Speak Your Mind is a young, completely independent organisation. Everyone involved is directly in touch with the day-to-day realities of teaching English and have a lot of their heads and much of their hearts in the classroom.
The story started back in 1988, when after seven years’ teaching and school management experience in England and abroad, Iain McInally and his partner Monica Moro set up an English school in Verona, Italy: a school which aimed to set itself apart in terms of student service and which offered a clear alternative in teaching method.
Through the following years of research, trials and observation a new methodology began to take form and a few years later saw the creation of the Speak Your Mind teaching programme. The results appealed to both learners and teachers who came to work there, and the school grew.
The connection with Japan goes back a long way – in the mid-1990s expert teacher and trainer Hugo Vanneck discovered Speak Your Mind and decided it was the ideal course to use with Japanese students and the hundreds of successful results from his school in Shibuya have proved him right.
“Most people want to learn to speak English, so that’s the first thing. Then, people want a course that works for them – people want results for their efforts, so the idea of efficiency is important. And thirdly, as much as possible, people want to enjoy learning if they are going to keep at it to make real progress.”
Over those years word spread, with interest crossing borders and confirming the appeal and the effectiveness of Speak Your Mind in a wide range of teaching situations with learners of diverse backgrounds.
Still based in Verona, Speak Your Mind method has now become the centre of an expanding network of schools teaching English to thousands of people in four continents.
A lot has changed over these 25 years but the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to high professional and ethical standards that have always driven us remain the same.