To Whom It May Concern:

 

As a former beginning French language student taught by Dr. James Tomek, I am glad to recommend him as a teacher of French to anyone who wishes to begin learning the language. Admittedly, I began taking two semesters of a foreign language as a requirement for my degree at Delta State University and chose to study French because I thought it might be nice to be able to speak that language.

However, once in Dr. Tomek's class, I enjoyed learning the language through his engaging and entertaining way of teaching students how to speak a foreign language. 

A particular method he used that I thought was beneficial was to encourage students to "think" in the French language.  For example, when trying to speak the word for a particular object in a new language, most beginning students will think of the noun that describes that object in their native language and then translate that noun into the new language. Dr. Tomek taught us to avoid thinking of the noun in our native language in order to translate it and, in stead, to only think of the noun that names the object in the new language and speak that word.  To anyone who speaks multiple languages, this concept may seem to be an obvious way a learning a new language, but as a student who was attempting to learn a new language for the first time, this method was extraordinary.

Now, more than ten years after taking Dr. Tomek for two semesters of beginning French, I look back and appreciate not only his ability to teach a foreign language to me but also the enthusiasm he had for teaching French. I regret that I did not continue pursuing the language past the two semester requirement.  Why did I stop?  Perhaps I stopped due to youthful ignorance of how I would one day wish I were able to fluently speak a foreign language.  However, if I had continued to study, I feel confident that with Dr. Tomek's help I would be fluent in French today.

 

I recommend Dr. James Tomek as a teacher of the French language to anyone

who wishes to learn that language.

 

Sincerely,

 

Paul Spurlin

(Doctoral Candidate in Business at the University of Mississippi)