We Offer:
  • English Lessons
  • French Lessons
  • Spanish Lessons
  • Portuguese Lessons
  • German Lessons
  • Russian Lessons
  • Italian Lessons
Last Updated: Jun 16, 2024

Hi! Let me introduce myself. My name is Brian Mullin. I was born in Collingwood and grew up in the Blue Mountains and have lived most of my adult life with my wife Sandra in her home-town of the former Meaford (will the residents of the former Sydenham please forgive me).

I studied languages at the School of Translators at Laurentian University in Sudbury and have a Bachelor of Science in Language degree. That has been followed by 36 years of collecting languages of which I speak six well, three reasonably well, have useful knowledge of another five, and have another four that I once studied but have completely forgotten.

My University studies were mostly English to French and French to English. In more recent years I have been heavily immersed in Spanish because of the large numbers of Mexican orchard workers in the Thornbury area. In fact, the daughter of one of these men recently spent five months with us to improve her English which she had studied in University in Mexico. As well, we have been involved with Canada World Youth having exchange students from East Africa speaking Swahili and Cuba.

In my studio, the emphasis is almost exclusively on speaking. The student goes through the intermediate steps of understanding, repeating, and producing the sentence with prompting before they can compose sentences of their own. Everything is done in short sentences and the goal of an exercise is not considered achieved until the students can produce it fluently on their own. This usually does not happen until after numerous reviews and three re-learnings.

The development of vocabulary is much easier but in the long run is never quite finished because languages have such a huge number of words and expressions.

I teach most of my students one or two at a time, because the only time that they are learning to speak is when they are actually speaking. Its like learning to swim; you have to get in the pool and practise your strokes. You would think that when two people learn together, they would learn from what they hear the other say, but in practise, it makes little difference.

Many of my students of French already know some. Others are quite advanced but want to learn even more. Those who want to learn Spanish tend not to know as much, and some of those have tried before in more traditional educational settings but were not successful.

In addition, I regularly have students learning German and Portuguese, and occasionally Russian or Italian. I have also assisted some young adults to acquire a basic understanding of Swedish and Haitian Creole before they left to spend a year in those countries. I have taught a retired couple basic Mandarin and am helping a longtime student of French acquire some Thai before she heads off on an exchange.

Many of my students are retired people. Others are young adults going on exchanges or people travelling on business, and I usually have a few children, either for remedial French or simply because the parents want an intellectual enrichment for them.

I am a linguist who trains people in language, and have been involved in instructing other complex skills such flying and playing the piano.

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