Français | English
When I first arrived in New Zealand in late 2016, my initial intention was to take a career break. Back then, although my level of English was acceptable, my objective was also to go beyond fluency and come closer to full proficiency.
After one year and a half dedicated to traveling the country and working in Backpackers as well as a coffee shop, I decided to take on the challenging Cambridge English exams once back in Auckland. This was the moment Languages International came into play! My Kiwi partner had done the very demanding CELTA course there, to teach English as a second language. When it came to choosing a school, this is why I went for Languages International without a hint of hesitation. I opted for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), the highest English qualification in the Cambridge English framework. I knew I would have to significantly upskill so as to achieve the corresponding English level C2, and this was the challenge I was looking for.
There are only a few language schools in Auckland that offer a preparation course for the CPE, and I naturally chose Languages International for several reasons: first, the site is ideally located next to the campus facilities of the renowned Auckland University, offering a splendid view of the CBD. The school premises are human-sized and divided into three buildings that look like huge villas. Nestled in a haven of greenery and within walking distance of the city centre, this is the best of both worlds! It is also easy to interact with other students from different courses at the school during the breaks. Finally, the school has a firmly established reputation: all the teachers are qualified and experienced – they all have ten years and above of experience teaching English. The methods and programmes are also designed to allow for an effective progression.
At Languages International, Cambridge English classes are not bigger than twelve students each. My class was almost a private lesson with only four other classmates from three other nationalities! That made it more convenient to cover further aspects of the language and spend more time on the key points. The pace of study was rather sustained, with four hours of taught classes in the morning and as much again in the afternoon for self-studying in the Learning Centre. There the resources are endless, and I had the feeling that time was flying.
I have particularly appreciated the continued availability of teachers and their motivational approach, which encouraged us to always surpass ourselves. In order to meet the strict criteria the CPE requires, rigorous attention was payed to the correction of homework as well as to the way we were expressing ourselves – written and spoken. Although the path to the complete mastery of English is not a bed of roses, my level has improved beyond all expectation. My vocab range is broader and more accurate, my grammar is stronger and more complex, and I am now more capable of choosing the exact words that belong to a specific register (informal, neutral or formal) depending on the context.
I have clearly changed a lot during this time spent in New Zealand and at Languages International. I feel more confident in my use of English, definitely more laid-back as the culture wants it here, and I have created solid bonds with first-class teachers and people from all over the world. I absolutely recommend this amazing country and the school to anyone keen to take a step forward with their English!
Julien Smadja, France