stuck to her dream throughout her youth and teen years, when the time finally came Nathalie duly enrolled and got stuck into her law studies.
As you can imagine, getting a law degree is no small task. Three years into her degree, Nathalie realized that while the subject matter was fascinating – she particularly relished thinking about the laws from different angles, understanding how to interpret problems and read between the lines – the learning methods didn’t suit her and the long, rigid lectures were putting her off. After a lot of soul searching, Nathalie finally decided to give up on her childhood dream, and turned to the world of language education.
This new path became Nathalie’s passion – not law, but linguistics. And the further she went down this path, the more she started to see familiar themes cropping up from the parts of her law studies that she had enjoyed.
People would come to her with a problem:
They were trying to learn a language but weren’t making good progress.
They wished to improve their skills but didn’t have time.
They hoped to brush up on rusty grammar but didn’t know what method was best.
Nathalie would throw herself into their problem:
- “How do you like to learn?”
- “How much time do you have?”
- “What is your budget?”
- “What are your objectives?”
She had analysed problematics as part of her studies, and now she was using those same skills again to understand their needs, detect hidden aspirations and decipher their requirements in order to provide them with the learning solution they were looking for.
In France there is a term, “erreur de parcours”, which describes the phenomenon of making mistakes as you progress along your life path – a bit like how we might use the term “false start”. While in theory some might describe Nathalie’s foray into law as an erreur de parcours, Nathalie objects to the implication it was an error.
It’s an essential part of my past and played a formative role in making me who I am today. Moreover, I think my experience serves as a really good reminder to anyone that has set out on one path and realises they want to change direction that there’s nothing wrong with that! I’m constantly seeking to help clients who think it’s too late to come to a second language that this is never the case.
With this idea in mind, Nathalie is inviting anyone who isn’t sure how best to approach learning a language to come and talk to her at the Academy so she can give structured, experienced advice as to what options are available.
So, if you fear you might have left starting a language too late or worry you are making missteps in your linguistic journey, get in touch and arrange a meeting with Nathalie.
And start 2022 on the path to loving a new language.