Andreas Heyer started English at the Academy at the age of four and is now studying for an International Baccalaureate at Malvern College in Worcestershire, England. Read his success story to find out about his journey: from English lessons at the Academy to trips to England as well as application support at Malvern College.
Understanding the importance of learning other languages, it was at the age of four when my parents took me to the Academy of English for my first English lessons. My first teacher was called Kristin Burgos from New York. At that point I was not aware of the great importance of the English language: it is not only the language of business, but also the language of the youth, the language of education and probably the language of the future and the present. The way I learnt English was in a very fun and child-orientated way. I have never referred to the lesson as real „lessons“ but I was rather looking forward to them. Intuitively, I learnt the first little bits of English.
The next big step were the private lessons with one of my favourite teachers, Timothy Gean from Georgia. During the years with him, my English improved enormously. Compared to the “Schulenglisch” we study at school I actually learnt to really speak and have conversations in English. In a short period of times, I could see my improvement and I was glad to be one of the best students in my class and that only because I talked every Friday with a teacher who eventually became one of my best friends. I cannot thank Tim enough. His „lessons“ were diverse, thoughtful, funny and always with the feeling of being a family. To be honest, I can say that Tim became a loved family member and the Friday talks with him were always a highlight of the week.
Three years ago, I started lessons with Dr. John Goodyear from England. In my class, there was another student called Hanna Gesang who I met on an England trip. In these lessons, we were prepared for the Cambridge First Certificate in English at B2 level on the European Framework for Languages. These preparatory lessons served us well in passing the test at B2 level and receiving the Cambridge test certificates after one year of preparation.
In the following year, I had lessons with Stacey Harrington from the United States of America. She was a very friendly teacher who again helped to have fluent conversation and break the barrier of anxiety in speaking in the foreign language.
But it was not just lessons and conversational teaching that was the key to my language success, the frequent trips to England played a major role in my English-learning experience. In 2010, my brother and friend of his and I went to England under the supervision of Dr Goodyear and Tim Gean. We went to the High Arcal School in the West Midlands, with whom the Academy of English has since formalised a successful school partnership. There, each of us got a „buddy“ who looked after us. They also took us to their lessons so we had the unique opportunity to experience English school life at first hand. In the afternoon, we did leisure activities, such as Laser Tag or go-carting. Over the years, these trips grew larger and were always well planned and had a clear structure. The first week included going to the High Arcal School, the second week involved us with leisure activities which varied with every single trip, always making the experience unique. In the evening, we wrote diaries which were checked in the evening by the supervisors. Therefore, we both improved our linguistic abilities, such as our writing abilities. The Academy of English always listened to and acted on feedback, building on previous successes. The constant improvement, both to the trip and in my language experience were not just the motivating factor to go on more Academy of English-led trips; it was also the aspect of meeting new people which, in some cases, developed into long-lasting friendships. And, of course, if was the aspect of the trips being part-school and part-holidays, especially with all the diverse and wide-ranging leisure activities involved. Of course, going to school in your holidays might seem bizarre, but I never felt like going to a school. It was so interesting to going to a foreign school with a completely different school system.
After my successes at the Academy and advice from parents and peers, I made the conscious decision to apply for a place at Malvern College in Worcestershire, England to do my International Baccalaureate (IB). The Academy of English assisted me with my application in going through the learning agreement with my parents; conducting the entry tests in the rooms of the Academy of English and also providing me with an excellent reference. This support with my application was invaluable for me getting to the interview stage and going on to secure a place at the College to do my IB.
All this educational support from the Academy of English has helped me throughout my life. Starting at Malvern College in England in 2016, I hit the ground running with no language issues thanks to the excellent education I got with the Academy of English.