Maria Angela Presti
Student Profile: Maria Angela Presti
Modern Foreign Language: French Intermediate
Italian born Maria Angela Presti left Italy in 2000 to live and work in London.
Already a good English speaker, she fully takes part in London life and finds the city a fascinating place particularly because of its multicultural aspect. She believes that being able to transcend cultural boundaries by using different language can be an important tool for life. So, in she joined a French course at Working Men’s College because she wanted to learn a new language.
“If you know other languages, you are more able to make friends with people from other cultures and if you read and speak another language, it can open up new perspectives.”
She is not, however, under any illusions about how much hard work and concentration it takes to learn French. “People can see learning a language as a huge commitment, unable to ever achieve it. But I see it is possible.”
She enjoys college life, saying that she was impressed by WMC facilities even before the refurbishments, but now they are even better. She is a regular user of the learning centre and its internet facilities and as a researcher she finds the resources invaluable. She has also noticed how much more accessible the college is for people with disabilities.
Maria Angela progressed to a higher level French class, and continued to be taught by Sylviane .
“She is a brilliant, wonderful teacher!” she says. “I am happy with what I’ve learned and my teacher gives one hundred and ten percent. She makes the lessons interesting and funny – she is one of the reasons I kept coming back.”
Since being on the course, Maria Angela has made a trip to Paris and was amazed by how much French she could speak.
“People were helpful and so nice to me and this helped to break any preconceptions I had – when you learn the language you get much more in touch with the culture – when you don’t, then the stereotypes can creep in until you learn more.”
Maria Angela hopes to consolidate her new language skills with a job in research and aims to read academic articles in written French and attend conferences in spoken French.