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Learning in English

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After years of learning in French with the ESF rolling eyes I took a 2 hr lesson with Ian McKellar of the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School (Formerly BASS Avoriaz). Showed me all my bad habits, got subtlties across that I'd miss in French and the ESF instructors would miss in English, and was an all-round good experience, if a little tiring on the legs.

My chalet-mates also had group lessons, which were well-received also.

But Crystal still only had an ESF rep at the welcome meetings Puzzled

Thouroughly recommended - even if more expensive than ESF snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
nickbunting, Tour Operators use the school that gives them the biggest commission as a rule. many of them (but not Crystal) use the ESF throughout France and get a massive commission that small schools cannot even think of matching. Sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
nickbunting, I've never been to a welcome meeting where they had ski school rep of any description, not witha big operator anyway . Personally, we avoid the 'welcome meetings' anyway, indeed last time arrived in resort after it had taken place-how rude was that .
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
nickbunting, communication is the most important skill which a good teacher must have, whatever language is being spoken. It helps though if it is in a fluent language common to both pupil and teacher.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dunk, wow are you a night person or what, 12.14am!!!

Agree, especially where many teachers like to use ideas, such as pretend you are bouncing a basketball (used by an English guy in Andorra, and also saw on a video). Not sure a language barrier would help get the point across.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
nickbunting, you'll also find that culture (separate from language) effects the way in which different nationalities tend to respond to instruction. For example, a English instructor working in France recently told me that the English don't mind laughing at themselves, and that in order to encourage balance she can say things to English punters like "imagine you're throwing up over your active ski" (not difficult some mornings...), whereas the French usually look agast at her suggestion. I've been told by another English instructor that the Dutch tend to take little interest in technical explanations of technique and just want to be shown what to do, whereas the English are frequently happy to spend time (and themselves actively encourage) being talked to about the whys and wherefores of what they're being shown.

The idea is that it appears to help if your instructor is not only sufficently fluent in your language, but that they are also sufficently fluent in your culture and that they then can actually adapt their teaching to your culture's way of learning.

In the ideal world.....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Manda, Quite right. the French definitely don't want to look silly, and are generally not keen on spending time on exercises. However this doesn't mean that the French don't want to learn - just that they learn in a different way. I find the British normally easy to teach, and also the French. I love teaching Dutch people - no problems with teaching technique, and they are generally very "go-for-it" and not afraid which means their learning curve is steeper, their sense of humour is very similar to the British one which helps. The Danish tend to be very serious in their lessons. The Russians want to understand everything and go fast. The Italians want to ski beautifully and will do whatever it takes, but usually prefer their own instructors. Who's left out - oh yes the Germans who are very thorough and learn everthing properly.

Quick canter through most of Europe; but I've also taught Croatians, Slovenians, an Afghan gentleman, people from Hong Kong, South Africa, Mauritius, Australia, NZ, Ireland (never on time), and many more. Finding out about their culture and learning habits is one of themost interesting parts of the job. Sadly many British teachers never bother to learn any other languages and spend their whole lives teaching British clients - what a lot they're missing.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Chris M-J, this one is later Very Happy

easiski, interesting what you wrote. Would you not find, if you were teaching for example, a group of one nationality the various cultures represented amongst that group? I do not say this to be arguementative, only I have observed the different personalities in pupils at some time. It is the quality of communication and empathy with the pupils regardless of their background, which a good teacher must achieve. I can see that you do this.
Excellent last sentence, I only have to deal with the vagaries of British clients. Confused Sad
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
nickbunting, I had lessons with Ian McKellar way back when he was just getting established in Avoriaz. About six of us had five days of afternoon class called "Steep, deep and dirty" which was a lot of fun, but scary at times (off piste in deep snow down the side of the Machon bumps).

He was having a lot of trouble then in setting up his ski school - I'm glad to hear he's still going strong.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Dunk, Yes - of course each individual is different and should be treated as an individual. It's harder work for the teacher but much more rewarding. While you get personality differences, and some minor cultural differences (say between Geordies and Welsh people), there are more differences between cultures from different countries. That's not to say one is better or worse - just different and with different national characteristics. The individual differences come on top of this.

However I find it's not impossible to run a class with more than one nationality in it where people get to know each other and have fun together - much harder work though! (it does help to work for yourself and limit your classes to 4 people). Laughing
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
easiski, Ok, that is a lesson learnt for me. You are obviously recommending that small class sizes are better, can we go and tell all the snowheads? wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Dunk, I'm sure you agree that if you have 12 people in front of you for 3 hours a day, and with all the differing standards within a certain "class" it really is impossible to coach each individual properly. Basic instruction is the best you can do, and that's not really what most people I come across want.

My experience is that the majority of people booking lessons actually want to improve - whether they want to pay for it is another matter though! Confused Moral of the story is keep away form the super snob resorts where lessons are prohibitive and go somewhere cheaper - Guildford? LDA? Puzzled Puzzled
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
easiski, not sure it's cheap in Guildford, £36 pounds for an hours private instruction including equipment! But you do have the dubious pleasure of dendix Puzzled Puzzled Puzzled
LDA I have not been there for about 15 years about time for another vist Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dunk, yes - it's changed a lot in the last 15 years. I've been here that long now! PLs are about €40 - €55 per hour here depending on how many people (max 4). that's over all the ski schools - not just me. Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
RachelQ, I asked Ian about relationships with ESF, and he says it's all a lot better now.

Dunk, andeasiski, you're both absolutely right; the whole education system in France is so different to that in England, the French system (my fiancee was educated from 7-13 in France) was very much the 'humiliate to learn' system.

Interestingly the only bastion of this sytem in the UK is in educating Doctors.
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