Saturday, September 27, 2014

London language studio

Alena Sunavska is fluent in six European language with an understanding of a further four. She works as a professional language tutor and linguist. She teaches Czech, Slovak, Italian, Spanish, English and Greek. We have conducted a short interview with her.



When did you start advising people on how to learn languages to a fluent level?
When I first started to teach in the United Kingdom I realised, to my horror, why so many English students struggle with languages. They DID NOT learn English grammar in school. How is this even possible? How can such subject be called ENGLISH? I knew that if I don’t start to address this fundamental issue there is very little chance my students will achieve fluency. And this is how I work towards fluency; I explain how languages work straight from the first lesson and I make sure my students understand at all times, what and why they are doing or why there are learning certain things.

What is your motivation in learning and tutoring people in languages?
My own motivation when learning various languages was in fact very simple; when I hear people talking, I like to understand them. And not just their language but also their mentality, which often comes with it. I chose to teach languages because I felt like I have a lot to share, and I like to share knowledge. I worked hard to understand how languages are learned and I feel very fortunate I am able to transfer this knowledge to others. Teaching languages is my vocation.

Someone told me that having learned 7 languages from different language families can make a person very versatile in speaking any language? What is your personal opinion about this statement?
Correct. The more languages one learns, the easier it becomes then to learn another one. And that’s for a simple reason. The languages might be different, but the learning patterns and language structures are very similar. After two or three languages, acquiring a new one becomes a routine.

Do you consider someone who speaks a certain language with an accent not being fluent? How do you help someone overcome an accent issue during speaking?
I don’t find accents particularly important, as long as the speaker can be understood, and unless it becomes something the student worries about himself. I hardly ever correct accents, as it can be incredibly discouraging for the learner. Some students just don’t have the ear for it and are literally unable to sound like native speakers. Fluency is not about accent and correctness. It is about confidence in speaking, understanding and mastering of a language to a good enough level, where one can communicate and convey the appropriate message, feels comfortable to take part in any conversation and most importantly, knows how to deal with lack of vocabulary.

Which are the languages you teach/tutor? How much does it cost to master one language, assuming from basic to intermediate level?
I teach Czech, Slovak, Greek, Spanish, Italian. I don’t teach English.
I don’t like to categorise people into certain prescribed levels and I hardly ever use textbooks in my classes, so measuring progress is something incredibly individual for me. Languages are not learned over night and require massive drive and time commitment. However, I have seen that under the guidance of a qualified private tutor, a very dedicated student can become fluent in a few months. Which is fantastic, given many people spend several years attending language courses and yet can hardly find the confidence to spell their name.

From the courses you offer, can a new language learner assess how well he/she has progressed? Is there a guideline/progress chart provided?
Our tutors prepare highly individualised lessons which also provide ongoing feedback. We make sure students are aware of their progress, or any difficulties. We ensure they are comfortable with the path of their lessons, their course topics and their tutor’s teaching style.
As I mentioned earlier, we do not categorize people into prescribed language levels and don’t make them face benchmarks, unless they request a particular type of tuition (i.e. exam preparation etc.) in which case formal assessment becomes necessary.
We want our students to feel free and unrestricted, comfortable, confident, without having to achieve, compete and deliver. We want them to have fun and to learn fast, in the right way; we want them to learn languages naturally.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sienná - interview



Sienná is a music artist living permanently in Norway, but originally from Kyoto, Japan. We have conducted a short interview with him:


Why did you move from Kyoto to Norway permanently?
I´m still here in Norway after so many years, although it was really not meant to be permanent. I moved to Norway as a university student. My musical mentor and a great Norwegian artist, Abòn, has helped me out to kickstart my music career after I completed the master's degree in cultural science. That was how it was. My father has always told me that I needed to establish a solid livelihood besides anything else, which is quite understandable. So, I made a long detour to be where I am today as an artist, but I think that things happen as they should, and that I was probably not able to make my music without the detour or all the experiences in life so far. So all in all, I am a very happy person right now.

What inspires you in the kind of music you are creating?
My inspirations come from everywhere and nowhere. It can be a reflection of light and shadow on river, or it can simply be a delicious chocolate donut I ate yesterday. Most importantly, I am probably more inspired of being nostalgic about my hometown Kyoto and its local tradition and culture. The newest single "I know why" has some cultural traits from Kyoto soundwise. At the same time, it is about the melancholy and struggles that I went through during the last year. In a way, the songwriting process is often like an emotional journaling for me. I write it down, and go on with life. The song became untraditionally pop to be me. But I am happy with the result due to its sentimental value.

When is your band's upcoming single release? Why did your band choose to promote this upcoming single in UK instead of others parts of Europe?
The newest single will be released on 20th of October 2014. Basically we promote it to promote our UK tour starting from 23th of October 2014, and vice versa. At this moment, we are trying to be in high gear in the UK due to the fact that we will be able to support The Crazy World of Arthur Brown for the second time. We LOVE Arthur, and we genuinely respect and admire his works, his spirit and his personality. Also, most of the music promotion today is done and spread online. So it has more or less an international impact anyway, according to how I perceive it.

Is there any unique experiences you have personally encounter since you are originally from Japan and your band members are from Norway?
I am quite well adjusted to the Norwegian society (I guess), although I observe that my clock is running as twice as fast as my Norwegian colleagues´ inner clocks. Hallvard (Gaardlos) and Vegard (Bjerkan) are more relaxing attitudes towards the most. So it might be a twilight-zone experience for them from the peaceful Norwegian woods, working together with someone like me in the Tokyo subway´s rush hour. Otherwise, I guess we might be very different due to the educational background differences. They are educated musicians, and I am not. I perceive they approach to music somehow analytically while I act like an anarchist. Although, it is "yin-yang". I think we are actually very complementary.

How would you describe your music and which genre does your music belongs to? How long have you been making music and what kind of music would you like to explore in the near future?
Our catch-phrase is "East meets west in dreamy crossover electronica". Since I started to write my music since 2004, my signature sounds has somehow been dreamy and soothing whatever I wrote. After my debut EP in 2005, I found out that it was more natural for me to express myself through the Japanese traditional sounds I grew up with. So I combined it. With a huge help from Hallvard and Vegard, it became like a cup of Japanese matcha green tea with Norwegian latte, but with some weird additional ingredients. We are doing a cocktail experiment. If it sounds cool to us, it´s cool regardless of how strange it sounds. But basically, I would say our starting poing is electronic, avant-garde, Norwegian jazz and Japanese traditional. We would explore much more in the future, but you know only the time will tell. 

Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Interview with Liv Kirby

Australian actress, singer, dancer and model Liv Kirby was born in Queensland, Australia and recently she lives in the US. Her first experience in the arts was when she was 12 years old when she started stage and film classes at the National Theatre in the heart of Melbourne. From acting Liv then started exploring the world of dance and by the age of 15 she was dancing professionally. In 2012 Liv recieved her Diplomia of Modeling and Business of Modeling from the Model Academy and since has been involved in many photoshoots as well as had the opporunity to walk for L'Oreal. We have conducted a short interview with her.



What inspires you into this world of dance before the age of 14? How did you finally choose this dance genre/specialisation? 
It started as an after school thing once a week with one of my best friends, we wanted to do something and there was a little dance school everyone went to in our neighborhood so we began hip hop classes there. As soon as I started I loved it! I was horrible at it and it definitely wasn't a natural talent for me. Then the school closed down and I had just seen the musical Wicked and I fell in love with musical theatre and I moved to a dance school in the city and began working there to pay for my classes and I started doing 13 classes a week After school I would run to the train to get me into the city to make it to the first class of the night. Soon enough, I was improving and really getting the hang of it, I was then in classes that my teachers would take and I'd be dancing along side them. They were the people who inspired me the most, so it really made me work hard. I felt like I had to step up my game if I wanted to continue dancing with them.

At the World Hip Hop Championship, which was the most challenging or liberating move/technique to master? 
At most Hip Hop competitions you're dancing with a crew and I think that's even more challenging then dancing a solo, because you all rely on each other to put in the work so your crew can be the best it can be. So I think the hardest part about dancing at the Hip Hop Championships is synchronicity, allowing your crew to look as one, and making it effortless from every performer, that's a real talent within itself. When you see a crew dancing and each placement is so precise on each individual, it makes the whole picture incredible!

Martha Graham once said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul”, as a dancer from a young age, who do you think is the most soulful dancer? 
I have met so many soulful dancer in my life, from seeing them on stage in shows, to seeing the in classes. A dancer that really stands out to me is Judith Jamison, and her performance of Cry, choreographed by Alvin Ailey. Fortunately I had to study this dance in 12th grade so I really got to educate myself on the piece and the dance which made her performance even more powerful as I had the knowledge behind it all.

What advice would you give to another young dancer wanna-be? 
It would be to just stick to it. Dancing is something that takes a lot of time, you don't just wake up one day with a perfect extension and pointed toes, you really have to work at it and acknowledge that it is a process and allow that process to happen. I also believe it is very beneficial to train in as many styles of dance that you can, the more knowledgeable you have about dance overall impacts the quality you present overall

Other than dancing, what are your other hobbies and interests? 
I love singing and acting, I train in both those areas constantly. I love the arts and performing and will jump at any opportunity to perform, I also really love going to see shows. Traveling is something I also very much enjoy, there's so many places I want and hope I get to go too.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Maize Innovation



Kareem Maize is a 26 year old musician and information technology professional with a passion for learning new aspects of life everyday. He lives in Latrobe in Pennsylvania.



Which is the key life event that has shape your personal philosophy?
I found a spiritual teacher who helped me realize I could choose how I wanted this life to be for me ! - sorry if number was a bit vague.

What is your belief in life?
Anything is possible with the right belief system. Your dominant beliefs create your reality. Once you become aware of this you can change your own reality.

What is your opinion about time and patience, can one do without the other?
Time is our most valuable resource that we have so we should live life to the fullest and take as many risks as possible. Time can do without patience because I believe good things come to those who go out and make their dreams a reality.

How do you coach when someone is in deep emotional problems?
Help them to establish a reality where they can let go of their problems and essentially make them non existent by training their subconscious mind to let go of limiting beliefs. This includes writing down what they want , visualization , affirmations, and working with bi-nural beats.

Can you share with our readers, what is your favourite quotation. If our readers would like to read more about you, where can they find you?
"Confidence is having certainty in an uncertain world" - Kareem Maize You can find me at my website http://www.maizelawofattraction.com/ and my facebook https://www.facebook.com/kareem.maize if you would like to get to know me more!!!


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