English Lessons


YOU ARE SO LUCKY…if you are reading this in your native language! English has become the unofficial official world language.  The number of English language learners worldwide is up to 1.5 billion, according to John Knagg, a lead representative of the British Council. They are learning from kindergarten to post-retirement in order to graduate, get a job, get a promotion, learn, network, meet people, engage with and serve tourists, read newspapers, specialist journals and online article, engage in social networks, travel, fly a plane…and much more.

For employees in many countries learning and improving one’s English is a key element of CPD (continuous professional development) or formation as the French call it. While English speakers can get spend their evenings watching soap operas, the latest on Netflix or more ambitiously taking improving night classes in bicycle maintenance or sugar craft, a very high percentage of non-native speakers are heading towards the millions of Language Schools worldwide to move up through the 7 *CEFR levels of English to reach as close to proficiency (C2) as possible.

*(Common European Framework Reference)

How do all these learners learn English? Well almost certainly not the way you learnt Irish or even the way our children are learning French now.  Knowing how to speak English is critical and therefore the methods have to work. Before it became the world language it was taught in what is now called the Grammar-Translation method. It is how it sounds and unfortunately is still used to teach some languages to this day.  Really it is only an appropriate method for learning Latin.

Because learning English is seen as the key to advancement, development and employment, the methodologies available to English language teachers are arguably amongst the most modern in the education world.  A lot of money and time is spent in the English language departments of third level institutions world-wide to develop the best teaching practices.

Furthermore a high percentage of English language students are adult professionals and therefore are highly motivated, have limited time and exacting standards for the quality of their English lessons.

Fortunately, the Grammar-Translation method has been mostly overtaken.  The main approach is the communicative approach which is based on the general idea that most people learn English so that they can communicate in it. Most learners want to be able to speak and understand spoken English. How to teach communication is trickier and subject to changes and fads.

It is no longer acceptable to just chat with students.  It turns out it is not that effective! Pity! In my early career some of my favourite classes were just chats with interesting people from all over the world.   In those early hippyier days explicit error correction was also frowned upon.  However the latest research seems to show that learners (adults at least) want their errors pointed out and corrected, and that such error correction leads to better learning than sensitive pussyfooting around.


The most intriguing but less popular method is the Dogme method, which came out of a Danish school of film thought in the 1990’s which wanted to eschew the Hollywood obsession with technique, technology and artifice. Applied to language teaching, the students, their stories and their needs replace the endless photocopies, textbooks, workbooks and the CDs. This especially appeals to the many English teachers who dread the pre-class queue for the photocopier which inevitably starts chewing up paper and hissing as soon as it is your turn.


The commonest methodology is called PPP: which is modelled on the steps linguists believe learners follow to learn a new language:

  1. Exposure   2. Noticing   3. Understanding   4.Practicing   5.  Active use.

The first P is presentation: the teacher presents the new language in a natural, realistic context (exposure and noticing).  The second P is practice (understanding and practising): the teacher gives the students plenty of opportunity to practice and understand the new language. This is often done in pairs and small groups and the teacher walks around helping and guiding the students towards correct usage.  This phase may also include written exercises which deepen the learners’ understanding of the new language. The final P is production (active use).  In this stage the teacher sets up a situation whereby the students have to carry out a task and have the chance to use the new language spontaneously in a more realistic situation. Since this last stage is supposed to most closely mirror the real world, the teacher takes a back seat at this stage becoming more of a facilitator while learners become more autonomous.

Task Based Learning

One of the newer methodologies is Task Based Learning (TBL).  This approach essentially turns PPP on its head.  Learners are given a meaningful task to work on, usually in groups.  As in the fluency lessons the teacher acts as a facilitator, moving around to support learners based on their questions.  The learners work autonomously on the task, using whatever resources they have to hand: dictionaries, mobile phones, internet, books, each other etc. to carry out the task.  The idea behind TBL is that, in the desire to carry out the task, the learners will search out the language they need as a consequence. The teacher then gives them feedback on their completed tasks.

This is particularly successful when used in the workplace, as the learners will be even more motivated to carry out a task as it may be a task, or similar to a task they actually have to carry out in real life but through English: for example a presentation to a visiting client, a meeting with employees from other from branches of the company abroad, or simply pre-international seminar networking or socialising.

Methods of language teaching are constantly evolving and language teachers, like all professionals cross the spectrum from excellent to adequate to not yet able. If English is taught badly, and it still sometimes is, the gifted or those lucky enough to be totally immersed in the language will learn anyway.  However many have to learn English and need effective teaching.

There are thousands living and working in Ireland who still need language support like they did when they were living in their native countries.  One of my students, Monika from Lithuania, lives in Cabinteely with her Lithuanian husband and their Lithuanian housemate.  She buys her groceries in Lithuanian stores because does not know the English for the Lithuanian staple: kruopos, and has her hair cut by a Lithuanian hairdresser because she does not feel she has good enough English to have her hair cut by an English speaking hairdresser. Monika has been living and working in Ireland for five years.

For more on Language Teaching Methods read the excellent article:

Article written by Andrea Goldman

One Free Place on Every Public Workshop

Is there such a thing as FREE?


In our world yes.
smiley-svgOver the years both Andrea and I have seen so many people unable to pay for professional training because training is not an option at work, or perhaps for small business owners in particular, there never seems to be enough time or money. If you’re a job seeker or have just moved to Ireland, spending money on upskilling however much you need it, may not be top priority for you.

We’ve both lived overseas. We’ve experienced first hand how challenging it can be and know the importance of developing both language and communication skills in the country you’ve moved to. As a small part of our commitment, we allocate one free place on every public workshop we run to help you integrate and engage more fully.

Ireland is a great and exciting place to live and work, especially when you have a good command of English which is still the common language between people of different nationalities.

How can someone apply?  There are two easy ways. The first way is to submit a suggestion on our Facebook page of what kind of workshop would be the most useful.  Maybe you need Presentation Skills, help with Networking, Business Language for Sales.  Perhaps Stress Management or Interview Skills.  Perhaps there’s something we can do that is not listed on our website you’re your suggestion will help us to keep our service relevant.  The second way is to email us directly with the subject line ‘free workshop application’, giving us your contact details, a little bit about yourself and your suggestion for a workshop you need.  We’d love to hear your suggestions.


Driving lasting change through training innovation

Click for details of our next Public Workshop 



Off the Cuff

When Speaking in Public causes you stress ..

Relax! You’re not alone. More than half the population seems to be terrified at the very thought of being asked to present or speak in public. In fact, many have said they would rather ‘die’ !! You may be surprised to know many of the world’s greatest speeches have been made by introverts, people who choose to Janie Lazar - Coderdojothon 2016manage their stress and present with excitement rather than fear. The good news is you can learn to do the same and learn how to speak and present with confidence. Boosting your English language and Presentation Skills together will make you a more effective communicator, as well as help you with your ability to network for effectively. MMTW Integrated training is available on a one to one and group basis for organisations. As not everyone can avail of training in their workplace, we run ‘Public Workshops’ – with the next for people whose first language isn’t English scheduled for the 5th November 2016. This is an intensive Mini Workshop ‘Preparing to Present’ where participants learn practical communication skills and tips usable in any language.

Click to contact us directly to see how we can help     

the Chinese word ‘wei-chi’ has two meanings: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’.  It all depends on how you see it.  So when you change your perspective and see speaking in public as an opportunity, we can work to turn that fear into excitement.

A new global language – supported by ENGLISH

I love the way we can find information on just about anything. From how to do something ‘techie’, to listen to a favourite piece of music, for much needed data for a report.  I just go on-line and with one click, the information is mine. Or perhaps ‘mined’ is a more apt description. What we do is being monitored.  All the time.  Every click. Every moment of every day.  Big data.  Big money for Big Corporates. This is concern no. 2 on my list.  My biggest concern is moral responsibility.  And what brought this ever closer was Coderdojothon 2016, which was hosted in my home town of Dun Laoghaire last weekend.

Logo DojoCon 2016 I’d been aware of this amazing movement, which is bringing kids together to learn what will be the global language of the future CODING.  Not having children, this has been at the edge of my world and only when a conversation with a pal saw me agreeing to be on the ‘SOAPBOX’ on opening night, did I really give it serious thought.  BUT NOT AS A CODER.  I stood up and spoke. As a human being very much concerned with the moral responsibility of organisations involved with this growing movement.  And expressed concern as to how children can be protected within this worldwide Dojoweb.  The creativity I saw. The confidence which kids develop as they learn and develop is breathtaking. I would hate anything to infiltrate this world.  These kids are our future now.  They know more about the internet and see more possibilities than we may ever contemplate, let alone take on.  I even made a new pal Lexie. She is seven and can help me with my blogging and is a cool coder already.  These kids have a social conscience, an innate guiding compass of collaboration for the greater good.  These kids will make social changes happen and all through the new global language of collaborative coding. And yes, people travelled from all over the world and the common language – yes, is ENGLISH!!

I am grateful to those who accepted my challenge I threw off the SOAPBOX. Those who came up to join me as I ranted – in particular Paul Greenberg, CEO and Founder of an extraordinary company

What an amazing time to grow up in this world.  It’s a long way from my childhood where having a landline was big news, long before the mobile phone was even thought of!

need a speaker? need help with preparing your speech? 

Radio Time – In our Own Words


Much More Than Words: ‘In Our Own Words’

We talk about MMTW on Dublin South FM 93.9

With Padraic Marren  on ‘The Business Eye’

Preparing for Interviews – Yes, we train people in this area too!


mmtw services

Exceeding Expectations at ‘Preparing to Present’ –

Before you book, take a look at  our last Workshop 

Boosting English Language & Essential Communication Skills in the Workplace’ – Hosted by the Bank of Ireland, Grand Canal Square, September 2016

 Exceeded my expectations”, “I learnt a lot of very useful business language”
Now I know how to present myself better in English” 
 Now I have more confidence to stand up and give a presentation in English
“Awesome to have this opportunity”  
Andrea Goldman LANGUAGE COACH with participants
“Without this workshop with Andrea and Janie, I never would have started to learn how to work on my presentations”
This workshop saw participants really connecting, taking the opportunity to present with conviction, making use of the useful appropriate business English they had learnt and with great confidence.We had the most fantastic group, with people from Syria, Korea, Poland, Venezuela, China, Italy and Spain –  the bank was buzzing !
And what did we learn as Facilitators?!

Just how important it is for non native English speakers to be supported by their Employers to help them integrate, engage and contribute even more so their skills can be fully maximised and potential realised.
 One to One or One to Many – It’s all about Connecting

Book me in for the next ‘Preparing to Present’ Workshop

Building language skills with both competency and confidence means employees and and their companies benefit as overall communication skills become even stronger.

Our integrated approach in training leads to greater loyalty, greater work/life satisfaction and has a positive effect on company performance and profitability. A WIN/WIN all round.



Book me in for the next ‘Preparing to Present’ Workshop

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You don’t like selling?

most people think they can’t sell..

and some believe they don’t. the truth is we all sell, all of the time.

Every single day of our lives, we just don’t see it as such.  

Every day of our lives we’re in communication with other people, we need to collaborate with other people, to get other people to work with us effectively, to keep clients doing business with us, to persuade – however indirectly – new clients to work with us too.  We want to show the best side of ourselves so people want to be with us, to work with us. To be at the top of their list !! 

It seems obvious really but building relationships takes serious effort and relationships are built on trust.   But to do this well, you need to keep honing your core communication skills and most people just don’t bother. Those who do are those we believe are people born with a natural ability to sell, but they are just tuned in better.

Selling is based on relationships and it’s about communication.  Communicating in a way which uses your unique interpersonal skills so you can build sustainable professional relationships. And of course personal relationships too.

Like it or note, we sell every day. To Colleagues. Parents are selling when they are with their kids.  In the workplace. At home. Selling involves communicating with people to just get things done.  All this demands communication skills of the highest order. It involves you being at your best

So a few points to remember

The sales process is NOT about YOU… think about what you can do for the person sitting opposite you

You are only as good as the service you give your customers

Without your customers, you don’t have a businesss

Great Customer Service is only part of the unspoken ‘Rule of Engagement’

When you don’t secure a sale, there’s a reason why....  look for it

See ‘Failure’ as an opportunity

People Buy from you because of YOU……

Perhaps MOST important of all..

Remember 2.2.1… you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason !!

So, in the words of Oscar Wilde, do  “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” and develop your own style that reflects you, whatever language you’re speaking in. It’s part of who you are.

click to request details of the next sales workshop – where you’ll get practical sales advice to help you build on the skills you’ve already have

click here for details of our next MUCH MORE THAN WORDS MINI WORKSHOP – HOW TO PRESENT