32 years old


data analyst


The teacher about the student

During the interview, Sergey was very timid - he almost seemed afraid of me. Things got even worse during the oral part - the fear of saying something wrong prevented Sergey from completing sentences; he would falter in the middle or try to "correct" something that was already correct. In addition to working on language skills, we also had to do psychological work. We had to overcome the panic fear of speaking with all our might.

— Lera

Duck english
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Sergei's current level


Sergei's level at the time of the entrance test and interview.

7 months

It took to fully cover A2 and transition to the Intermediate level.

I had a fear of learning the language and was hesitant to start looking for a teacher.

learn english
no fear
duck english

What made you start learning English?

My motivation to learn English was the desire to have the ability to watch lectures, presentations, and communicate with foreign colleagues. A little over a year ago, I transitioned from Logistics to IT and became a data analyst at "Kitchen on the Block," where English is highly valuable for professional development. Additionally, I grew tired of feeling awkward in a party of foreigners, unable to express and articulate my thoughts correctly.

I had a fear of learning the language and was hesitant to start looking for a teacher.


What was your language learning experience before starting the classes?

I studied English in school, but I didn't enjoy those lessons much. I gained some basics but started taking private lessons from the ninth to eleventh grade to improve my skills. Despite this, my speaking abilities remained poor, but I managed to grasp grammar to some extent and even participated in a city-wide English Olympiad. I don't remember much about it now, except that I somehow muddled through questions for which I didn't know the exact rules. 

After high school, I went on to study English at university, where I developed a fear of the language. We studied Business English at level Upper-Intermediate, and everyone around me seemed to speak fluently and had no trouble in class. I struggled, though, especially with complex business topics.

After my second year of university, learning English came to a halt, and over the next 12 years, I spent about half a year learning English with two native-speaking teachers who helped me gain some confidence and reduce my fear. However, they didn't provide me with a structured foundation or base.


How did you feel about your level before starting lessons with us?

I thought my English level was roughly Pre-Intermediate. Lera, based on the results of the placement test, drew the same conclusion. I had some basic knowledge of grammar, subpar speaking skills, and a limited vocabulary. 

I was starting to feel that the level I had was inadequate for both work and ordinary travel. I began to feel like a dysfunctional inhabitant of this planet and decided to pull myself together and start serious lessons.

Currently, I'm starting to converse gradually and can have basic conversations on everyday topics with native speakers or Europeans. However, I still can't discuss serious topics confidently, as I lack fluency and vocabulary.



What do you like and dislike about the lessons?

The lessons vary – some focus more on grammar and exercises to reinforce it, while others emphasize speaking tasks. In general, there are usually small assignments at the beginning that involve a bit of conversation and lead to the introduction of new grammar rules, followed by practice and assignments related to listening and speaking. 

I appreciate the structured nature of the lessons and how one part of the lesson smoothly transitions into another, maintaining logical connections.

I’m really happy about the progress I've made in grammar. After learning certain rules, it immediately becomes easier to speak, as if you're removing a small obstacle from a gear, and the mechanism starts working much better.


What do you find most challenging in the learning process?

The most challenging aspect is the need to consistently practice and make an effort to learn or review something every day, even if it's just for 10-15 minutes, but every day. Otherwise, you risk losing your progress, slowing down your development, and potentially experiencing stagnation. As a result, your motivation may drop, and you’ll become less engaged in the learning process.


What motivates you to learn English?

I am motivated by the desire to be able to have meaningful conversations with foreigners on various serious topics, work in international companies, watch educational videos and movies in English. 

But most importantly, I want to return to Subway in Chicago and order precisely the sandwich I want, not the one an employee chooses for me.


What do you do besides attending lessons and doing homework? How does it help you?

I learn vocabulary using the Quizlet app, reviewing all my modules. I’ve recently started watching "Friends" with English subtitles as a way to gain some benefit during the times when I don't feel like doing much. Of course, I believe I could spend more time on vocabulary, for example. But it's not always easy to find the energy, considering that I am also working, taking data engineering courses, and trying to go jogging at least twice a week.


What can you recommend to other language learners?

I can offer two pieces of advice that have helped me personally. 

First, always keep in mind the goal for which you are doing everything and the destination you want to reach over time. Second, when learning something new, compare yourself not with others but with your yesterday self. If you are getting better, then you are doing everything right.

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