Language enthusiast encourages Guyanese to learn a second language
French is an easier language to learn than Spanish according to the personal belief of Michael Graham, a language enthusiast who has now become an entrepreneur from following that passion.
The 30-year-old founder of the local language agency – Fluency Express – has repeatedly been asked about the easier foreign language to adapt to.
He maintains it is personal but insists that whatever the choice, every Guyanese should learn a second language.
“I’m passionate about languages, I’m a strong believer that we need to have a second language.
“Especially because of where we are positioned geographically it makes sense for each Guyanese to know another language,” Graham told the News Room in a recent interview.
He says he developed a love for language at the tender age of nine. A student at the Tucville Primary School at the time, Graham said “my mom made it her business to get me enrolled for summer the summer program at our local library.”
The benefits of that decision would guarantee success for Graham as an adult and he believes the same can be done for every Guyanese.
“I call myself a language enthusiast because I like pushing people to do it. So, when you come across me, I’ll always be like are you learning Spanish? Are you learning French?
“And why not? Guyana has (Spanish-speaking) Venezuela to the west, (Portuguese-speaking) Brazil to the South, (Dutch-speaking) Suriname to the east, and right there is (French-speaking) French Guiana so it will be remiss if we don’t have at least a working knowledge of these languages,” Graham reasoned.
French and Spanish at the two main foreign languages taught in local public schools. A graduate of Christ Church Secondary School and the University of Guyana, Graham is walking the talk.
Through Fluency Express which started in the fall of 2019, just before the lockdown that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham along with other Guyanese tutors are offering courses in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English as a second language.
The agency also offers language interpretation, and translation of documents and recently started a reading and phonics course for children between the ages of 5 – 11.
Now, being fully online, they are able to serve a number of Guyanese and even persons abroad.
“We have persons in oil and gas, lawyers, doctors… I think we are reaching far and wide. I don’t think it matters your status either. We are always open to welcoming anyone who is open to studying and learning a foreign language.
“We make it exciting and pleasuring, dynamic. Our teaching method is dialogue-oriented, lots of speaking, interaction, games, and videos and that helps people to contextualize better instead of writing all the time,” he explained.
Graham warns, however, that people often struggle with commitment but noted that when it gets difficult, the answer is never to quit but to press on and finish.
To sign up for these courses persons can visit fluency express pages on Facebook or Instagram or contact Graham via WhatsApp at 659 – 2434.
After finishing studies in a foreign language class you need to use it or you would forget most of it. This guy is not telling you this.
All of us took high school Spanish. How many of us know fluent Spanish now?? Look how much money was wasted on that. Oh my goodness!!
If you don’t have person or persons with whom you can continually converse with, I’d say every three days at least, then, more than likely, say goodbye to your foreign language dreams.
Speaking the language consistently with others is far more important that learning tenses, pronouns, verbs, syntax etc.
In the last sentence I meant “learning” to mean cramming or repetitively studying.