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Why I love languages

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

I have always enjoyed meeting people, making new friends and working out what makes them tick! I guess I'm naturally curious about people. To find common ground with those from other countries, it is more than helpful to know a bit about their culture; books, films, music, and above all, language. Conversational fluency allows you to become truly involved in life in other countries, rather than just observing from the side-lines. It can be challenging (there are lots of words out there!) but the right level of challenge is fun (honest!). After all, little that is worthwhile comes easy!

My Life Story?

My life story? Well, I loved language lessons at school and the trips abroad that came with them! I didn't have a career plan in my head so I just decided to learn more about the things that fired me up. So I applied to read French and Russian at Exeter University which saw me begin my third year abroad picking grapes in Bordeaux and end it with a Trans-Siberian trip from Moscow through the Far East. Not a bad start!

I then worked for three years on a finance management training programme at British Airways (my BA degree got me in the door!) before disappearing off to Milan to study opera singing and teach English, where the Direzione Investigativa Anti-Mafia featured among my corporate clients! Returning to the UK, I went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Studio and since then I have had some wonderful jobs performing repertoire in Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, German and Czech around the UK, Europe and further afield. Opera is the meeting point of music, language, literature and art, so it is my spiritual home. For 15 years I then renovated a secondary residence in deep rural France - the Creuse - with my partner, spending exhausting but fun weeks renovating the old dwelling and attached barn. During this time, for a whole host of personal, professional and practical reasons, I began to reduce my opera singing activities (always fr from home!) and instead, I signed up for a TEFL course and a PGCE from Canterbury Christ Church. With these in my pocket (no mean feat, as anyone who has done a PGCE will tell you!) I began to teach French and Spanish in schools and we finally took the plunge and moved to the South of France permanently in summer 2019, during a week-long heatwave! I now combine my opera singing with a wonderful career in language tuition.

Languages are their own passport!

The key that has opened all these doors and allowed me to pursue these different paths has been my curiosity about languages. It is this enthusiasm, delight and spirit of enquiry into languages and foreign cultures that I am keen to pass on to others. Every word we use has its own history, evolution and mini-culture embedded in it, along with its connections to other languages. It is this fascinating world of discovery that I would like to equip others to explore as well!

What else floats my boat?

Well... sailing, kayaking, hiking, cycling, trips abroad preferably involving a multi-day horseback trek, yoga, theatre, movies, reading, eating out, evenings by the fire and planning our next trip abroad!

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