Philosophy and Aim
For Spanish business people and professionals, the English language is often an essential tool for communication. Most Spanish adults lack sufficient proficiency with the language and, as a result, suffer an important loss of professional effectiveness when traveling abroad on business or when receiving important visitors from around the world.
They feel frustrated with not being able to convey the richness of their professional skills through a language they cannot use effectively.
Our Volunteers job will be to help them toward greater confidence in their ability to communicate, by exposing them to a wealth of rich speech and accents and by having them express themselves non-stop for 80 hours straight (5 days x 16 hours/day).
Volunteers don't need to know or teach English grammar; this is not our objective. You will only need to talk with different people just like you'd talk to a good friend or a fun and interesting neighbor.
We want to expose our Spanish friends to real English not to a watered down, standard version of the language. Most English teachers do the latter and, in the end, they do their students a disservice. We will not do this to them. We will expose them to the language just as they may hear it on the streets of London, Glasgow, Dublin, New York, Toronto, Melbourne, Cape Town, or for that matter, Coffeyville, Kansas.
The key words are "quantitative" and "qualitative". VaughanTown will be a "quantitative" approach. The experience will be quantitative in the sense that we will throw the English language straight into their face. we will shove it down their throat. They may gag a little, but they will have no choice but to perk up, wise up, and learn to meet the flow head on and digest it.
Conventional language training is like learning to swim in the shallow end of the pool. The instructor holds you underneath so that you are level with the pool surface and you perform the new strokes being taught. If you flounder you don't get any water up your nose. At VaughanTown, we want them coughing up half the pool. Why? Because that's what often happens to them in real-life language situations.
In an English class, if a student makes a mistake, the teacher corrects him and that's that. It's like a flight simulator. If you crash, you don't die. However, when the Chairman of the Spanish Fertilizer Association attends the bi-annual meeting in Zurich of the Pan-European Association, where he and 12 other European Chairmen must hammer out a series of grievances to hand up to the pertinent E.U. Commission in Brussels, if he doesn't follow the cross-currents of the discussion, he's dead.
He goes through an excruciating two-day experience of feeling like a complete idiot. And to top it off, he must lunch and dine with these 12 men over the two-day period, where they talk about all kinds of subjects, from their daughters' ballet lessons to what they think of the current economic situation.
Cases like this are true, blue cockpit experiences, where if you crash, you're splattered over a 300 meter radius. Of course, we cannot totally emulate in VaughanTown such anxiety-ridden experiences, but we can come much closer to them than can be achieved in conventional English classes.
Therefore, when we sell the program to Spaniards, we state that they will not be with professional trainers, but insist that this is exactly what they most need. And it's true.