What people have to say about The Language Kitchen

“For 2 years I improved my knowledge of Italian with the help of Karen. Learning with a native speaker is the next best thing to being in Italy. Karen has a very pragmatic approach and has helped me take a major step forward. Her use of training materials and experience as a teacher is very valuable and I would highly recommend her.”

Heidi Janssen – Marketing UK, Ireland & Europe -Fisher & Paykel Appliances Ltd

“The Language Kitchen is the place for you if you want to learn Italian in a relaxed comfortable way over a cup of coffee. In a few weeks of lessons Karen persuaded me that I could get to grips with the Italian language after years of unsuccessful attempts at evening classes. Also she coped very well with an extremely difficult translation from an audio cassette for me.  Highly recommended.”

Barbara Mickleburgh, Rugby

“I have been having Italian lessons with Karen for some months now and really enjoy them. My conversation is improving as she has used lots of varied ideas to encourage us to practice our Italian conversation which is great! It is fun we have laughs and lots of conversation about life in Italy from where she comes. Viva Italia!”

Jane Leek, Warwick

“A trip to Lake Como with no Italian language seemed like meeting Monica Bellucci (well maybe Sophia Loren at my age) without so much as a ‘Ciao’. Karen provided two tailor made lessons. A typed list of likely scenarios and most importantly an easy understanding of the pronunciation. Karen turned “Lift wine glass – point to bottle of red wine – make drinking sounds – shout ‘RED WINE’” into ‘Un bicchiere di vino rosso per favore’ in no time. How to book boat trips and much local knowledge helped the holiday enjoyment no end.”

Barry McDonald, Tiddington, Stratford upon Avon

“Karen is a very good, patient teacher and I am enjoying the lessons enormously. We have small classes and she gives us plenty of variety in terms of topics. Because of her Italian origins she is able to point out to us modern vocabulary that will enable us to converse and get by in Italy, without undue emphasis on grammar which can be daunting. Lessons are informal and fun.”

Angela Edwards, Wellesbourne

“Lessons with Karen provided me with the extra confidence that I needed as an advanced beginner. The quality of the lessons were excellent and the structure of the classes meant that Karen pushed me to revise the basic Italian that I knew already.”

Emma Rixon, Warwick

“What better way to learn Italian than sitting in a delightful kitchen, drinking Italian coffee and eating Italian biscuits. One to one sessions enable Karen to judge the need of the individual, from conversational to grammatically correct Italian. One comes away inspired. Thank you Karen.”

Moya Bucknall, Alveston

“I only had time for a handful of lessons and Karen provided a focused set of lessons, giving me a set of phrases and a tool kit to start communicating as soon as I arrived in Italy, grazie mille Karen.”

Paul Walton, Leamington Spa

“The 1-1 lessons in preparation for my move to Italy were excellent. Karen tailored them to my specific needs, such as finding accommodation. She was also able to give me useful inside knowledge about Italy and give me the phrases that Italians really say.”

Carolyn Walton, Leamington Spa

“Karen was fantastic at pitching our lessons perfectly.  She took the time to see how much we already knew and then tailored the lessons to strengthen our fledgling Italian and fill our knowledge gaps.  Karen made the lessons fun and, working in a 2-to-1 setting, allowed us time to work on those things most important to us.  I would recommend her to anyone with a yearning to learn this beautiful language.”

Jacqui Scrimshire , Stratford upon Avon

“I have been struggling with Italian for over 20 years.  I had just got to the stage of being able to order food and drink fairly easily – being able to not confuse fagioli (beans) from fegato (liver). Karen has been helping me progress my Italian since January 2012.  She is pleasant, patient and good.  The learning environment is quiet and relaxed.  The progress in Italian is impressive too. Inspector Montalbano (BBC 4 television with sub titles) becomes much more fun when being able to decipher SOME of the rapid fire Italian.  The television doesn’t understand lentamente (SLOWLY, PLEASE), but at least you can rewind.  Karen is always ready to speak lentamente, and to “ rewind “ if necessary. Yes, I would recommend her fluent and fluid teaching.  I have been undertaking joint lessons with a friend.  Karen copes well with our slightly disparate needs.”

David Derbyshire, Stratford upon Avon

“Karen’s lessons are perfect for anyone keen to learn Italian to any level. My aim was to develop conversational Italian ahead of my wedding in Tuscany. Karen not only helped with my basic understanding of the language, including grammar and vocabulary, but also tailored lessons to suit my needs in dealing with all the different services involved in planning a wedding – from the florist to the caterers! Many cups of tea later, I now have the confidence to hold conversations in Italian!”

Emma Rochlin, Leamington Spa

“I have been having one-to-one lessons with Karen for about three months and am very pleased with how it is going.  From the start Karen has understood my requirements, both in terms of the Italian and the lesson arrangements.  She quickly assessed my level of Italian, our lessons are tailored to meet my needs and focus on conversation. We have covered various topics, including items in the news relating to Italy. The lessons are relaxed, current and not too structured.  It is very apparent that Karen is concerned that I am getting what I want out of the lessons. To be able to learn with a native speaker on your own doorstep in a friendly, positive environment is great.”

Kath Howell, Leamington Spa

“I could not have found a more perfect teacher with which to study – from day one Karen made the effort to find out my lesson priorities and tailor each week to the learning I personally need.  My family are from Italy, so I wanted a teacher who could correct my poor dialect and help me to gain the ability to chat properly.  I have improved more in these past 8 months of lessons than I did in my first 2 years of Italian study on a college course, and she unfailingly has a cup of tea waiting for me when I arrive!  Every week I feel like I’m growing in confidence and ability….and I know that Karen will push me as much towards fluency as possible.  Grazie mille per tutto!”

Amanda Kowalczyk, Stratford upon Avon

“One to one lessons with an Italian speaker is one of the best ways to learn the language. One can learn at one’s own pace and any questions one has are answered. Karen is an excellent teacher and I am really enjoying learning Italian in a friendly, non pressurised and non competitive environment.”

Audrey Douglas, Stratford upon Avon

“For many years I have harboured a secret ‘yen’ to learn Italian, not for any commercial or travel reasons, but simply because I wanted to immerse myself in such a beautiful language. Now in my late sixties I thought I might have left it too late. Not a bit of it! I saw Karen’s website and enrolled for lessons. For the past three months with one-to-one teaching and with Karen’s never ending patience and enthusiasm I am enjoying every minute and am so glad I took the plunge. The relaxed atmosphere dispels any inhibitions and with a teacher such as Karen it is never too late to learn!”

Di Smith, Stratford upon Avon

“I have had around 9 lessons with Karen so far and am becoming more and more confident each week. Very relaxing and enjoyable environment, which is boosted by Karen’s in depth knowledge of the language. Highly recommended!”

Owen Stickley, Warwick

“So often you read that a course will be ‘tailored to your needs’ but of course it never is – except in this case. Karen really does take the lesson where you want it to go. I love my Thursday mornings when my lessons range over a huge range of topics as and when bits of Italian I might need occur to me.  She’s really patient – even with those mistakes that I never seem to stop making and she never makes me feel stupid even when I am obviously being so. I heartily recommend her as a teacher, she’s also not TOO strict on the homework!”

Gill Culliford, Priors Marston

“I contacted Karen to brush up on basic Italian before a work trip to Italy but decided to continue with her lessons after the trip was over as they have been so useful and enjoyable. I have found the relaxed atmosphere and conversational basis of her teaching much more productive than group-based Italian classes I have taken elsewhere. Karen is not one of those teachers who relies on plodding through a textbook – she is excellent at tailoring lessons to individual needs and interests. I would definitely recommend her one-to-one classes as a fun and effective way of improving your Italian.”

Rosie Dias, Banbury

“My professional work has increasingly involved me working in Italy, and I have found the need to be more fluent in conversing in Italian for business purposes. As I live in the Stratford area, I contacted Karen, who has helped me greatly in improving my proficiency in working in Italian, and my understanding of Italian business culture – thoroughly enjoyable lessons around Karen’s kitchen table.”

Dr David Butcher, Director, Cranfield University School of Management

“I decided I needed Italian lessons after my husband got a job in Italy which meant regular trips for my family to central Italy.  Karen is very friendly and encouraging and tailored each lesson to my specific requirements.  Lessons at her house ensured great coffee and biscuits and a relaxed learning environment.”

Sally Key, Stratford upon Avon

“As a complete beginner, Karen has helped me to understand the basics in a thoroughly enjoyable and friendly atmosphere.  She gently persuades me out of my ‘comfort zone’ with challenges and encourages me along the way.  The lessons are varied and conducted in a professional manner, always with a smile!”

Fiona Aylett, Alveston

“I have tried several times to learn Italian though with little success. I started taking lessons with Karen and within a few weeks she gave me the confidence to converse in Italian and to get to grips with the complexities of the grammar.  With patience, coffee and laughter I look forward to my lessons and the progress that I am making.”

Lynne Taylor Hockney

“I’ve been learning Italian one-to-one with Karen for a year so far.  The lessons are very relaxed and friendly and, at the same time, my Italian has come on in leaps and bounds.  Using a text book course together with being taught by a native speaker is an excellent combination.”

Sarah Gregor, Kenilworth

“Karen’s lessons are fun, relaxed, informal and structured to my needs.  I have been having one to one lessons for around six months and have made rapid progress in that time thanks to Karen’s supportive and enthusiastic teaching approach. I find I really look forward to and enjoy my sessions each week.”

Fiona Reedy, Evesham

“I undertook my one to one sessions with Karen to improve my conversational Italian to keep up with my Italian wife and bilingual children. The tuition was relaxed, the conversation varied and allowed to simply follow its natural course. It was excellent to be able to practice and extend my Italian in a quiet and patient environment and being one to one sessions were meant I spent the time fully immersed in the language. Now it’s down to me to keep it up at home! Grazie mille Karen.”

Paul Beckett, Leamington Spa

“My Italian lessons with Karen were very enjoyable, and I felt much more confident and proficient in the language after a short course of one to one sessions with her.  Karen was friendly and professional, correcting grammatical errors gently, and never disrupting the flow of the conversation.  I was delighted to find a native Italian speaker living nearby, and have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone who wishes to learn Italian at any level.”

Alison Kenny, Tysoe

“I had a short course of six, one to one lessons with Karen in order to remind me of the limited vocabulary of Italian I had learnt in Italy 30 years ago.  In such a short time my grammar was still very basic but my vocabulary came flooding back and it gave me a lot of satisfaction remembering words I thought I had long forgotten.  I am not a linguist but Karen’s classes were informal and conversational so I never felt under too much pressure and therefore I enjoyed my time with her.”

Polly Mortimer

“Karen has a friendly and flexible approach to teaching Italian.  She is encouraging, patient, and her explanations are clear and thorough.  I have specific areas of the language that I want to focus on and practice, without having to adhere to the confines of following a rigid and sometimes limiting exercise book based learning programme.  I find the flexibility in her teaching methods very suitable for my needs, and I have no hesitation in recommending her.”

Deborah, Stratford

“Having studied Italian at night school for over 2 years, I found Karen.  After 4 months of regular one to one sessions with Karen, I now feel for the first time that I am really learning to speak Italian in a way that is specifically geared to my level and my requirements.  My confidence in my spoken Italian has increased significantly, and the wide range of topics Karen covers in our conversations is helping to increase my vocabulary.  She has made some really good suggestions about books to use to help me study at home – I just need to be more disciplined about doing it!! I am really looking forward to continuing to learn with Karen and to using my improved Italian when we visit Italy – which we do every year.”

Geoff Robinson, Kineton

“Karen has been teaching me Italian for a few months now, I really look forward to her tutorial.  Although a complete beginner, I am making good progress. Her lessons are always enjoyable and relaxed, and I look forward to continuing to improve my Italian through Karen’s excellent teaching skills.”

Rosie Mccarthy, Barford

“I was delighted to receive an invitation to work regularly in Italy (in English!) but was aware that I would need some Italian for social contacts and informal after-work exchanges. I have been meeting Karen for conversation lessons for about six months, and my confidence and ability to discuss a variety of topics with Italian colleagues has developed rapidly. Talking to Karen about my work and discussing topics of news is an excellent way to develop the vocabulary and skills needed for everyday social exchanges. As a result, I am gradually developing enough confidence to prepare brief introductions to my work in Italian which I am able to fine-tune and rehearse with Karen’s support and guidance. I am delighted with the classes and with the progress I am making, and I would highly recommend Karen’s mix of professional skills and personal warmth and friendliness.”

Mary Frances, Leamington Spa

“Having learned Italian on and off for a few years I have found my short time with Karen very useful. It has given me more confidence than before to speak Italian and I love the relaxed atmosphere in which we work. I look forward to coming back for more lessons one of these days!”

Anne Flower, Kineton

“I started with Karen two years ago as a complete Italian beginner and now I can hold a conversation. Karen is an encouraging and friendly teacher. We have discussed everything from parents, living in Italy, jobs, children, food, hobbies and all in Italian. We have started doing some more advanced grammar now and Karen has advised on the best books and the best ways to learn. I would recommend her to anyone wishing to learn Italian in the best and most effective way possible.”

Judith Smith, Leamington Spa

“My lessons with Karen have been invaluable in helping me get off to a good start in learning Italian. She is friendly, welcoming and all too ready to help with further explanations when I don’t understand. Taking lessons is so much more beneficial than trying to do it with a cd or textbook alone. The lessons are well organised and the learning structured and have allowed me to navigate the tricky basics of Italian grammar! I would highly recommend Karen for anyone considering learning Italian.”

Sarah Overson, Stratford upon Avon

“As our Italian was rather rusty my husband and I asked Karen to provide a bespoke intensive refresher session before a trip to Sicily. Karen’s approach was relaxed and encouraging and we went away much more confident of our ability to communicate. Being able to converse in the local language greatly added to our enjoyment as we travelled round the island.”

Charlotte Triggs, Stratford upon Avon

“Learning the Italian language here in England and not being a native English speaker is definitely a challenge. Karen made me believe it is possible. I started end of April and went to Italy end of July with only 4 lessons at the Language Kitchen. Grazie Karen!”

Manuela Angerstorfer, Stratford upon Avon

“I enjoy my conversation classes with Karen enormously. She is an easy and interesting talker who pitches her conversation so well to her student’s level of ability that I always leave in the belief that I am a better and more fluent Italian speaker than I was when I arrived.  Conversations are unforced and interesting. Karen gives me the time to find the right word or expression but is always ready to help when I’m stuck.  She teaches any points of grammar that needs clarifying really well.  A year of one to one lessons has improved my spoken Italian in a way that no other class could.”

Ginny Davies, Wellesbourne

“I have been having fortnightly 1-to-1 lessons with Karen for almost a year now. I thoroughly enjoy the classes and am happy to say that my Italian is improving. What I really like (other than having a nice time chatting with Karen and drinking coffee) is that I have a safe place to experiment and make mistakes, which helps me to learn. I recommend The Language Kitchen unreservedly, for anyone wishing to speak Italian.”

Anjela Jay, Kenilworth

“I went to Karen as an absolute beginner. Her patient, pragmatic and structured approach and the friendly, non threatening nature of the one to one sessions in her kitchen have given me a familiarity with the language and I now feel far more comfortable and confident when holidaying in Italy. This year, I had a far better understanding of the language, both spoken and written, and the confidence to have a go at speaking it myself. I look forward to more sessions and hope to have made even more progress by next year.”

Celia Rees, Author, Leamington Spa

“I’d taught myself basic Italian through the Michel Thomas series and reading Corriere della Sera online. Just because I love learning languages. While I’d engaged with the culture, two big elements were missing – listening and speaking. When I discovered that Karen lived on my doorstep, I realised I could take Italian up a level or two. When I first walked into her kitchen, I’d never spoken to an Italian before. It was the start of a whole year of sessions, first thing Wednesday morning. It’s not easy speaking English at that time, never mind Italian. Karen’s encouragement, while I went up and down the learning ladder, was fantastic. I came in with my troubles about work and family and neighbours and pets. We discussed them all in Italian. Ciao, Harvey! If you’re pondering 1-2-1 Italian lessons, just give Karen a call and give it a go.”

Mark Griffiths, Stratford upon Avon

“The Language Kitchen provides the perfect setting for me to learn Italian.  I feel very relaxed learning over a cup of coffee, and Karen’s structured but flexible approach means the one-to-one lessons are aimed at my language needs.  I am learning Italian as I have an Italian daughter-in-law, and now a baby grand-daughter who is half-Italian as well.  We want to be a bilingual family and engage with their wider family in Italy, as well as wanting to understand the Italian culture.  Karen knows I have a long term commitment to this and is pitching the depth and content of the lessons to suit me perfectly.  No set text or course could do this, and I can’t believe I have gone from beginner in April to someone who is reading short stories for their holiday homework in August!”

Lesley Caine, Warwick

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