TalkShop clients share their learning experiences from workshops in speech, writing, leadership, and personality development.

I discovered a love for teaching late in my career, at the same time that I was seeking a change in my life. By then, it was too late to take up a course on education. But thanks to the demand for language proficiency, there are schools and learning centers that offer special English courses – teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and as a Foreign Language (EFL), among them. Indeed, there is always room for growth and learning no matter one’s age, as I was to discover at the TalkShop. Little did I realize that beyond the ESL and EFL courses that I was going to take, I would be on the road to self-discovery. Upon enrollment, the School Director, Sheila Viesca evaluated my learning style. I was a “14″ – mid-way of the analytical and creative thinking styles, “similar to Da Vinci’s” she said. This is the ideal score, a balance of analytical and creative abilities. “A lower score is characteristic of an analytical thinker who can get bogged down by details “, she continued “while artists, who can get carried away garner higher scores.” Her task is to develop her students’ shortcomings, whichever the case may be, targeting Da Vinci’s style to strike a balance. The TalkShop adopts the “tapestry” approach that integrates all language skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking, along with grammar mastery for well-rounded results. Having been educated in the “old school,” I expected to sit through the sessions to absorb whatever the teacher will impart. I was in for a big surprise. It was a reversal of roles instead, wherein students are made to take on an active role. This is the communicative approach to teaching language. It is learner-focused rather than teacher-centered, and therefore more interesting, challenging, and beneficial for students. I had to speak extemporaneously before a group, muster my comprehension skills to be able to integrate learnings in all language skills and competencies , tap my retention abilities (or more appropriately the lack of it) and creativity for on-the-spot writing tests, sharpen my listening skills , and conjure the discipline to write daily on my journal, among others. Who will not benefit from such exercises which are sure to hone one’s language skills? But did I learn anything new? Certainly I learned the rudiments of communicative style of teaching, as well as the useful jargon that are part and parcel of the English courses. I learned too about the use of American accent, which is key for those who would like to work in call centers. With this, I now know how to pronounce words that hitherto I had been taking for granted as correct. Through one of the courses, Social Graces, I learned the proper way to dine in a formal setting, and enjoyed the actual practice over “High Tea” at the Manila Pen. I had also been updated about pressing social matters and schools of thought through TalkShop’s effective use of audiovisual aids. My course was an eclectic mix of useful topics. Sheila peppered these with invaluable information on the “self” which I found intriguing. Sigmund Freud and the teachings of Carl Jung invariably found their way into the sessions, as did the seven phases of life and how one goes through its joys and pains, the Greek Gods/Goddesses in every person, along with leadership styles that characterize personality types. These were just some of the topics towards self-improvement, greater self-appreciation, and understanding of others. Sheila Viesca goes the extra mile. Beyond her total English and leadership programs, she lends her service as a life coach to guide, inspire and empower. This comes as a welcome surprise to her students as she lends a beautiful, individualized approach to her programs. That is why TalkShop is one of a kind.

Joy V. Manalac
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I have learned a lot from The Talkshop Communication Training under my two mentors (Ms. Sheila and Ms. Cecile). From them I learned that in order to become an effective communicator, you have to enjoy what you are doing. Their competence and style of teaching showed that they meant business and because of that, I was influenced by them such that my attitude toward learning English greatly improved. Regarding the design of the workshop, there were certain areas that I liked most, although at first I did not. For instance, I was asked to stand in front of the class and expound on certain adages. This gave me a sense of accomplishment or confidence in speaking my mind. Another area I truly appreciate was when I was asked to read certain inspirational books that we used in the conversation classes and practice interview sessions. This, among the many other unique language activities greatly enhanced my competence. After having been exposed to six training camps, I can say that The Talkshop Consultants are THE BEST simply because with their help, I was FINALLY able to pass the IELTS. The Talkshop Method works! Now I am leaving for the US. The Talkshop Consultants simply have unique ways of helping me improve, trust my communication skills, and believe in myself. They boosted my confidence, which is most essential in learning. With regard my future training plans, I think the need is still the same-confidence, fluency, grammar, learning punctuations, vocabulary, etc; however, I personally think grammar is still my priority. And thus, I’ll be taking up more enrichment courses at the Talkshop when I travel back to the Philippines.

Vincent Tiu, 49 – Businessman/Registered Nurse
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When I enrolled at TalkShop, I had only wanted to develop confidence when speaking in front of a group. But I received more than what TalkShop’s confidence-building and personality development workshops could offer-I was able to stretch my potentials, and I believe I can always put my best foot forward hereon. TalkShop never fails to see the strengths of its students and find ways to bring out the best in their personality. The team ensures that the errors committed by the students are criticized constructively. They always raise the bar for them, instilling in their minds that being second best is not enough. Most importantly, TalkShop provides opportunities for their students to exercise what they learned by placing them in workshops where they have to teach other people. I did not expect to learn this much from them, and I am very grateful to all TalkShop consultants not only for developing my personality, but also for making me aware of the potentials that I can reach.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Physical Therapist
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Overall, I would say that I learned how to assess my personality and leadership style through TalkShop’s Communication Training Program. I know all these things are targeted at reaching the fullest of my supervisory potentials. The design of the workshop was very well-structured. TalkShop Consultants also made sure that complex ideas were narrowed down to clear and simplified ideas. I believe I am a better leader now, as I am now sharply aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I am thankful to TalkShop for teaching me that self-awareness is the start of effective management and leadership

Jowel Natividad, Production Leader, Fujitsu Ten Corporation
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TalkShop’s Communication Training imparted up-to-date knowledge to the participants. For TalkShop, any information that is obsolete only becomes dangerous in the end. I appreciate then that TalkShop remained in touch with what is currently happening both in the local and global settings. Aside from giving the latest on the training program, the design of the workshop also considers the goals of Fujitsu Ten Corporation. For TalkShop, it is not enough that ideas are simply thrown to the trainees; it is also equally important that the participants put the ideas to good use by becoming effective in their respective careers. I am privileged to have undergone training with TalkShop. I am looking forward to having more of its counseling workshop and other training programs.

Erwin Pesquiza, Senior Production Leader, Fujitsu Ten Corporation
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With TalkShop, I learned the methods of teaching English to others. Aside from that, TalkShop sharpened and updated my knowledge on grammar and language use. The design of the workshop is very similar to what I am hoping to employ as a classroom teacher. The consultants at TalkShop gave me a wide array of effective teaching styles to choose from, which should then allow me to tailor fit a course or subject to the specific needs of the learners. I appreciate that the TalkShop consultants gave depth to English lessons by relating experiences or imparting insights. That method proved to be a really useful one. Now, I am able to teach English to foreigners who still have a poor grasp of the language. I thank TalkShop for teaching me to speak in a way that I can inspire others.

Joseph Christian Montemayor, Sales and Marketing Manager
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Enrolling at TalkShop helped boost my confidence. I never realized that I can speak in public. It was one of the things I was afraid of. I now earnestly believe that it is possible for me to become a successful trainer by simply expressing myself with effective speech and pronunciation, using appropriate words, facial expression and body language. During the workshop, I learned how to speak confidently before a group. It was amazing how I was able to speak clearly and that everyone understood what I meant. I especially liked the role-playing exercise. The consultants were all very friendly and approachable, correcting me in a very empowering way. The ambience at TalkShop is very empowering in a subtle kind of way. I especially liked its library. But of course I need to do my share of personal participation even after the course is over. The consultants advised me to practice being confident and professional not only in the way I speak but also in the way I carry myself.

Cherryl Beltran, Supervisor, Concepcion Carrier
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ON THE TALKSHOP WORKSHOP: “I learned a lot, though I got nervous a little.” “I learned a lot about proper pronunciation and conversation.” “I gained more confidence, especially in speaking.” “The training was great. I learned how to communicate effectively and be more assertive. I learned that our words are powerful and becomes more powerful when pronounced correctly.” ON THE TALKSHOP CONSULTANT: “The TalkShop Consultants are energetic and confident.” “They are active and engaging.” “They are great speakers. They motivate us.” “They are very good in English.” “They are experts.” “They are skilled, knowledgeable, and prepared.” “They are approachable.” “Awesome!” OVERALL: “The workshop helped me boost my confidence.” “I am now more confident.” “I have now the confidence to speak English.” “I am more aware of my pronunciation and will help me improve my communication.” “Always smile, be positive, and practice speaking English more often.”

GlaxoSmithKline Speech Eloquence & Assertive Communication
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Back in Poland, I am already familiar with the English language. But I needed to really work on my conversational skills. I am happy I found TalkShop. My speech consultant was simply unbelievable! I did not know how she did it, but at the end of the course I was able to really converse in English very confidently. She was just amazing. The customized approach really worked with me. I felt the lesson was suited for my English language needs. When I go back to Poland, I will definitely bring with me the English skills I acquired here. I want to continue learning English the TalkShop way.

Joanna Wadas, Polish
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As a student, I have a lot of requirements to finish. Another concern is that I am a little bit shy speaking. That is why I decided to try the English courses at TalkShop. I was glad I enrolled because it helped me deal with my assignments and tasks at school especially with regard formal writing and public speaking. I found the course on public speaking very helpful because before I came to TalkShop I would always feel very worried before speaking. But after the course, I was surprised to see myself standing behind a podium, speaking in front of many people, and almost very calm, poised, confident, and happy. I did not know how the consultant brought the best out of me. It was just amazing. Ms. Sheila Viesca was simply a very passionate consultant and mentor. She explained the lessons very well. Besides public speaking, I was also inspired to write my daily journal. I hope to get intensive lessons on formal writing especially on the areas of composing essays and presenting written reports that would go hand in hand with a speech.

Sharie Dominguez, High School Student

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