Academy of International Business Collaboration (client: Reebok-Russia), Moscow, June–September 1997.

Letter of reference

Masha and Tanya were two students who always rewarded a little extra effort from their teacher. They were in a small group of intermediate students at Reebok-Russia’s sales and marketing headquarters in Moscow, where I taught Business English as an employee of the Academy of International Business. (I also taught a group of advanced students at Reebok for AIB.)

Masha worked really hard to get things right, and she often did extra assignments from books we weren’t using in class. She devoured new vocabulary and idioms—I remember her immediately juggling “bring up” and “upbringing” when she learned how they could be used to explain someone’s manners or lack thereof. At the end of the semester, I was happy to recommend her for advanced level.

Tanya struggled at first with pronunciation, but she made steady progress and became a much more confident English speaker—certainly the most improved among all the Reebok students.

At the end of the semester, Masha and Tanya gave me a beautiful art book, Three Centuries of Russian Painting, which they inscribed using their first language. And true to form, Masha pushed herself a little further, adding in English: “I wish interesting life for you. P.S. Sorry, for my mistakes.”