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Student name: José Cantavella
Home country: Spain
Profession: Sales Professional
Course: Octorial programme
Course dates: 24 April – 20 May 2016

Do you use English in your working life?

I work in sales for a ceramic tile company in Benicàssim in Spain. We have different types of clients. Most are from the middle east and eastern European countries. However, for me it is actually harder to understand the English and American clients. I need to practise. I want to raise my level of English because my company is launching a new range of products that we will sell directly to retailers.

What do you find most challenging in your day of classes?

In the day, the most challenging class is probably listening. Above all this is when, in the listening, they are speaking quickly. But it is a good challenge.

Which classes have you found most inspiring?

In Team Project we have been working towards presentations. This week we went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. I wrote about a headdress I saw which I liked. It was very beautiful and impressive, covered in feathers and coloured ribbons. The main purpose of doing an exercise like this is to develop our confidence with the language – to use the language. I had to prepare for the presentation, all the different steps I would say.

It is new for me to research presentations in English. It is very useful for my job because I need to do presentations for my clients. I find it easier to talk about business than other topics because I have practised this subject matter a lot and I know this specific vocabulary.

How do the tutors guide you and help you improve?

The teacher guides us during the presentation, encouraging us to connect the pieces of information better or conclude the presentation more clearly. They also ask us questions about the subjects of the presentation. For this I still have to think the answer in Spanish first and then I can answer in English.

Do you have the opportunity to practise your English outside the classroom?

I try to speak English in lunch breaks and at weekends with my host family. For example, last weekend we had a barbecue at their house. They invited a lot of their friends, which gave me the opportunity to interact with a lot of other people with different accents and characters.

How will you continue to pursue your language goals?

I hope to get to a level where I do not have to pause and I can speak English fluently – this is my goal. I will keep practising so I can achieve this.

Student Stories - José

Student Stories - Giulia