and what I do and why I do it
Who you are and why you should work with me
You get by in English - or in French, but you're not feeling the language. You don't have fun speaking it. You feel like you've been trying forever, but you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. You're disappointed and frustrated. In your head, you sound like an actor from your favorite movie, but when you open your mouth, you feel like a 5-year-old.
You have a job or maybe a hobby you're passionate about, but the language keeps getting in the way. You'd like to mingle with colleagues or people who have the same interest as you. Still, you don't feel confident enough. You always try to avoid situations that would put you outside your comfort zone.
I'm Feriel, your Neurolanguage coach®, and I'm here to support professionals just like you who feel like they've been trying to improve their English - or French - forever but still don't feel entirely confident speaking spontaneously to natives. I'll help you figure out why you're stuck and what you need to do to move forward and finally enjoy speaking that language that keeps getting away.
Who am I (Feriel) and what do I do
Once upon a
I was born in Algeria in a French and Arabic bilingual family. At 4 we moved to London for a few years. This was my turning point (at 4 years old, yes!) as English became the first language I learned to read and write while still speaking French at home. This mix of languages defines my identity.
I lived in the UK, in France, on and off in Algeria in between moves- and in Benin, West Africa for a few years before moving to North America- New York and Montreal, Quebec. I went to high school, college, and grad school in North America. Living in so many different places has been amazing and has served me immensely in deciding what I wanted to do and be happy while doing it.
When I arrived in 9th grade in New York, everyone thought I had the cutest British accent.
Wait! What? Cute?
At age 13, you want to be anything but.
I would actually practice in front of my mirror pronouncing things with an "American" accent. I wanted to sound like everyone else, "cool" and not "cute."
My father, who was so very proud of my British accent, was heartbroken. What can I say? Kids will be kids. Fast Forward a few (or a lot) of years: what I taught myself back then serves me every day in helping others understand the subtleties of the English language, differences between accents, pronunciation, expressions, culture.
Oh that's so cute!
Can you do that British accent again?
Living in Bilingualand
I went to graduate school in Montreal, and that was like a dream come true: there was a place on earth where I could be bilingual all the time. I could study in French but have my textbooks in English, or I could start a sentence in English and finish it in French. My friends did the same thing; we all talked, mixing both languages, tapping into one vocabulary or the other as needed. I could walk into a store and say Bonjour! and leave the store saying, "Thank you, have a nice evening."
Living in Montreal brought French back into my life. For years my use of French was restricted to my books and my family. It suddenly became part of my everyday life. I rediscovered the language on so many levels, enriched my French further thanks to the French spoken in Quebec.
After working as a data analyst for a few years in Montreal, I realized that I was really not happy with my career decisions and knew I had to make a change. I resettled in Paris, France, and worked with a career coach who asked me a question that changed my life:
I naturally answered "What about English?"... and went home. Yep! That was my life-changing moment, no angels singing, no rainbow, just a plain sentence.
It took a couple of weeks for me to fully understand what he was trying to say before it hit home, and I could exhale that liberating "aha!". I finally realized that I had a passion that others valued: my bilingualism. There was something I did as naturally as breathing, something that other people wished they could do, and I could use my talents to help them get there: feel comfortable, confident, happy when they spoke a language they learned later in life. I could serve others with a skill I had always taken for granted.
This was when I knew I wanted to work in a place where I needed to speak several languages or work with languages.
How about languages Feriel? How about English?
Today languages have taken the frontstage in my career and in my life
After a lot of additional training and studying, I turned my life around. I decided to work at what I knew best and what I was most passionate about: languages. Before focusing on becoming a NeuroLanguage Coach® (link it to a definition of NLC), I worked as a translator and as an English trainer. It hasn't always been easy. I had to accept that I wouldn't make as much money as I once did and that I had to work twice as much as I ever had- both working and studying. Workdays blended into evenings blended into weekends. But I felt free, and I loved what I was doing every step of the way. It has all been worth it and then some. For the last 10 years, I've been helping women and men feel better about their English - and their French. I've reminded them that what they considered a challenge could actually be fun.
I have hands-on, real-life, ongoing experience and can relate to a lot of what you're feeling. I'm a perpetual language learner. I'm always in the process of learning a language, and I really believe that with the right coach, anyone can do it.
Besides English and French, I speak Spanish - just because I love it. I have studied Spanish since college, went to Spain to study, took a very long break, got back to it again and again until I was able to read novels, watch series, speak, share, laugh with people in different Spanish-speaking countries I traveled to.
Enjoying it was the only way I could get to where I wanted to be with the language. And I'm still at it.
I studied Arabic in college - to honor my heritage- and some Italian - because...well, because it's Italian!
I'm currently learning Chinese - puzzling...still puzzling - and dabbling with Greek - heard it, loved it, was intrigued.
I can definitely relate to one and all frustrations you are faced with as a language learner. Different languages bring different frustrations.
In China, I remember asking where the closest subway was, repeating the sentence exactly as I had heard and learned it (or so it seemed to me). Still, people just looked at me with a blank expression. I was lost and a little stressed. But I also remember the moment one person finally understood me and gave me directions I understood. I got to the subway feeling amazing.
I know what I'm talking about because I genuinely know what you're going through
I would love to help you FEEL EXCITED ABOUT learnING, progressING, discoverING from a fresh perspective.
So if you want to feel confident during a meeting, feel at ease talking with your colleagues, or share your passion with like-minded souls but don't know how to get there, I definitely can support you in reaching those goals.
Want to find out more, contact me by filling the contact form below or
e-mail me and we can schedule a discovery call.
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