About Boni LaValley and the Lake Tahoe Insititute of English

Hi.  My name is Boni LaValley, and I am the co-founder, co-director, and an instructor at the Lake Tahoe Institute of English, along with my husband, Kim LaValley.  I’ve started writing this blog as a way of continuing the conversation with all of our clients who have participated in our program.  I also want people who are interested in becoming clients to be able to read about our ideas, our recommendations, and current research, as a way of getting to know us, and as a way of helping them decide to enroll in our unique school. 

I welcome your participation with me, and would love to receive your comments.  You can also become a fan of our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Incline-Village-NV/Lake-Tahoe-Institute-of-English/169612168273?ref=ts, and participate with us that way.

A Bit About Me

Let me tell you a little bit about myself, first.

I am 55 years young, and really enjoy my life.  I have had a number of different professions, and have quite a few university degrees, as does my husband, Kim.  You can read all about that on our website, http://www.tahoeenglish.com/en/english-instructors.html.

There are two main things, though, that you should know about me.  The first is that I love people.  I love all kinds of people.  I love meeting new people, and learning all about their lives.

The second thing that you should know is that I love to learn.  So, I like to do research on the topic of language learning, and on other things that interest me.  And, a lot of things interest me.  I read a lot, and I talk to many different kinds of people who have many things to teach me. 

What I find incredibly fun about my work with the Lake Tahoe Institute of English is that everyone who comes to study with us brings a new profession to learn about, or a new perspective to understand.  This is the most fun job I have ever had, and I’ve had quite a few jobs, and a lot of fun in my life.

Now, about me personally. 

As I said, I am 55 years old, and I have been married to my husband, Kim for 30 years.  We have 4 grown children, 2 boys and 2 girls. We also have a daughter who will be getting married next summer, so we will have a new son-in-law, too.  We are a very close family, even though we don’t all live near each other.

I have lived at Lake Tahoe for 15 years, and I am still in awe of the incredible natural beauty here.  I love nature, and participating in outdoor activities, which there are many of here at Lake Tahoe.

Probably my favorite thing to do outdoors is snow ski.  I have been skiing since I was 3 years old, and I have never gotten tired of it.  I think there are so many things to love about it.  I love the speed and the grace of skiing.  I love that I still get better at it every year (not something I can say about a lot of things at this age).  And, I think one of my favorite things about it is just being outside in nature, with the amazing stillness and beauty of the surroundings.

I also love to hike in the summer, and swimming and kayaking in the lake are favorite acitvities.  It is so beautiful here.  Nature, here at Lake Tahoe, is my cathedral, where the glory of the world is expressed.

About the Lake Tahoe Institute of English

Now, let me tell you about our school, the Lake Tahoe Institute of English.   

Kim and I started this school in 2008.  We are a young school, but not youthful in experience or in dedication to our profession. 

Kim and I have traveled to 38 countries throughout our years together, and have always loved meeting new people. 

We have also tried to learn other languages, most notably, French and Spanish, and we know how difficult it is when you are an adult, with many different responsibilities taking your time.  We studied in traditional schools, and found that, although we know a lot of vocabulary and grammar, we could not actually speak and understand the languages well.  We thought that there must be a better way to learn a language.

We are certified to teach English as a Foreign Language, but really, more important than that, we have researched all the newest ideas about second language acquisition, plus we have incorporated all the experiences we have personally had, along with the experiences we have had with clients.  We have taken all of this, and founded what we believe is a unique and remarkably effective language learning program.

Our program is a full immersion program.  We don’t work with you 10 or 20 hours per week, as many immersion programs do.  We don’t put you in a class with 4 to 12 other students.  No, we work with you 10 to 12 hours per day, or even more if you want, and we work with you one-to-one.  Because of our broad experience in life (a distinct benefit to being our age), and our experience in business and the professions, we are able to craft a program for each individual client to teach them exactly what they need or want to learn.

Remember I mentioned how much I love people?  Well, another benefit of that to our school is that Kim and I have an enormous circle of friends who own all kinds of businesses and are in all kinds of professons. They are all interesting people who are interested in meeting other people.

When we have clients at our Institute, we select friends who we think you would like to meet – whether it is because they are in the same business, or whether they like to participate in the same sports or cultural events.  Then, we have dinner parties or cocktail parties with these people and you, as our client, so that you get to meet real Americans, and speak to them on a real, social level.  Every single one of our clients so far has told us that this is one of the most fun, as well as one of the most valuable, parts of their time spent with us.

Kim and I are very welcoming and friendly people, who put our clients at ease.  We know that it is far easier to learn, especially as an adult, if you are relaxed and having fun.  So, we try to make every single day a fun and relaxed experience so that learning is maximized.

One of the most important things we do is physical exercise, every single day.  It can be as simple and easy as a walk on one of our beautiful streets, or it can be a strenuous bicycle ride on a world-famous trail.  But, we exercise, and while we exercise, we talk and learn.  You would be surprised how much you can learn without trying!  We also take excursions to the many wonderful areas around our lake for the same reason. 

Fun and learning go hand in hand, we have found.

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