On EnglishCentral, we make it easy for learners to compare their ranking to other learners or those of their same language group. It’s always been interesting for us to speak with our top performing students and see how they study. It is amazing how much some students do study on EnglishCentral! Take a look on our All Time Ranking page.
Our best student “All Time” is Piroska from Hungary. She’s a proud great grandmother and inspiration to us all! She’s studied almost 5,000 video lessons! Here’s a photo of herself she provided. We are so proud to highlight her on the blog. We asked her to tell us a little about herself and here is what she said. Lots of great advice for language learners and teachers. Read on below. Thank you Piroska!
It is really a rather interesting story how I became a true English Central fan more than 3 years ago.
I live in Budapest, the wonderful capital of Hungary. I am an economist and I worked for a big pharmaceutical company as a foreign trade financial manager. My English language knowledge helped me a lot when I was on business in many European countries, in India, Cuba too.
Unfortunately I have never been to the United States where I have some distant relatives whom I have never seen.But I translated many letters for an American family whose relatives are living in Hungary,we became good friends and they visited me 2 years ago. It was my great pleasure to be their tour guide in Budapest and around the country.
I learnt my first English words when I was a little child. My grandparents immigrated to the USA in the last century. My mother was born in Buffalo. She was about 3-4 years old when they came back to Hungary. She forgot everything except English numbers. In my childhood she taught me these numbers from 1 to 20 and I was very proud that I can “speak” English. It was miraculous for me and I decided I would learn more English.
Unfortunately I had to start later. There was time in Hungary when it was determined by the historical and political situation – which languages were compulsory to study at school. I first learnt German, later Russian and during middle school Latin. But I never gave up my dream to learn English. My parents paid for private English lessons and I learnt English as part of my university studies. I organised and enrolled in English courses at my workplace with the help of my company and passed them successfully. Most importantly, the advanced ESL examination.
Nowadays, the internet has opened a fantastic window to the world, you can study on your computer all the foreign languages that you would like to.
I was looking for a good English website but there was problem with most of them. Usually the first 7 days are free and later they only wanted to sell me some e-books. There are hundreds of YouTube videos, some of them are really good, but most of them are not because you can’t control your pronunciation.
It happened to me on a cold, boring winter day in December 2009 when I looked at my e-mails and there was this link above my letters: www.englishcentral.com I opened this website and because I was curious what kind of site it might be, I signed in. I recognized at once that it would be very interesting to me.
There were a lot of interesting videos with subtitles and with feedback. I could control my pronunciation word for word. It was possible to listen to them again. As many time as I wanted to. If I wanted to know the meaning of a word I found the definition and a sample sentence with this word. It was possible to compare my speech with that of a native speaker, instantly. There was a transcript next to the video, I could copy and print it and read it as many times as I wanted to.
And I found another interesting thing, It was the Top Scores of last 30 days and the All Time Ranking. All the people like me try to compete for the best rank. This competition motivates you to work better, to try to be the first and you can be satisfied or proud like a child for winning back your temporarily lost rank.
What I best like about EnglishCentral is it’s helpful team. If I found problem with a video, with a new method or with my rank I always got a very helpful, polite answer from them. At first I was a “Basic” user – it was free and nobody wanted to persuade me to subscribe as a ”Premium” member. Everybody can choose for themselves. Over the last 3 years, the EnglishCentral team made their site better and better.
All the videos are categorized. Only one click and you can choose among 7 main categories with 66 subcategories in 3 levels. Vocabulary with interesting quizzes, pronunciation skills, 5 channels including the up-to–date Voice of America News. Watching and speaking EnglishCentral videos became one of my favorite free time activities and I became a Premium learner for an acceptable price making it possible to use all the videos.
I have finished nearly 5000 videos, my total score is above 5 million. When the most recent videos arrive I finish them day by day. It does not take more then 1-2 hours depending on the length and difficulty of the videos. If I take care of the quality of the speaking my results are A or A+, but when I work on the quantity I have to admit it is only B+ which is also not too bad.
It is difficult to tell you which are my favorite videos. There are as wide variety of videos and being open-minded, I find something interesting in every video. I liked ”The 8 Secrets of Success” in which an analyst is speaking about how to become successful.
I also liked the Steve Job’s story, how he went from an unexpected, adopted baby boy to a world famous CEO of Apple. Do you know that he has a statue here in Budapest in the park of the Graphysoft Company?
I think EnglishCentral provides the best help for English language learners with a well organized method.I recommend it to others who might be deciding to use EnglishCentral videos. Don’t forget the 8 secrets of success: passion, hard work, focus, practice, creativity and persistence.
It is never too early or too late to become an EnglishCentral fan – I hope my grand-daughters will want to be first .