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Karen AholaFinnish in Calgary, Alberta
“There are many language learning companies on the Internet. Listen & Learn was the only one that met my criteria”
Karen Ahola, a resident of Calgary, Canada, comes from a Finnish family but couldn’t speak the language. On realizing that she might lose contact with her family in Finland, she made it a point to start learning the language. This is her story:
Listen & Learn: Hi Karen, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today! Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Karen: Sure… I am a 62 year old retired Social Worker. My parents came to Canada from Finland with their parents in the 1920s. I didn’t speak much Finnish as kid. I was pretty shy. Mostly my grandparents talked to me in Finnish and I answered in English. When I did speak no one corrected me. I guess they were happy that I spoke at all.
Listen & Learn: When did you start studying with Listen & Learn?
Karen: I started to study Finnish about 4 years ago with a native speaker and about 1 year ago with Listen & Learn.
Listen & Learn: Why? What were your reasons and goals?
Karen: My parents kept in touch with relatives in Finland via letters and cards. After my parents passed away about 5 years ago, my brother and I lost contact. I began to realize that we would lose all our connections for generations to come if I did not begin to study. I am now in contact with my family in Finland. For the first time in my life I was able to send Christmas cards and emails in Finnish. I am able to understand all the return emails and cards.
Listen & Learn: Why did you choose Listen & Learn?
Karen: I had two reasons for choosing the company. The first was that there are many language learning companies on the Internet. As it so happens my husband is a Management Systems Auditor who audits companies around the world. He recognized the standards to which your company is audited. We found no other company who met this criteria. The second was that I had the opportunity to review my teacher’s profile before signing up. It was evident that my teacher was indeed a very highly qualified ‘real teacher’, not just a well-intentioned native speaker who had no knowledge or experience in teaching methods.
Listen & Learn: Was Listen & Learn helpful?
Karen: Listen & Learn has been extremely helpful. I am most impressed with the follow up. As an aside my husband is impressed as well.
Listen & Learn: What was the most helpful thing?
Karen: My teacher is extremely helpful. Apart from her vast knowledge as a Linguistic Anthropologist and her very creative teaching methods, the most helpful thing is that I am so comfortable. Learning is always better when one is at ease.
Listen & Learn: Would you recommend Listen & Learn?
Karen: I have already recommended the company to my second generation Finnish friends.
Listen & Learn: And on a final note, what's your favorite saying in your new language?
Karen: My favorite saying is Terve sielu terveessä ruumiisa – “A healthy soul is a healthy body”