Life as a Ballet Dancer, Career Transitions, and Using English at Work

Mar 14, 2018 | Confident English Spotlight

Hooray! It’s episode 3 of Confident English Spotlight! This month I interviewed Wilma in Germany.

A quick reminder: in January I started a new monthly series called Confident English Spotlight. Every month, I’m interviewing a woman in my Confident English community who has developed a successful career, is doing amazing work for others, and has overcome challenges in English. They have successfully become more confident and fluent. 

And I want to share their stories with you for inspiration.

In this episode, Wilma and I talk about her previous life as a professional ballet dancer. Later in life, she transitioned to a successful business career and she needs to use English in her work every day.

Here are the questions I asked Wilma:

  1. You live in Germany – share with us something that you think is unique about German culture.
  2. Tell us what the life of a ballerina is like.
  3. Talk about your current profession and your transition to a new career.
  4. What do you like most in your work?
  5. Talk about using English every day at work and your English language journey.
  6. Do you have a favorite word or expression in English?
  7. What motivation or advice can you give to someone else who needs to be more confident in English?

One of my favorite parts of this interview is Wilma’s shares how she has rediscovered English and has fallen in love with the language. If you’re feeling frustrated with your English journey right, Wilma might help you learn how to enjoy the process.

And don’t forget to watch the previous episodes of Confident English Spotlight:

Find out how Wilma rediscovered English and started to enjoy learning it.

Lesson by Annemarie

Notes from Today’s Confident English Spotlight with Wilma

I’d like to highlight some vocabulary and expressions from my interview with Wilma. This is a great opportunity to add some new language to your daily English. Please review this new language and then join me in the online discussion below.

to be unable to face something/can’t face something

to avoid or not want to do something because it’s unpleasant.

For example, I know I made a huge mistake at work. I feel terrible. I can’t face my boss right now.

it takes two to tango (common idiom)

We use this idiom to say that:

  1. actions or communication need more than one person
  2. two parties (or people) are responsible for a certain action or situation in which they are involved

This idiom is often used in a negative way to indicate that more than one person or party is responsible for something, usually, something that has gone wrong, such as Don’t blame me! I wasn’t the only one responsible for the project deadline. It takes two to tango.

“Don’t expect fluency to happen overnight. Set realistic goals, make plans to achieve them, have a positive attitude, and take this challenge with enthusiasm, and don’t be afraid of failure.” – Wilma

to be a changemaker

A changemaker is someone who actively works to create positive change and social change. For example, The new director of the company is a real changemaker. She has boosted the morale of the office and implemented some much-needed changes.

to be a (good) team player

The often used expression is used to describe someone that works well with others and contributes toward achieving common goals.

to happen overnight

We use this to say that something does or doesn’t happen quickly. For example, Fluency doesn’t happen overnight. In other words, it takes time.

Now that you’ve watched the video and reviewed some of the language from the interview, I’d love to hear from you.

This is a great opportunity to practice what you’ve learned in this interview with Wilma.

Here are a couple questions using today’s key language:

  1. Do you know anyone who is a changemaker? If yes, who are they and what positive changes have they made in others’ lives?
  2. Wilma said not to “expect fluency to happen overnight.” Do you agree? What has been your experience with English fluency?

The best place to share YOUR ideas and answers with me is in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

~ Annemarie

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