Let the world spice up your life.


We heard that you could speak English before you started Cafetalk, but what sparked your interest in the lessons?

— I saw unique and ideal content!

I was researching online learning platforms for work and I saw unique and ideal content being offered on Cafetalk.

One day I decided to take the free counseling session to gather some information as a spy (?) and the counselor had such a great personality and recommended me a host of trial lessons off the top of his head! After that, I simply became a student/fan of Cafetalk.

I was actually already looking for a place to study English. I had been taking English lessons from an acquaintance in my hometown, but I wanted a chance to speak with more people and practice in different ways, so it was the perfect time to happen upon Cafetalk!

Many Cafetalk users start with a free counseling session. I really recommend it to people who are trying out the site for the first time! Talking to a counselor on Skype will help you feel more at ease.


How do you go about choosing lessons? Can you tell us how you practice speaking English?

— My main practice method is to speak as much English as possible!

This might be too simple, but I just keep in mind what kind of situation I am in when picking lessons and teachers.

For example, if I'm going to have friends over for a party, I'll take lessons from a teacher who knows a lot about food and cooking. Or if I'm having trouble at work, I'll choose a teacher who has a similar job or similar experiences and discuss it with them. Before a business meeting, I'll take a business-y lesson and try to get excited about it...

I try to use English to talk about everything I talk about in normal conversations. My main practice method is to speak as much English as possible!


Would you like to share any knowledge or advice on taking lessons?

— I'm always looking for teachers that I like!

I refer to the information offered on the site and try out lots of trial lessons and lower cost lessons, trying to talk to as many teachers as possible. As you do that, you get a general understanding of that teacher's experience, strengths, what you have in common, their personality, etc. I think as a result, you'll learn to choose the most effective lessons for yourself and take full advantage of everything that the teachers have to offer.

In order to continue studying, it's good to have variation.

I created my own categories such as English proofreading, business, morning, solid study, chatting, misc., and keeping track of which teachers I like the most within each one. Then, taking my economic circumstances into account (so important!!) I try my best to meet with the same teacher anywhere from once every two weeks to 2 months. It keeps things fresh as I continue along. Even with friends, it's more exciting to meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while, right?

So you created your own original categories and take a variety of lessons!

That's a great method!


We heard that you work with people from overseas. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?

Did anything from your lessons here help you at work?

— I was told "the meeting ran smoothly thanks to you!"

I'm basically a freelancer, but once I finally started receiving English assignments, I have been handling interactions with foreigners during meetings as well as translating manuals for the past several years. Cafetalk really helped me out a lot when it came to English proofreading!

I also received the following interpretation advice from Cafetalk tutors: listen well, communicate clearly and thoroughly, and you are not in a position to be solving their problems!

One day, I sat down at a teleconference with an overseas client, bearing in mind everything that my teachers had told me. The meeting was a bit overwhelming because there were a number of people each asserting their own opinions. However, I was able to work calmly thanks to the person in charge settling the matter and the great advice I received from my teachers. After the meeting finished, one of the participants told me "The meeting ran smoothly thanks to you." (T-T)

I was so grateful towards the person in charge and all the lessons and teachers I'd had leading up to that day.


So we heard that you're taking lessons in various places, including your office and your workplace's cafeteria!

Do you have any advice on taking mobile lessons?

— Practicing in real life situations helps me get better at applying what I've learned!

I realized that you can take lessons pretty much anywhere if you use your iPhone, so I put mine to full use!

If it's a public space, I recommend somewhere that is relatively big and has music and people talking in the background. As long you use earphones that have a mic, all of the background noise will get blocked out. Meanwhile, your voice will still blend in with everyone else's, so you can take lessons in public without worrying about standing out. (I've also had the unfortunate experiences of standing out in an empty space, being suspected by a security man, and being seen as troublesome by people sitting nearby in a small cafe) For lessons that use textbooks or websites, it might be a bit too tough on the iPhone, so I think iPads or laptops are better.

I think that talking on the phone for about 30 minutes without being able to pick the place is the most natural, everyday situation, and if you turn the video off, it becomes even better for listening practice. I thought that practicing in real life situations would help me get better at applying what I've learned.

With a mobile device, you can take lessons even if you're away from home. You can take lessons that fit your schedule, anytime, anywhere.


What do you like about Cafetalk?

— You can learn in your own way! It's a deep and rare kind of place!

I like that you can learn in your own way.

You have the freedom to learn whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, however much you want, and with whomever you want.

Even the teachers have the freedom to develop original lessons based on their various backgrounds and experiences. At Cafetalk, you have the freedom to choose your preferred time, place, and teacher, which would be impossible to do at a language school. Plus, you get to practice communication, which you wouldn't be able to do if you were studying on your own. As you interact with unique teachers from all over the world, you can learn more than just language. As you learn about things outside of your own world, you will deepen your understanding of yourself.

Since it helps you learn more about your "sense of self," I think Cafetalk is a deep and rare kind of place!

Thank you very much, foo-chan!

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