“Luke and I have been learning Spanish for the last 3 years with Fiona, starting as complete beginners. Our aim was to be able to communicate with our friends who live in Spain and when we go on holidays.
Luke sometimes finds it difficult to stay focused after a long day at school, but Fiona’s patience and style of teaching is fun, using a good balance of grammar and vocabulary with conversations and role plays for real life situations which keeps us coming back.
Our Spanish vocabulary and conversation has improved greatly, we can communicate with confidence with our friends and when we were in Spain recently it showed just how much we had learnt (a great feeling of achievement).
I would recommend Fiona to anyone who wants to learn Spanish.”
Jacqui Shacklock and her son Luke – conversation and grammar tuition
"I didn't want to be a typical Brit with a home in Spain and incapable of making myself understood but was conscious I hadn't touched a Spanish grammar book for over 30 years and was rusty at best. I did not want a group lesson as I had the basics but needed someone to help me back into the grammar at my pace. Fiona makes the lessons fun and varies the topics whilst being extremely patient. I highly recommend anyone who has a home in Spain, is thinking of a home in Spain or who works in Spain to take the plunge and visit Fiona - it has made a huge difference to me and I am looking forward to my next visit to Spain with confidence in my ability to make myself understood."
Steve Molesworth – grammar tuition
“I started learning Spanish with Fiona in preparation for a holiday to Cuba last year. I enjoyed being able to speak Spanish on my holiday, it definitely allowed me to have more fun, and so I decided to continue my Spanish lessons on my return. I have found Fiona to be very helpful and patient and her enthusiasm for the language has encouraged me to travel to South America next year where I am looking forward to using my new skills.”
Victoria Jackson, Spanish for travel
“I have always wanted to speak Spanish to a level where I am more than “just getting by” but never believed I could do it. Last year I started lessons with Fiona and the difference in such a short space of time is amazing. I went on holiday to Spain with my family and found myself understanding menus, able to order food and drink in restaurants and shops and even engaging in conversation with the locals. Fiona tailored my learning to what I needed and this is why she is so good. On a day trip out in the car I managed to get lost and had to stop in a small village to ask for directions. Having covered this topic with Fiona, I found I was not only able to ask for directions but also to understand what the person I had asked was telling me. Suffice it to say, we made it to where we were going and my family were extremely impressed!!! I couldn’t recommend anyone more highly. Thanks Fiona.”
Mark Bentman, General/Holiday Spanish tuition
“I started to learn Spanish at 59. I felt that I needed to give myself a challenge as well as keeping the mind active. A new language seemed to be an excellent option. With Fiona’s patient, professional tutoring I am now able to communicate confidently during my holidays. Superb.”
Roy South – conversation for holidays
“I have much pleasure in telling others what joy I have in finding a Spanish teacher who listened to my requests and concerns about learning to speak colloquial Spanish. Since my family live and work in Madrid and I take many holidays enjoying the Spanish hospitality, I wanted to go beyond the niceties of the language. Speaking both French and Italian became a stumbling block for me as I could understand so much of what was being said but couldn’t reply or engage in the conversation. I needed someone to push me and encourage me to go further which Fiona has helped me do. The best moment came when I could tell the much loved fairy tales to my grandchildren as Fiona recorded these onto CD’s and produced the text for me to read from – such a brilliant idea.”
Carol Mackaoui – to improve everyday communication with Spanish relatives
“Fiona tailors the work to the individual and her preparation is impeccable so that learning goes at a good pace. She uses a range of materials and the emphasis is on gaining a working knowledge of the language. After six months of weekly lessons with her I was able to make my way in Spain with a good degree of confidence and success.”
James Mogridge – conversation and grammar tuition
"In my mid 50's I started learning Spanish, attending beginner courses and listening to various CD's, then in 2009 I spent four and a half months in South America. Upon returning I needed to continue to improve my Spanish but courses only seemed available for beginners. I saw an advertisement for VLS and have been having lessons for 9 months. The lessons are enjoyable, well planned, structured for my level and contain a mix of exercises and conversation. Tasks are set for between lessons and checked. My confidence is improving as well as my ability.... I wish I had spent 9 months with VLS before South America."
Frank Hughes - conversation and grammar tuition
"I would definitely recommend Fiona as a language teacher, as well as Spanish as a language to learn. I started taking lessons because I work in the golf industry - Spain is a popular golf destination - and I have a lot of Spanish clients.
I have always struggled to learn languages, but Fiona gives me a lot of support, she has tailored the lessons to my work and she keeps my interest up. I enjoy the lessons and she, knowing I work full time, makes sure I have enough homework to keep me stimulated between lessons, without being overloaded. Muy muy bien."
Samantha Bland - Spanish for work
“Since enlisting the services of Fiona at Viva Languages I have now been able to start to communicate much more with my Spanish colleagues on a daily basis. In addition, I have taken two recent trips to Spain, one business and one holiday and have found on both occasions that I have been able to understand more and been able to converse, slowly in Spanish to those around me which was very rewarding for me and helpful to people. I seemed to gain a lot of respect for having a go!”
Liz Johnson, Freeworld Foods, Business Spanish
“My son took Spanish lessons with Fiona on Skype, a few months before his GCSE’s. Fiona was always very patient, friendly, calm and encouraging. She made sure he had the material right in advance so that they both were prepared for the lesson. She was so flexible with timing etc. that she even fitted in some lessons while she was away in Argentina. Naveen and I are really grateful to her and would not think twice to recommend her to anyone.”
Archana & Naveen Soman, Skype lessons for GCSE Spanish
"We cannot thank Fiona enough for her innovative teaching approach, incredible patience and all her encouragement. Our son had decided, unbeknownst to us, that if he did badly enough in Spanish in Year 10 he could drop it in Year 11. By the time we realized, and could try to remedy the situation, his Spanish seemed to be to be almost non-existent as he embarked upon the last two terms of his GCSE Spanish course. At this very late stage, we then desperately needed some intervention, but living abroad we had limited access to tutors. We contacted Fiona at Viva Languages, to see if she could tutor Eddie via Skype. She agreed to tutor him in the evenings, thus overcoming the six hour time difference. It was incredibly successfully and just as effective as face-to-face lessons.
Fiona not only gave him the confidence to believe he was capable of passing the course and put in place the scaffolding to ensure he did. He passed with a C, and achieved an incredible A on the writing part of the course. Fiona is a truly gifted teacher and our son was blessed to have her."
Skype lessons for GCSE Spanish
“Fiona has helped me gain confidence in listening and improved my fluency in grammar. I found this very difficult before, but Fiona made it seem much simpler. She helped me through my exams at a stressful time, and I achieved a good B overall, including an A in speaking (AS level). The lessons were very pleasant and suited to my requirements, and I learned more than in school lessons.”
Emma Bostock - AS Spanish
"I felt I needed more one to one tuition to help in the final weeks of revision leading up to my A2 exam. Fiona gave me lots of extra material that I would never have found elsewhere and helped me work through my weaknesses in the subject. This allowed me to gain the A level result I wanted and also meant that I have a far better command of the language than I did before her teaching. I would recommend Fiona to anyone wanting help with Spanish at whatever ability, as she has the patience of a saint!"
Abbey Williams, A2 Spanish
“I am a student at the University of Manchester and needed some extra help with my exams. I have tried face-to-face tutors before, but I have never really succeeded with them. From the first lesson I knew that online tuition using Skype was for me. Fiona is extremely organised and emails the pupil with lots of different exercises on the topics you request, and what I found incredible and very helpful, was the fact that Fiona will mark and correct any work you send her, in her own time! She is so fast and reliable, she really is fantastic! I passed my exam (which would not have been possible without Fiona's help) and even now, when I do not even have lessons, Fiona still checks in with me that I am doing ok! I can't thank Fiona enough for all her hard work with me, and I couldn't recommend a better tutor! Thank you Fiona!”
Charlotte Caley – online degree level Spanish
“Fiona has helped me immensely with my Spanish and has made it much simpler for me to understand, especially with grammar which I find very difficult. She is very understanding and offers fun approaches to learning. She has introduced flash cards to me, as I am having trouble with the verbs. I find them extremely beneficial and I use them all the time - as you can take them anywhere. If it wasn't for Fiona I would not have passed my first year."
Frances Agnew - degree level Spanish
“Fiona, as for your tuition service, I cannot begin to thank you! At first I was skeptical of how much I would benefit, but in just four lessons I could see visible progress and more importantly it made me like the language! It reminded me that speaking a language is fun and for the first time ever I could be relaxed speaking it without having total blanks. As soon as I finish my exams, I will be keeping up weekly Skype tuition with you!”
Megan Morgan-Harris - degree level Spanish
"I had several months of lessons with Fiona before taking and passing the Certificate in Billingual Skills. She really helped to build my confidence in Spanish, and my grammar skills have improved dramatically- I really enjoyed the lessons, and improving my level of Spanish"
Matt Ramscar - Institute of Linguists exam preparation
"As a student of the Open University studying for a Diploma in Spanish, the help given by Fiona was excellent. It is important for me to do as well as I can and, to date, I am well on the way to obtaining a "Pass with Distinction". This is entirely the result of Fiona's exceptional teaching talent. Fiona's teaching will not only enable an individual to pass language examinations, but will greatly assist them in speaking and, importantly, understanding the reply. Fiona teaches "up-to-date Spanish" that will be understood by a native Spanish person; all too often the Spanish taught is "old fashioned" and stilted. This is not the case with Fiona.
I can strongly recommend Fiona to anyone who wishes to learn communicate effectively in Spanish."
Peter Harvey – Open University tuition
“Emelia has been going to Spanish lessons for over 6 months now. She really enjoys it and it has helped her stay ahead at school. It has made her more confident and will benefit her a great deal in the future. My stepdaughter has just started going to Spanish and she says she really enjoys it too. Fiona is a fantastic teacher, who is extremely professional, kind and welcoming. Starting Emelia at Spanish was the best decision I made, she has learnt so much and loves going. Both of my girls will continue to go to Spanish as I believe it will help them with their education in the future.”
Stacey Karton, daughter Emelia (aged 4)
"I am so pleased we chose Fiona for my daughter’s Spanish lessons as she has been so patient and professional with her at all times and also very flexible as to the date and time of each lesson. We have been very impressed."
Gill Thompson-Collins - Spanish for children