1. How did the Intuitive English idea come about?
For years now, I've heard the same complaints from Spanish-speaking citizens in Costa Rica about the lack of progressive English-learning options and I truly believe I provide what's lacking. There is a niche for something new, progressive, modern, evolving and customized to the student's need...we aim to fill this.
2. How do you check on the progress levels of the students?
Well, as they say, the "proof is in the pudding." The student will notice their own development through the communication they produce over time. As no program is without work, the student needs to put in the time extra-curricularly apart from the classes. Whether it's watching their favorite movies in English, Youtube videos, watching English programs that appeal to them, reading articles on current events that impact them - just like the classes, the learning on your own time doesn't have to be boring and a burden.
3. Do you give classes in-person?
I do, although at a slightly higher cost due to the travel and time. Though future of this industry is now online although we absolutely see the need for some to have an instructor in front of them for the personal element. This also goes along with our catering to the specific student and the learning method best for them.
4. Are there contracts to be signed?
No, I don't hook my students this way. They are free to stop classes at any time and this is also me absorbing the pressure to continually both product results and develop programs that keep the student both excited and consistent about their learning. A student who no longer wants to learn but is obliged to stay due to a contract is not a student that is going to excel as they'll feel trapped and locked-in.
5. Are you available outside of class hours?
I am available if needed. You're welcome to call or e-mail me if in need of assistance, if you have a problem that needs immediate help or if you simply want to practice on your own time with an e-mail or a quick call to tell me about your day and are having trouble with self-motivation.
6. Are you legal to work or teach in Costa Rica?
I am a Costa Rican citizen with permanent residency and no restrictions. I have legal receipts from the Ministerio de Hacienda, if needed. Yes, I am absolutely legal to work in this country, unlike so many of the travellers and backpackers utilized at other locations who don't have your best interest in mind as they're only here temporarily and oftentimes illegally.
7. Do you provide your resume to those asking?
Yes, my resume is here on the site for everyone to see. I have extensive experience in North American business, 20 years of coaching experience, am a master at both NLP and martial arts and am TESOL-certified.
8. Do you have weekend classes?
Traditionally, no. If somebody needs a class for something imperative they're welcome to check with me as to availability but, as a rule, no, only Monday through Friday.
9. Can I have a meeting with you via Skype or telephone to see your thoughts on my English level or to talk about how the program works?
Yes, absolutely, at no-charge.
10. Do you give homework to the students?
The vast majority of people, both in Costa Rica and from other surrounding countries, do not do homework but practicing on your own time for at least an hour a day is imperative in you developing solid communication skills. As mentioned above even if it's simply watching a favorite movie in English, browsing Youtube, reading a book or article on your current interests, checking in on an English-speaking forum or Facebook conversation. A little goes a long way and it can be within your interest sphere...something that piques your interest and is related to your hobbies, pastimes, interests or passions.
11. What books do you use for your curriculum?
Nothing outdated, of this I can assure you. We use books by cutting-edge leaders in their fields, videos, short stories, articles....modern, current, up-to-date and constantly evolving content based on the students' needs and interests. The content is inevitably determined by the needs of the student.
12. In what time can I expect to be communicating in English?
This is person-dependent, as is every new skillset. Some learn much faster than others, some like a slower pace. I go by the Steven Kaufman premise that it usually takes 200 hours to become fluent naturally in any new language. After 6 months, one should be able to hold a conversation and communicate at a bare minimum but this is also student-specific. Those that tell you otherwise are simply lying. The most important thing is immersion into the language: speaking, writing, listening, reading, thinking. Many know every detail of grammar regarding their new language but, unfortunately, can't communicate in it. This is our sole goal, for you to be able to communicate in the shortest amount of time possible. Fluency, rhythm, pronunciation, vocabulary and meter are the important elements and the sooner we get you speaking, the sooner you get over your fear of making mistakes and trying to be perfect. I limit corrections as I want to develop fluency with reading and speaking the sooner the better.
13. Is there a specific type of English you teach?
We teach North American English as the closest areas to Costa Rica, the countries that're most directly linked with Costa Rican business and the majority of foreigners who live here and conduct business here are from Canada and the U.S. Formal and colloquial, for business and the street, professional and social. Comprehensive.
14. Is there a time limit or duration of the course?
Honestly, no. I want you to become fluent in communication. It's an ongoing process as I can attest to from my own Spanish, which is at about 80% (for those asking!) There's no duration or timetable as learning a language is an ongoing, indefinite process. I get calls from those exceptionally fluent in English already but they want to increase their vocabulary, acquire a particular skill or upgrade their knowledge.
15. How do schedule classes?
You're more than welcome to call or WhatsApp me: morning, afternoon or evening (8718-0365), e-mail me (email@example.com) or leave a message on the Facebook page (Intuitive English with Darren Friesen).
16. What do I need for the online classes?
Documents pertinent to the particular class will be given to you during the class or sent to your e-mail prior to the class for a quick review on your part. Your Skype connection must be reliable and consistent, same as yourself. What works best is a minimum of 1 megabyte-per-second or a minimum of 512 kilobytes-per-second, although this is not always possible within Costa Rica and other countries. A reliable consistent connection is usually acceptable. Please show up on-time ready to practice!
17. Where are you located?
I am a Costa Rican citizen who lives in Alajuela in Rio Segundo. I'm in-country and available, unlike so many institutes who offer services here but are out-of-country and you can never seem to get a hold of a representative to talk when needed.
18. What is the maximum students per class?
We offer group classes to corporations, small businesses and individuals and give discounts based on the number in the group and the hours per week/month but the maximum students per group is 4-5 as anything more and the contribution, participation and personal touch starts lacking. People get left out, bored or the learning curve goes down.
19. What is the average length of the classes?
Usually I recommend a minimum of 2 hours although 3 is absolutely fine, as long as the student(s) have a small break. In business, it's common knowledge that after 1.5-2 hours the ability to retain new information decreases substantially so I work within this framework.
20. What is the nationality of the instructor?
I am Canadian and have 44 years of speaking high-level English both in business, socially and "on the street".
21. Who gives the classes?
I give all the classes when able but also have a working agreement with 2 other highly-reputable instructors within the country so we help each other out whenever needed. I trust these gentlemen entirely and can vouch for their ability and methodology.
22. What is the foundation of the classes?
Be prepared to get over your fear of speaking! We speak, listen to audio, watch videos, read and converse. It is not a boring endeavor and I am very pura vida, the classes are relaxed, friendly and interactive.
23. If I'm from another country than Costa Rica, am I still able to take classes with you?
Absolutely! Due to the Skype platform, we open our doors to anyone wanting to learn English communication and language acquisition through our methodology. Give us a call!