Dog walking testimonial
Catherine Oughtibridge, walking Pope. Photograph Copyright Kaisa Vänskä, used with permission.

I live a wondrous life which is an amalgamation of teaching, painting, writing, digging, dog-walking, tree-pruning, digger-driving and entertaining children. Here you’ll find an eclectic selection of testimonials in English. There are more if you switch the page to Spanish.

I have corrected spelling errors for clarity, but not grammar.

Aarón, aged 14, Murcia, Spain

It’s too nice can speak all Tuesday with her because she is a good person and if you do a mistake, she usually try to help you for the next time don’t commit this mistake: Besides, i think that i know more english and at the same time more culture of England (Yorkshire) typical food, traditions etc. And when I have the opportunity to speak with her, I always have a funny time. The lessons that Catherine explained to our class was interesting, important, exciting and finally funny because at the same time that you learn the history of England, culture, traditions of U.K. you always have a great time. May it will be the last year that I will speak with you but i’ll never forget you all the lessons with you. Thanks so much!!!

Rosa Dunton, CELTA Trainer, Leeds, United Kingdom

Catherine worked extremely hard throughout the course, making good progress in every aspect of classroom practice. She demonstrated a professional approach to her teaching and was able to work independently. She planned effective lessons with clear lesson aims, and successfully applied lesson frameworks at two distinct levels, for both language and skills based lessons. She adapted coursebook materials for the online classroom and gave thought to the way she set and maintained lesson contexts. She had a friendly and engaging classroom manner and established good rapport with the learners. She built on her previous classroom experience, developing a wider range of techniques for setting up and feeding back on activities. She created a student centred learning environment and was successful at maintaining high levels of student interest and participation. She evidenced research of Target Language, and developed a range of techniques for illustrating and checking features of target language. She was particularly successful at addressing learner difficulties and developed a range of strategies for encouraging self correction. She is a reflective teacher who is able to identify her own strengths and areas for development. She is reliable, well organized and a supportive team member. Catherine is already a competent teacher and will be an asset to any EFL staffroom.

Enrique Del Cerro Calderon, English Teacher, Murcia, Spain

Ms Catherine Oughtibridge was employed as an assistant teacher of English from October 2018 until the end of May 2019. During that time she carried out her professional duties with enthusiasm and dedication. Before she came in October, we were very concerned about the possibility that she might not get along with the students owing to personality or linguistic obstacles. However, not only has she established good relationships with the students, but also with colleagues in the school, where she was a very conscientious and reliable member of staff.

The students have very much improved their oral skills, especially thanks to Catherine’s easygoing personality, which has helped most of them overcome their fear of speaking in public. Other benefits we found from her working in the school were the chance to have a native speaker to help our students prepare for their Cambridge exams, the opportunity to learn about the culture of the region where she comes from (Yorkshire) and, also the possibility to listen to a different accent other than the standard British English used in the class material.

For all these reasons, we would definitely recommend Catherine and would be very happy if we had the chance to work with her again.

Maria, aged 15, Spain

My mum was not worried about my English, but she was worried that here, in Spain, as I don’t speak English I would lose that feeling of speaking English. I went to Ireland last year and I was talking in English but I lost that.

Because I am very shy

When we go abroad, and imagine we’re in Italy, and we have to talk to someone in the hotel, I’m the kind of person who says I’m not going to talk because I’m worried that my pronunciation or what I’m saying is wrong, so my brother always speaks for me.

But my mum told me, “You have to have a conversation with someone who’s English, from England, to learn how to express yourself and to communicate, every week.”

And I was like, “No, I don’t want that!”

My mum is always telling me, “You have to speak.”

Before this, for example, at the beach, the neighbours are mainly English people or English or Scottish or Irish or American people, but people who speak English.

My mum said, “Speak to them.”

And I was like, “No way!”

Because the first time I spoke to them they were like, “What?”

And I was like: I’m speaking wrong?

But the thing is that now it’s okay. I can express myself and an English person can understand me so maybe I’m not that bad at pronunciation.

So this summer my mum is like, “You have to have an English friend at this beach.”
And I’m like, “Okay.”

But I think that this summer, it will be easier, to maybe… not have a conversation like this, but to say, “Hello, where are you from?” These simple things.

So it has helped me a lot with stress.

And my mum feels more comfortable, more relaxed

Because she knows that maybe during my normal day I don’t speak English but one hour per week I am going to have a conversation so I don’t lose the feeling of conversation in English, so she’s more calm and comfortable.

I remember the first time we met

I don’t know you, you are in my house, you’re talking to me in English, that is not my language. So I was afraid that each week we didn’t have conversation to say.

If this week we talk about this, the next week then what?

But the thing is, as the weeks have progressed we always had something to talk about, from politics to ourselves. So that was my first worry about this but it is not a worry now because the conversation came up easily.

At school we don’t have conversation

We say the sentence and then we talk in Spanish. Always in Spanish.

And I know how to express myself in Spanish, but in English for me was really difficult. When we are in class we just say a sentence, but we don’t actually talk in English we just say the sentence and that’s all.

The aim of this was to be able to converse about anything

To learn how to say some things in English, and then to learn how to have a conversation.

So learning to express myself in English was the best part

Because I know a lot, but I don’t know for example, if I am talking about politics, I don’t know some terms. In some conversations, I was trying to get a word, and then I was like, “Yeah, yeah, this word…”

And you helped me to get that word. So that gave me vocabulary, so that was good.

But also just to speak

When I am with my friends we all have the same thoughts. We’re all in the same school. We go with the same people. We have more or less the same families.

To speak to someone who doesn’t see the world as I do, is just like weird

The first time I was like, oh my god, how? But it is good to know that not everyone thinks the same as you. Or is not from your religion so that, apart from English you helped me a lot to see that you will find people who are not the same as you. People that will have different thoughts. So that helped me too.

Thank you to come to my house and to have a conversation with me, because it’s like weird, but thank you.

Bedroom wall, painted and designed by a six-year-old, with additional brushwork by his sister and guidance from me. Italy.

Tamara, English Club, La Serena, Chile

When considering hiring a person for the institute it’s relevant to know his/her abilities regarding teaching/instructing children. I consider motivation, previous experience, his/her understanding about delivering dynamic classes. 

You happily fulfill the expectations. Being a respectful, kind and highly committed instructor. As a result of that, the children utterly enjoyed the classes and learnt a lot. You were organized, punctual, and highly committed to the teaching-learning process.

I would totally recommend you as a teacher of young children. As you showed enthusiasm and kindness.

Learning to count!

María, aged 14, Murcia, Spain

Catherine, our language assistant. When I think about language assistant I usually fear making any kind of mistakes. Why? Because almost all of them were very hard on me, and I say ‘almost’ because Catherine made an exception at my point of view. She’s really sweet and comprehensive (understanding) with us, she always correct us very nice by telling our errors. I always want to go outside in English class, Wednesday, just to practice with her and maybe chat a little for me she’s a very nice friend and teacher. She’s like a treasure.

Liliana, Retired English Teacher, Romania

I’ve always wanted to have a helper like Catherine. Kind, well-educated she is whenever ready to help, no matter how hard it is. Willing to learn new things she writes down what she needs to remember. Her skills cover many fields. She is very determined in what she does and draws to the end her job even if it’s boring. When you ask her opinion she may come up with bright ideas. We spent nice moments talking and I found in her a wise, mature listener. I, my husband and my daughter enjoyed a lot her company.

We want her back soon and for a longer period of time. Stay blessed, Catherine!

Grandpère Testimonial, France
Donkeys and Sheep, France

Grandpère, France

Catherine is wonderful.

Everyone here misses her. My 3 years old grandson is still asking me where she is! My 8 years old granddaughter wants to look like Catherine.

I did not ask my donkeys and sheep but I am sure that they have been well treated during her stay.

Thanks Catherine and have a good time.

Girls aged 14, Murcia, Spain

We love you

When we do the speaking exam Catherine always helps us. She is young, dynamic and funny. We don’t like speaking in English but, when we have to speak we her we feel so comfortable because she is always smiling. Catherine is a curious person and always wants to know new things about Spain.

Testimonial Certificate
Drawing by Carla, aged 5

Miguel, Catalonia, Spain

Catherine has been an excellent helper. She is a nice, healthy and adorable girl. My 3 kids had fun with her day after day!

Catherine is polite and sympathetic, and she has been very useful not only to take care of the kids but also to improve our English level!

See you soon Catherine 😉

Wall mural testimonial
Two of five acrobats painted by a 7 year-old on her bedroom wall, with a little assistance. Italy.

Tranquility in Sicily

Natasha and Mike, Sicily

Catherine was a great help on our November regeneration project, easy going, adaptable and friendly addition to our small team.

Excellent on practical tasks from digging to furniture restoring to digital mapping.

We enjoyed hosting someone who appreciated silence, joined in yoga and meditation, and devoured our library of books. We’d be happy to have you stay again, Catherine.

If you have a suggestion for future work I might undertake, please get in contact.