An Interview with Marco
Marco certainly is.
You’ll find him writing thoughtful comments on my #listeningquote posts on Facebook. Or participating in discussions in the Leo Listening Lounge.
I asked him a couple of weeks ago if I could interview him.
He recently took the Leo Listening Level Test and I wanted to get his feedback and share it with other learners.
To my delight, he said yes. We finally met this Monday.
He not only shared his opinion, but also his fascinating learning journey.
Watch our interview (sorry about the sound) or read the full interview transcript below.
Cara Leopold: Okay so hello Leo Listeners. I’m joined by a very special guest today, a very active member of the Leo Listening community called Marco. Marco I’m sorry I’ve forgotten how to pronounce your surname is it…
Marco Pugliesi: My surname is in Italian of course Pugliesi
CL: Pugliesi ok so Marco Pugliesi
CL: Thank you that’s very kind, thank you very much. And Marco has very kindly agreed to join me for a little interview about the Leo Listening Level Test because he’s one of the people who took the test. So Marco to start off can you tell us about yourself and why you’re learning English
MP: okay my name is as you said is Marco, Marco Pugliesi, I am an Italian man. I live in Pisa in Tuscany. I am 54 years old. I am a very passionated English learner. And I’m starting learning English now for almost 3 years. My reason to learn English is because I love English language, the sound but most is because I want to make lots of friend and one of my targets is to go at least twice, two times in one year to the UK.
I have a special connection to Sheffield because I have a lot of friends there but I like to improve my speaking skills but thanks to your test of listening skill I know that I still have to improve my listening skill because when I go in the UK sometimes I have to struggle to understand every words and that’s my…the reason I wanted to participate on your programme and that’s the reason I got your listening level test.
CL: Alright so that’s really interesting. So you haven’t been learning English for very long, just 3 years?
MP: Almost 4 years in serious way of course. Because like many other Italian students I learnt English when I was a boy but at this time the teacher was focused only on grammar. And it was almost impossible to speak.
CL: Okay yeah that’s like a lot of people’s experiences at school of course. Okay so let’s talk a little bit more about the test. So did you have any hesitations before you bought it?
MP: No when I met your invitation or your suggestion to participate on your test I immediately thought that it was, that it would be a great reason. First because, the first reason is I wanted to verify my level in listening skills. That was my first reason that I participated in your level test.
And I didn’t have any hesitation because at least one of the best reasons was because your level test is really cheap only 5€. It’s a reason also, because only 5€ is not a great amount of money. So my curiosity to ask my level listening skills was another great motivation.
Cl: Okay so if there was one thing that convinced you to buy it what was it? The price or?
MP: yes yeah it was a mixture between my willing to understand my listening skill and then of course I also have an idea because at least twice or three times a year I go to UK.
But I wanted to feature on the test on a professional test and of course the price of your test as I said but it’s very cheap so I didn’t have any hesitation to participate in your level test.
CL: Okay great and so I know that you told me since taking the test that maybe it’s a bit too soon to talk about the results but do you think that taking the test has helped you?
MP: Yes of course in some way so I knew that in some other test I would fail because even when I go in the UK it’s impossible to understand every single words like in my native language.
But I felt better compared to the past when I start to learn English. I also have done some improvement about my starting point. Also I know that I have a lot of improvement to do in the future if I wanted to get my target point my goal.
CL: Yes, of course yeah okay and alright that’s interesting then that it showed you that you’ve made progress but that there’s still progress to be made.
MP: Yes because in reality I could settle for for the level I got because compared to an average learner here in Italy I am quite good of course. But I know that my goal is quite high because I want to go to UK every time more satisfaction than before than my travel before.
So I know that I have to work a lot in all the skills but I need speaking, increasing my vocabulary, and also of course listening skills is a great important part of this entire process.
CL: Yes exactly ok yeah great yeah a part of the process of being more fluent
MP: yeah, right, right
CL: Ok great and was there anything you particularly liked about the test?
MP: Yes let me see I appreciated the shortness of the level test. Every single part you know of your test if I remember well the 5 parts of the listening skill test. That was easy to take part in that test because I think it would be difficult for any English learner if it was longer no because it’s difficult to be focused for more than 1, 2 or 3 minutes.
Because also you gave me only 10 minutes no to finish the entire process so you have to be aware that you can stay only for one test more than 2 or 3 minutes maximum because it’s impossible to finish no everything.
CL: It’s quite a lot of concentration too.
MP: Yeah and of course I was aware that I would be wrong in some parts because it’s part of the process.
CL: Yeah exactly it’s normal some people find some questions really easy and some people find them impossible. It just depends on the person sometimes.
MP: Yes yes right right.
CL: So yeah that’s interesting. And how did you find so there’s not just the test. You take the test, you get my feedback and then after I send you an email with some more tips and also about what’s difficult in each question. How did you find that email that you get after ?
MP: No of course I also I am enrolled on your email so I receive also now many emails from you. Any of them are very useful for me. Of course you know I also paid for being enrolled on your future upcoming programme on the listening skill.
Because I got better I need something a specific teacher that is focused on this kind of skill because of course you know there are many many probably hundreds of English teachers no. Many of course are good, other less but none of them but none of them are concentrated only to the same things you know.
Of course, all of them are important but so far I found out only you that you are decided to develop these other parts of important process to improve English language better it is a great listening skill. And it’s I think for some teachers they don’t dedicate any more time to this kind of part of the process.
CL: Yeah I can understand because before I really specialised in it I did do listening work with my students, but probably not enough and now that I’m specialised in it I really like it so I just want to do it more and more and more so (laughs).
MP: But that’s my main reason because I wanted to take your test because I paid for being enrolled on your future programme. You know of course there are many resources no for English learners and of course I know that an English teacher wanted to be paid it’s fair, it’s right to be paid. It’s your work. It’s like many other English teacher.
But sometimes I think that there are many, too many teachers no it’s no easy even for an English learner to choose the right one no? Because you are like no… by English teacher who want that you participate on their programmes. But your specific topic it was one that I never met so far so that attracted me to be one of your future students.
CL: Okay, that’s great Marco, that’s really interesting. Okay I didn’t know I was the only one teaching listening. I might not be the only one I don’t know but…
MP: I’m here I’ve been waiting here with great passion so for me any problem. Of course, you know how do you don’t know but I’m not so young but I eager to learn for the learning English has become a huge passion for me.
I have wanted to be more proficiency in English. It’s my activity but I don’t have any rush because I don’t want to go abroad because I don’t want to improve my life, I am living here in Italy but I love my friends here, and I love the language, I love the culture, so it’s my passion. Those are my reasons.
CL: Okay. Alright, great, no it’s good to start from your passion I think it makes it easier.
CL: Just to finish off, would you recommend the test to other learners?
MP: Yes, definitely. I recommend taking the test to anyone that they want to verify, to control their listening skills, because for example I found very interesting your listening lesson live when we use pointed out in a special situation but in fact happens to each learner. And I have to admit that I have also followed the first mistake that you mentioned the other day just listening and hoping one day I understand.
It’s kind of like you know a lost bet for us for English learners. But I now know well that there is not enough to understand English language because the difficulty of English language because this sound can be very different from a person, real life, from a region.
For example, I always go to Sheffield they have a special accent that is different from London, from other, from other places in England. And you have a lot of contraction that makes us English learner in very difficult position. So I realised that listening skill is a big part of the…you don’t have to underrate this kind of goal. That’s my reason I want to participate in your programme.
CL: For me I’m really glad because I think you’ve understood the message that I’m trying to get across to English learners that you know just listening okay that’s great but you need a long, long time so why when you can learn more quickly, why would you spend years just listening when in fact you can teach yourself how to listen properly and about how spoken English works because there is some logic. It’s not yeah so…
MP: Yeah definitely.
CL: Okay and yeah you mentioned my new programme so we’re recording this on Monday, but by the time I publish it, it’ll be Friday and so if it’s Friday that means that you can still enroll in the programme that Marco is part of. It’s called Dictate Your Listening Success. It’s a mobile programme all based on dictations.
So I’m going to put the link and some information about that under this video because at midnight tonight Paris time that’s the last time for getting the bonuses that come with early enrollment.
So I’ve already got a couple of people enrolled, but if you want to enroll and you also want the bonuses it’s by tonight midnight at the latest time. You can still join after then but you won’t get the bonuses. I just wanted to make that clear.
MP: I’m looking forward to taking part in your programme it’s true. I’m very excited because I’m sure taking part in your programme will be a very important step of my endless English learning!
CL: I know I’m really excited too. I’m getting ready for everything this week and yeah I’m really excited about running it. This’ll be the first time and I’m hoping it goes really well and that you’ll maybe come back and talk about it after you’ve done it and maybe do another interview that would be great.
MP: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak because for me every time, every moment that I speak it’s difficult but I love it because I love the challenge. So if it was easy for me to speak well about you because I trust in your programme so…
CL: Okay thank you, Marco that’s really kind. And thank you very much for taking the time out of your day today to come and chat to me. I know it’s not easy to find some time to do that…
MP: yeah yeah right
CL: So I really appreciate that and thanks again.
MP: Thank you so much and have a nice evening. See you…
CL: Speak soon. Bye.