My name is Ellie and I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I have been a teacher of English for over thirty years. Because I started to feel a little less confident speaking English, I took a 1:1 course with teacher Ruud and his lovely wife Diane, in Bacup, near Manchester. Their house, situated in parklike surroundings, is ideal for enjoying nice walks in the countryside. It is also very close to Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. I stayed in their comfortable attic room. I had a choice of two bathrooms, one with bath, the other with shower. Because I wanted to brush up my communication skills, learn a lot of new vocabulary (especial colloquial language) as well as improve my pronunciation, this intensive course was ideal for me. Ruud is a very patient, creative and flexible teacher. Because Ruud and his wife have a very active social life, I met lots of interesting people, so I had ample opportunity to practise what we dealt with during our lessons. We made use of a wide range of materials such as newspaper articles, dvd’s, cd’s etc.. Besides being very interesting the lessons were great fun. Ruud’s wife Diane is a great cook; the food was plentiful and delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed the excursions to Liverpool (Magical Mystery Tour), Manchester and Leeds, the visits to museums but also the pubs we visited, the walks in the surrounding countryside, the visit to Haworth (home of Brontë sisters), to the charming town of Hebden Bridge, etc., accompanied by Ruud, and very often Diane and one or two of their friends. For 8 days I lived a very English life, and consequently, became very fluent in the English language. I can thoroughly recommend the experience! I am sure I will go back sometime, and repeat the experience!