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Dan Veldstra


  • BS, General Engineering. USNA, USA
  • MSA, Administration. Central Michigan University, USA
  • CELTA, Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Adults

I wish I had known this years ago. I would have avoided a lot of stress. Nothing you try is perfect the first time. Every human achievement comes after many mistakes as we grow. Walking is a good example. A healthy adult can go across a room smoothly and purposefully, but no one starts that way. A child learning to walk falls many times, but with time and practice, she learns the subtle balance and coordination to go wherever she wants to go. Learning a new language is the same, and hesitation and doubt are enemies of learning. The author of a famous English textbook once wrote, “If you do not know how to pronounce a word, say it loud.” That is good advice from a wise man, but can anyone spot the mistake in that last sentence? No? It does not matter. As a teacher, I like to meet the student at his or her level of English. I also want to know where we are going. What are your goals? Let’s go there together. We can work to build confidence with the skills you have now. Mistakes and gaps will come, but we will make them into opportunities on the path to mastering English. In my years in management, high tech, aviation and manufacturing I have had the pleasure and privilege of being a teacher and a mentor for many. I am well qualified because I have had plenty of time to make all the mistakes! Now I know how to avoid some of them. That method of learning works for a lot more subjects than learning a second language.