My name is Tatjana, I am originally from South Africa. I have been in London for about 2 years and work here as a graphic designer. My first language is English. I have a love for Spain and the Spanish language and have previously lived in Barcelona, which made my passion for it the language and place stronger.
The first thing that attracted me to Speak Street was that it’s a social and relaxed way to learn a language. I enjoy meeting new people and love to teach as well as learn languages so I found this to be a great way to do all of these things at once.
My time there has involved me learning many things about other cultures and languages. I have learnt many things about different languages often through funny misunderstandings, which are then resolved. Humour and conversation are a great way to learn and teach languages as it gives a memory to which the lesson can be attached.
I feel like it’s a chance to get to know other cultures and to learn important phrases, which are useful in the language from a native speaker. It’s also a chance to meet new people and inform people who have just moved over of important things to know about London. If only I had found something like Speak Street in Barcelona, I would have had a much easier time of learning the language and meeting people who could tell me things I needed to know about the city.
What makes Speak Street different is that it’s friendly and feels like it’s there to help people and make a difference in the community, not just to make money. The fact that the native speakers are volunteers speaks loads for the nature of the programme. The people who go to Speak Street are special in that they all want to learn/help/meet people.