Strategic & Operational Tourism Marketing
& Events Manager
Last July I had a chance to take part in one of the “Intensive Business English” courses offered by Abbey Communication.
It proved to be a very nice experience, professionally and personally.
Many thanks to Alex and Sarah, the directors, and the friendly team of experienced teachers.
Thanks as well to PWI for introducing such opportunities through the PWI Brussels network.
Have you ever had the idea of brushing up your business English but never knew where to go or where to start looking for a course suited to your busy professional and private life?
I found what I needed at a UK-based specialist provider of personalized intensive Business English language training,
At Abbey Communication (1), the directors of the school have put together a smart, wide choice of courses based on weekly modules in very small groups or in one to one training sessions.
Before arriving they ask you to fill in a form describing your knowledge level and your learning objectives. This is very practical not only for you personally but also for your employers, since it allows them to define the purpose and the desired outcomes of the training.
Upon arrival, objectives in hand, a brief conversation with the Directors of the training center helped us redefine the objectives before briefing the team of teachers so they could understand them, look for supportive tools to be used during the training and keep focused on them. On the other hand they were incredibly flexible to adapt to any new need that comes along during the learning process, which is great and admirable.
During the week I was there, we were 3 students of quite different levels and therefore I had private lessons, in the mornings with one teacher and in the afternoons with another one. Their approaches were very different, yet extremely enriching, from the more classical listening and comprehension exercises to the problem solving analysis in a ‘coaching’ way. I even took pictures of the results of some of exercises, so illustrative and simple all of a sudden they appeared right before my eyes!
One of the particularly friendly characteristics of the course were lunch times. Each day a different teacher took us, the students, to a local pub, isn't that a great idea? I discovered the local places and dishes in town while getting to know my school mates as well as some of the other teachers.
After a full day of intensive learning, once home, another type of learning experience took place. Mine was in the garden, enjoying the sounds of the water running down the river with a glass of gin&tonic in my hand, while chatting over the most varied issues with my welcoming host couple. Could not be more British, could it?
In terms of accommodation, I was offered all types of possibilities including family stays. If you plan to go, do not hesitate for a second to choose that option. The training center directors know everyone in town - by the way the town is Malmesbury, pronounced Malmssss-bury, only two syllables (lesson 1 of day 1!) -. They match students with the most suitable family according to both parties' hobbies and interests. My hosts were a super friendly and caring couple with very interesting lives, so we were never short of conversation subjects.
I really loved the week there. Malmesbury is a charming little town in the Cotswolds (an area in South Central England containing the Cotswold Hills) (2), not far from Bath and Bristol - mandatory tourist visits during the free time in the week-ends -.
Where does it get its charm from? Just google some images of Malmesbury and you will see for yourself. A small medieval town, easy to familiarize yourself with during the week’s course, with a lovely green pastoral area that makes you think you are in the setting of Shakespeare's Mid-summer night, a well preserved abbey - hence the name of the learning center - and a local museum. So the great news is that everything is in walking distance!
One lunch time after eating I visited the abbey, and to my surprise I saw that some of the treasured objects displayed inside were 'Made in Belgium'. And what were they? Four precious bible volumes from the X century.
So what is the successful recipe of this language learning center? Personal approach, tailor made programs and a fantastic team of very professional women that understand your needs.
I fully recommend such an experience to improve your business English!
(1) Abbey Communication