Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Andreea (Andi) Dumitru. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at email@example.com
1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)
4 going on 5-year Amsterdammer dedicated to everything languages.
I go by Andi, a pet name carefully crafted by my students. I have been an English language teacher and a pronunciation coach for the past 11 years. It all started with an English class for young learners that I thought would only last for a few months. 11 years in and I love every minute of it.
It is my passion for people and my desire to better their experience acquiring a language that drives me every day. It’s very often that I hear that a person’s learning experience was ruined by a teacher that made their journey seem unbearable. It’s often things like being criticized for something they didn’t comprehend or being put into a box that they didn’t fit in. I can see how that can be mentally taxing. As a foreign language learner, I myself have experienced mental blocks and impediments that made it almost impossible for me to learn properly.
This process can be even more daunting if you don’t have the right coach or facilitator to give you the time, the space, and the confidence that everyone desperately needs. My approach is quite the opposite.
With this attitude, I decided to lend my knowledge as a learner of foreign languages and my expertise as a teacher and develop my own school, Unaccented. Apart from working at Unaccented, I also work as an English language teacher at an MBO in Utrecht.
2. When and why did you join the AABC?
I’ve been a member for a year now. The reason why I joined the AABC is because I was looking for a community of professionals with whom I could connect.
Freelancing can be wonderful. I get to meet amazing people through my work, but our relationships don’t always evolve beyond the classroom, which leaves me wanting to talk about issues that arise in my line of work.
3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.
Accents are one of my clients’ concerns and one of my specialties. Some clients are perfectionists and want to sound like native speakers. For example, sometimes leaders struggle to be understood because of how they sound. By showing in an approachable manner the impact of their voice projection, pace, and pitch, people start being aware of how they sound and what they need to change.
Unaccented is all about creating individualized training for individuals and companies. Apart from offering pronunciation courses, I also cover specialized classes. It all starts with an assessment of the client’s needs and wants and then we move on to the Master Plan and its respective measurable steps set together by the student and me. This way, clients evolve holistically at their own pace.
I offer individual and group classes, face to face, as well as online and in-company. You can find out more at www.unaccented.eu.
4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?
Have a sound business plan, but don’t forget that sometimes you will need to tweak it and be flexible about it. Allow yourself time to grow and change and don’t shy away from asking for help whenever you need it.