A Brief Story of a modern Teacher
Sofia Karfi founded LM Language and Motivation in 2018 while living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. But the story really began much earlier…
Sofia graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Dept. of French language and Literature, in 2006. After graduating, her memories from the semester she spent in Dijon, France were still fresh. Not about mustard delights, but about how people from diverse religions interact, how differently people cook, how dogs bark in different countries and how similarly they love and dream. That experience was about falling more in love with languages and prompted her to learn Spanish as well!
Becoming a Teacher
The next thing to do was to build upon her experience in teaching. She began her journey with the Greek Ministry for Education as a French primary school teacher. She maintained the position for 5 years while also working with a private language school.
Sofia became a well-developed teacher with excellent relationships with her students; both children and adults. The students were generally hard-working which should have given her satisfaction. However, it did not. A question started going through her mind: “They are such good students who do everything correctly, but why does it take them four years to reach a B2 level? I am teaching by the books and doing my best…. Surely, it can go faster. I must find a way.”
This question became the motivation for a big change in Sofia’s career and her whole life.
Philosophy, Pedagogy, Psychology
In the meantime, Sofia started to tap deeper into these sciences and their application in life. Since she was 16 years old, she started reading books for personal development, an area that still inspires her. This interest pushed her towards poetry and creative writing, eventuating in Sofia’s first book.
The topic that most excited Sofia was how one becomes an effective teacher through motivating people to believe in themselves. In this scope, Sofia also wanted to act as a life coach through encouraging and inspiring students. In combination with teaching languages she found her purpose.
Finding the Answer
Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.
She started discussing her concerns with colleagues who maintained it was impossible to speed up the learning process. However, these discussions eventually led her to the Prof. Olivier Delhaye, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He was training teachers on a modern teaching/learning method where grammar was not the focus. After reaching out to him, Sofia was unexpectedly welcomed and informed about the Methodological improvement course: “Teaching languages – face-to-face and distance-learning – in private lessons, in tandem and in small groups”. After this inspirational training, Sofia realized she must put these learned skills into practice.
The F.A.S.T. method is the result of the aforementioned course.
For Sofia, The Socrates Maieutic Method is one that encourages people to develop their critical thought and spirit, which is a necessary condition for learning languages. Often these factors are left out during traditional teaching.
Our method is based on the concept that the student is active and puts in effort towards finding the information needed to express themselves. In the Internet era, our access to knowledge is free and unlimited and it’s up to us to use it!
Realistically, Sofia knew she had to adapt the language learning method for today’s adult needs. People who work for at least 8 hours per day will likely struggle to invest 10-15 hours per week for language study.
Today the programs we offer drive our students to reach B1 level in 3 months and B2 level in 6 months, while taking into account the modern-day rhythms of life.
Learn a language in 3 months! Get Started today
I took Dutch lessons with the F.A.S.T method from Mahdy and it's been nothing but a great experience. It's a really quick and effective method, it allows you to learn the language in a way that you customize so you learn what you usually use in your daily language. I definitely recommend it to everyone who is trying to learn a language and fed up with the traditional ways.
There are no words to describe Sofia !! I'm very glad that I had this amazing person as a French teacher!!! She loves her job and she makes you feel the same about French language!!! Not only teaches a foreign language but she helps you to open your horizons. Don't afraid to start this way of education! It is guaranteed you will succeed!!! She is the best! I highly recommend her as a teacher!!!!
Sophia is an excellent teacher and a wonderful person. She likes her teaching procedure to include poems, videos and articles, in french of course, which makes the lesson amusing but also teaches you many things about the french culture as well. She is very passionate about her work and she will help you understand and love the french language!