Did you miss me as much as I missed you?
I’ve been around.
I was coaching Bert for The Voice Of Vlaanderen – did you know that they actually have 2 The Voice shows in Belgium? Vlanderen and Wallonia? Now you know. It was so much fun to do, and I am amazed they were able to condense my 4-hour session into just a few minutes! Bert was exhausted but he did so well, and went on to the next round! You can see my 2 minutes and 50 seconds of Flemish Fame here…
While I was on Belgian TV, I was working in Berlin, doing my annual series of Masterclasses at the University there. Ooh how I loved it! It was wonderful to see my students again and see how they have grown in confidence in English! JAWOHL! Some of my besties joined me and we had a wonderful time – a perfect combination of working hard and shopping, eating and drinking hard too (in a yurt, but that’s another story….).
I hit the ground running and went right into CEO coaching with the amazing Ineke Kooistra, the CEO of Young Capital, and worked intensively on her business English to help her with new and exciting projects. She’s a huge source of inspiration to me and I’ve loved working with her and her company this year, and look forward to more next year!
I also had a wonderful time at my sold-out Dress Up Your English Masterclass, and really enjoyed working with so many talented women. And Marcel. He walked in as a substitute for his female collegue who could not attend, and didn’t know it was For Women Only! He said it was his lucky day, and he was right! It was my lucky day too! We will definitely be doing this again next year, and this time men are welcome too!
And on Saturday I had my first Songwriter’s Day, where beginning songwriters could get personal coaching at a discount so that they, without the support or budget of a major label, can also get a great start in English with clear and honest feedback. It was sold out and I loved working with people from all walks of life – a youth parole officer, an insurance agent, a water management expert, and a financial journalist….all songwriters, and all so passionate about what they do. Wednesday’s Songwriter’s Day is sold out, but we all do this again early next year – I promise!
One of the tiny pronunciation tips I shared with them will also benefit you – it’s the pronunciation of the ‘to’ sound in the words ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’, and ‘tonight’. A non-native speaker tends to make this what I call a 50/50 word – that the ‘to’ part has the same emphasis as the other part of the word. However, it’s actually more of a 20/80 word. The ‘to’ is usually pronounced ‘te’, and the rest of the word has the emphasis (there are exceptions of course, including the opening line of this song).
So try saying ‘te-DAY’, ‘te-NIGHT’ and ‘te-MORROW’ and see how it goes. This also holds true for when you have ‘to’ plus a verb, when you are speaking or singing. We usually say ‘I want te see that movie later te-day’ or ‘I need te call him te-night’, for example. The ‘to’ is merely a bridge to something more important.
Try these out and let me know how it goes!
I’m now off to do something I’ve never done before. I can’t talk about it until it’s in the media later in the week, so it’s kind of a secret for now. I’m very excited, and I’ll tell you all about it in next week’s newsletter….