What a Lovely Place to Learn English: Malta!
By Max Hartshorne
It’s pretty hard to argue with the value that speaking English can bestow upon anyone who wants to succeed in life.
In a world that’s dominated by computer programs written in English, English language culture, and even the most popular movies in English, having the ability to understand what has almost become the language of the world is a crucial part of a successful career and life.
Ok, so if you agree that learning English can help you get a higher paying job and perhaps snag you a position that would have once been out of reach, what now? Where do you go to learn English?
How About Malta?
How about a place where the sun shines down brightly nearly every day of the year? How about a lovely island in the Mediterranean? How about—Malta?
Malta is a tropical paradise about fifty miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s an independent nation of about 450,000 residents comprised of two islands, the largest of which is about 122 square miles. The island was first settled by Phoenician traders and in 1974 got its independence from Britain to become a sovereign nation.
The Maltese English language school Maltalingua has been offering English instruction to students from around the world for many years. As you can see by the photos, the setting can’t be beat, and the smiles are real.
“Our goal is to be one of the best English language schools in Malta and for our international students to have an excellent learning experience within a welcoming environment,” said Michael Brewster the school’s Director of Studies.
Former students like Andre Hage, of Germany rave on Facebook about their Maltalingua experience. “Every time I look into the sun, I remember the wonderful time I had at Malta. It was one of the greatest holidays I’ve ever had.”
Plus, Hage came away from his 13-week program with an ability to speak and write in English, which will help him his whole life.
Maltalingua offers a complete package, with no hidden fees. Even the course materials are included in the price. Courses range from a simple one-week refresher to a full year’s worth of top-notch English instruction. They also offer business English, which requires medium to advanced English speaking and writing skills.
Not Just Study
The experience at Maltalingua is more than reading books, listening to lectures, and studying. It’s about enjoying the beauty of Malta, a country with a long and storied history going back many centuries. Excursions to local beaches like Golden Beach, and to neighboring islands like Gozo are all easily arranged through the school’s activity bureau.
At the school, all of the teachers are fluent native English speakers, with English as their mother tongues, who are recruited from all over the world. The school is located right in St Julian, Malta just off Balluta Bay. As you can see by the photos, there’s a pool right smack in the middle of everything to keep people cool and for leisure time.
More than Business
Though it’s indisputable that fluency in English will improve anyone’s job prospects in today’s competitive market, there are other reasons to learn a new language, and they have to do with exercising your brain.
According to Heidi Hyte, Curriculum director at Reading Horizons, the brain benefits significantly from the exercise of language learning. The activity creates a change in the brain’s electrical activity.
Language learning also increases the brain’s memory capacities especially for short-term memory, and keeps mental pathways opened up, which allows a person to use ‘different avenues for thought.’
The act of language learning exercises the brain, keeping it flexible and agile. People who learn multiple languages are seen to have a decreased rate of between two and four years in the development of age-related cognitive problems like dementia.
Plus, it’s just fun to be able to communicate in the language that more and more people the world over are all speaking.
Most of the world’s influential business transactions, emails, reports, computer programs, and contracts are written in English. For fun, most Hollywood movies and best-selling novels have dialogue in English.
Things get lost in translation, subtitles and dubbing just aren’t the real thing. And forget about Google translate, if you really want to get something clear and exactly as it was intended to sound you need to hear it its original language.
Maltalingua’s alumni rave about its great location right in the center of St Julian, with the swimming pool on campus. “Everything is in walking distance,” said Joachim L, “and the teachers are highly motivated and well educated.”
Again and again, students commented about how much they liked the teachers. The friendliness and the fun were top reasons for the positive comments, they said.
Luba Filchenkova of Germany was delighted with her two-week course at Malta Lingua in October 2012, and she said that the first thing she was impressed with was that she got all of her questions answered in one day by email from the attentive staff. “The support is really very quick, and sufficient,” she said.
“I liked the laughing faces of the support staff every morning!! If you are tired from the night disco visit and you step into the school building in the morning you see kindly persons in the office…you are feeling you better shortly.
“My English was not so good and on the first day to tell it in English, it is difficult. With my bad explanation in English, I tried to make clear what I wanted. After my first sentence, I felt so free and without any complications in English because Susanne’s art [is} to hear and communicate with people is really nice. In this minute I fell in love in Susanne”
Especially I like that in these school students are in different ages and there are not too many students on one site so that you know each other face to face and have personal contact with teachers and on the other site there are enough students to enjoy the activities together.
For accommodations during the English classes, students can choose to share apartments or live with a local host family. There are also several 3 to 5-star hotels that can be booked during your stay, best for shorter sessions.
If you are thinking that you or someone you love should really begin to learn English, visit the Maltalingua website and find out more. There is even a short English test with 50 questions you can take to see how well you do, and how much you would benefit from spending time at Maltalingua.
But no cheating!