“Learning to speak like a native speaker has opened doors for me”
– Mr. Bruno Potenzoni, Twinings
A POTTED HISTORY
We have had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Mr. Bruno Potenzoni, Regional Commercial Manager for Twinings in Latin America, to stay with us for a summer residential course in Oxfordshire. Twinings is based in Andover, Hampshire, and – fun fact – has the world’s oldest continually used company logo (created in 1787). Part of the Associated British Foods group, Twinings has expanded into Latin America and is continuing to undergo a rapid period of growth…
Bruno was looking to improve his fluency and confidence using, speaking and working in English. With a good deal of theoretical knowledge already under his belt, Bruno wanted the opportunity to put what he had learned into practice in a fully English-speaking environment.
- Prior to coming to the UK, we provided Bruno with 30 hours of ongoing training via Zoom (90mins / week) – which lay the groundwork for Bruno’s arrival in the UK so that he could hit the ground running.
- Once on British soil, Bruno joined us in the beautiful English countryside for a two week “intensive” residential course: 13 days, 160 contact hours in English and 70 hours of classes.
- The course itself focused on, among other things, presentation techniques to make them more engaging and to develop audience rapport. As well as using independent materials, Bruno applied the techniques to his own media to see how they could be applied for real.
- A practical part to the course saw Bruno testing out his English skills on a ‘treasure hunt’ in Bath – asking questions and interacting with ‘real’ people (as opposed to ever sympathetic and ever-patient teachers) in a safe environment to develop his confidence speaking in English.
- The fortnight allowed for that no-escape cultural immersion too: plenty of time to experience and find out more about English culture by being hosted by Rob & Nic in their home. Discussions ranged from politics to family life to the size of one’s BBQ!*
- It wasn’t all work and no play though, as Bruno also took the opportunity to refresh old acquaintances during the middle weekend.
*NB Never try to argue with an Argentinian about the appropriate size of a BBQ
THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
The biggest achievement of the fortnight was undoubtably that Bruno finished his time here saying he had started to think in English. With his confidence greatly improved and with plenty of lightbulb moments along the way, it was great to see Bruno’s theoretical knowledge be used and enjoyed in practice.
He now tells us that following the most intensive course he’s ever done in his life, he has the tools to walk into an international meeting in South America and perform with the same confidence and communicative skills as he would do in Spanish – something that had evaded him prior to his time in the UK.