Student Spotlight: Surf’s up!


Kelly Slater hitting the waves at Hossegor (S. France). Photo courtesy of Martine


This past week I was chatting with Martine, a new English Addicts learner, and very quickly we found a common point: surfing!!!

What I thought was really cool was that she was studying with EA so that she could better understand live surfing competitions. I couldn’t resist sharing some of our conversation on the blog, so here’s Martine from near Paris on her recent adventures in English and surfing!!!

1) What is your main motivation for learning English?  Is it for travel, fun, professional reasons?

Learning English has always been important for me and I’m still willing to become fluent in understanding and speaking English … Probably not easy, but … In fact, I think I like very much English language.  I like the music of it, mainly when it’s spoken with a nice English accent …. Of course English is also THE useful language and I’ve used it when travelling, also when working for an American company near Paris. After leaving this job, I gave up learning and speaking English for years and I forgot almost all that I had learned :-(

Now it happens that I’ve some free time these months and recently I came into a huge interest for surf contests of the ASP World Championship Tour … So, I need urgently to improve my understanding because I like to follow the contests in live and of course it’s in English (with more or less strong accents, fast speaking and technical terms). For me, it’s now more or less a matter of survival ;-)

2) How long have you been studying English, and have you found methods that have helped?  Likewise, have there been methods that have discouraged your learning?

I studied English at school, then by myself mainly reading and watching films with subtitles, and then with some intensive training course when working for the American company. The result of all this was not so good, probably because I was not at ease with oral practice. The most useful and nice was the intensive course. What has discouraged me most was never to feel able to cross the kind of barrrier that separates from a fluent use of the language.

3) How long have you been using English Addicts?

I’ve been using English Addicts for only one month… not much yet!

4) What’s your favorite thing about the application and maybe your favorite lesson so far?

I like EA very much because it is varied, offers different levels and accents. It is not boring.  So far my favourite lessons are “Teenagers hungry for “The Hunger Games” movie” and “The cable cars of San Francisco“.  The only thing I regret is that you can’t get the pronunciation through the in-app dictionary.

5) If you could go to any surfing contest which would you go to?

At the beginning of last October I went to the Quiksilver Pro France which was held in Hossegor. It is one of the two events of the ASP WCT held in Europe, the second one is in Portugal.  It was great.  I took the attached photo there during the first semi final: Kelly Slater versus Joel Parkinson who is at the first rank on the WCT by now.

It was 8:10 in the morning, Friday October 5th. It was rather cold, the light was still poor, the sky was of a soft pink. The sun was just spreading its first rays onto the foaming waves. It was a very special moment and a very strong feeling. It is Kelly Slater on the photo. He won the contest.

I’ll go again to Hossegor next year. I hope so. But I’d like to go to other contests … Teahupoo (French Polynesia), Trestles (Califonia) and Pipeline at Oahu (Hawaii) but all that is a little far, isn’t it ;-)  Good to dream !

6) Do you think you’d be able to communicate with people more easily in person than understanding them over the TV or radio?

I just don’t know if it would be easier for me to communicate with people in person than to  understand them on video. I suppose it could be if it was an informal conversation. But you know I’m always terribly stressed when practicing English in oral, so …

7) Have a favorite surfer… and favorite surf spot you’ve been to?

A favourite surfer … hum. Kelly Slater, probably, for a lot of reasons. And a favourite surf spot, Hossegor, indeed, as it is the only professional one I went to … and because it is a very nice place, lots of people surfing at any time, beautiful beaches and waves, nice town and places to eat near the sea, really a nice spot.


Thanks Martine for sharing with readers on the blog, and tip of the hat to you as we language teachers know that it’s not easy to move forward in a language and you’re doing a great job, with a totally tubular method, dude! ;-)


… and as a quick PS, I saw that there were 2 cool surfing lessons on English Addicts if any of your students would especially “dig” hanging loose at an EA surfing spot.

Surf's up with English Addicts








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--- i'm a learner-teacher, language geek, outdoorsy kind-of-guy --- U might miss the next tweet... Wanna subscribe by email ? ;-)