Comments from students
Students who did the PoppieS Foundation 1-2-3 in 2021-23
Thank you, Paloma, for guiding me through this experience… I couldn’t have done it without your help, THANK YOU, you are the best!!!!!
Montse Fernández – Madrid. 2023.
Working with PoppieS, aka Paloma Gonzalez-Nash, has been quite an experience. This is the second year I attempted the competitive exams (oposiciones), and thanks to all the work, effort, and dedication, I managed to secure a position.
Regarding my experience with Paloma, in terms of positive aspects, the groups are very small, and the exams are complex. The questions are truly interesting and make you realize how much you actually don’t know. Through consistent practice, you improve and acquire a solid understanding of the exam format, what is expected of you, and your actual possibilities.
On the negative side, some of Paloma’s answers are a bit lengthy and complex to comprehend. This, of course, showcases the extensive knowledge of the instructor, but at times, I got lost in the explanations. That being said, the reality is that once you have the questions, you can search for answers on your own and find a solution that is easier for you to understand and remember on the day of the exam.
Returning to the positive aspects of preparing for the competitive exams with Paloma, as I mentioned earlier, due to the small groups, the instructor truly invests in each of her students. In my particular case, I started classes with her in December, frustrated with academies and inexperienced teachers and despite having developed the program with another tutor, Paloma’s advice was absolutely essential and without her help I wouldn’t have been able to pass the second part of the exam.
On the other hand, concerning the preparation for the oral defence, she went to great lengths to ask me complex questions and ensure I perfectly understood what was expected of me during the defence.
Paloma’s advice and the list of classical music for studying has truly helped me more than I can express in words and I will no doubt use them again.
Tamara Ubilava – Madrid. 2023.
My experience with the exam preparation has been great and positive. The classes have been very helpful and an important guide to know what to do and how to do it. Reinforcing content and doing practical exercises were really important and useful in preparing for the exam. I am grateful to the teacher Paloma and her valuable advice. Thanks for your help Paloma!
María Gómez- Madrid. 2023.
After 10 years of getting ready for this exam, I felt Paloma would not teach me anything I didn’t already know, and I couldn’t be more wrong. Along the way, I lost faith in myself, I was my worst enemy, and that feeling blocked me for a long time. Somehow she helped me believe I could do it, and I did it.
Her scope in facing the topics and the práctico was different from how I was facing the exam, and it worked for me. Thank you, Paloma.
Marina García- Madrid. 2023.
I prepared for the competitive exam this year with Paloma with biweekly classes. I can confidently say that I credit Paloma with helping me to pass and secure a teaching position in Madrid. At the start of the course I felt completely lost with the practical part of the exam. With Paloma’s guidance I truly gained a much better understanding of how to approach the large variety of questions. The online platform was extremely intuitive and while our biweekly classes kept me on track, the platform allowed me to go at my own pace at the same time. I am so grateful for her help this year. Thank you, Paloma!
Victoria Quig- Madrid. 2023.
Students who did the PoppieS F1-2-3 & Building Blocks I-III in 2021-23
I wanted to wait until it was official. Thank you so, so much for your help, kindness and support. You helped me not to lose hope. It couldn’t have been possible without your help❤️
Priscila Chicano – Madrid. 2023.
Having been with Paloma for two years has been a real game changer. Not only did I finally get a position, but I also gained a lot of valuable knowledge related to language teaching.
Although sometimes tough and demanding, Paloma made sure we didn’t just memorise complex concepts, but actually understood them. Every single class we were challenged to bring out the best in us, which is essential to get prepared to sit the competitive exam.
All in all, Paloma has helped me improve my writing style and gave me enough tips to cope with the different parts of the exam. Thank you so much, Paloma! I will miss our weekly sessions.
Margarita Andreychuck – Madrid. 2023.
“Starting to prepare for the competitive exams with Paloma 4 years ago was the best decision I’ve made. Before, I had been attending another academy and felt I was wasting my money and time. With the courses Poppies offers, I felt, right from the beginning, that I was provided with the necessary tools to face the exam: plenty of exams from different communities, activities designed by Paloma to enhance our writing skills, lots of teaching resources, opportunities to present both our syllabus and units orally and share ideas, etc.
And what’s more important, at least for me, I felt that regardless of the results, I was learning useful things that would definitely turn me into a better teacher.” Paloma is always trying to spark curiosity in us and always available to answer our questions and check our work, giving personalised feedback for improvement”
Laura Esteban – Madrid. 2023.
I started this training as a bit of an outsider, having been in a completely different field for many years. But my lifelong dream was always to get back into teaching. Instead of the overcrowded classrooms of a well-known academy, I took a friend’s recommendation and enrolled in Paloma’s weekly sessions two years ago, a choice I can confidently say was the best decision I ever made.
I still remember Paloma telling us that the course might seem a bit chaotic at first, but trust me, it is not. It is an incredibly well-structured path toward mastering all the contents, building up our knowledge brick by brick. In our weekly sessions, Paloma was laser-focused on making sure we truly understood everything. I particularly liked the practical exercises because they were always directly linked to the specific topics we were covering.
I used to think I was without hope, with hardly any experience and not enough time to prepare for the exam the way I wanted. But Paloma kept pushing me forward. And guess what? In my very first shot at the competitive exam, I actually got a position. Even now, I find it hard to believe. I will forever be grateful. Thanks Paloma!
Giovanna Carolo – Madrid. 2023.
If you are reading this and thinking about whether joining Paloma would be a good idea, let me be clear: IT IS THE BEST IDEA. Don’t expect it to be all peaches and cream, though. Paloma will challenge you, and you will need to work hard, but that’s exactly why I am where I am right now.
Thus, I would like to mention a couple of things that are, in my opinion, fundamental for this course to work:
1. If you are looking for the traditional teaching method, with long explanations and classes where your ‘only’ task is to show up, this will not fit you. Get ready to work, to be exposed, to be the center of attention and to lead the class.
2. If you are not ready to get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and be ready to be challenged, then this will not fit you.
For three years (which is NOTHING, taking into consideration that I have not studied for an English Bachelor’s Degree). Paloma has been by my side, supporting and teaching me not only English but also the ins and outs of the exam. She has guided me and has always emphasized the importance of playing an active role in the learning process, on making the topics ‘our topics’. And I think this is what makes it different and special: it is not about what she knows, but how she shares her knowledge (endless knowledge!) and how she encourages you to understand it, not just memorize.
Moreover, she gives the exact importance each part deserves, devoting a great amount of time to the ‘practico’, without forgetting the importance of having a solid base built on the topics. And of course, not sure how, but she still makes time to correct and lead us in the syllabus design!
Summing up, Paloma, thank you for your teaching and your supportive and challenging attitude. I would never have done it without you: always looking for ways to go a step further, always making yourself available and with your constant words of encouragement. For all this, I can’t thank you enough!
Laura Toraño – Madrid. 2023.
Madre mía Paloma, te lo digo en español porque estoy muy emocionada; pues una y mil gracias porque a pesar de lo mal que lo he pasado este año, me esforcé en escribir todo lo que me acordaba de tu tema estoy en las listas de las 94 plazas que hay para Castilla- La Mancha. Te estaré eternamente agradecida por todo lo aprendido porque sinceramente pensé en irme del examen y me esforcé en escribir en media hora al principio, de lo que me acordaba del tema de lo que tu nos haces pensar y a la media hora me arranqué a escribir y pude acabar todo hilando con cosas del tema y con otras. No me lo creo Paloma, es una meta que llevaba muchos años persiguiendo y ha sido gracias a no desistir y a seguir yendo a academia incluso el año que no había oposición y sobre todo a lo que nos hacías pensar y trabajar, He aprendido mucho contigo y uso en mis clases muchas de las cosas que nos decías, haces una gran labor. Una y mil veces, gracias porque esto conseguido también es parte tuya 😘😘😘❤️🤗🤗🤗
Raquel Torralba – Castilla La Mancha. 2023.
Hola Paloma. Soy Andrea Tejeda. He seguido tus clases online desde hace varios años, y te contacto para darte las gracias por haberme enseñado tanto, ya que he conseguido plaza en la última ampliación de seleccionados por el proceso de estabilización. He seguido a pies juntillas todos tus consejos, y en más de una ocasión durante el examen me he preguntado: “cómo explicaría Paloma esto?”, jeje. Así que te estaré por siempre agradecida, y quiero también que sepas que pese a no haber cursado ningún estudio en lengua inglesa en mi vida estudiantil, me has dado ganas de formarme más y mejor en la filología del idioma. Un saludo, y espero que disfrutes de unas estupendas vacaciones!
Andrea Tejeda – Madrid. 2023.
Students who did the PoppieS Foundation in 2019-2021:
“Hi, Paloma! I hope you’re doing fine. I just wanted to let you know that I have passed both exams with an average mark of 8.5. I wanted to thank you for all the materials as well as for your lessons ☺️”
Ane Benito – Basque Country. 2021.
“Joining Paloma has been the best thing I could have ever done to prepare my competitive exam! The different blocks of contents are perfectly organized and related, everything has a purpose! During the course, you work on the different parts of the exam, not only on the first exam but also on the oral presentations, which is essential for the second part of the exam. Paloma focuses not only on the contents but also on the form and structure of what you write. She always gives you the necessary support, not only academic but also personal; she motivates you to continue working and she always trusts you even when you don’t! Without her, I would not have obtained my position!”
Beatriz Izquierdo Algarra. Madrid 2021.
“My name is Amy and with the help of PoppieS Foundation Course I was awarded a permanent placement in Madrid in the 2021 exam. It was my first time taking the exam and I couldn’t have done it without Paloma’s help. The course is brilliantly organized and I loved how Paloma challenged and helped me along the way. With her guidance I learned not only what I needed to know to pass the exam, but also how to be a more effective teacher and communicator. Thank you for everything Paloma!”
Amy Klingensmith. Madrid 2021.
“Hi Paloma, I’d like to tell you that I really learned from and with you. I have had a few teachers to prepare this exam, but none with the knowledge you have, so, thank you!”
Alba Carrasco. Madrid 2021.
“Thanks a lot, Paloma! You helped me a lot. I really appreciate your help and the way you guided me in all the tasks. When I presented the rationale and the didactic unit in my exam I felt really excited and knew that it was going to be alright. I remember every single detail I learnt from you! So part of my success is also yours! Many, many thanks. I will recommend your teaching practice to everyone that asks me. Thanks a lot again and again.”
Laura Caballero. Madrid 2021.
Students Doing the Poppies Foundation and BB1 in 2017-18
I think the resources are really varied and I wouldn’t make any changes. All of them are useful to a large extent and they serve their purpose.
In my case, I was mainly reading topics and doing assignments. I didn’t watch the videos about the topics, although I did watch those related to the course design. I didn’t participate in the forums since I was attending lessons weekly and Paloma could answer all my questions.
It’s a great choice for those who are working. Besides, the contents are appropriate and the resources are varied. You can work at your own pace and have someone else’s support, which is great.
Students who did the Poppies Foundation in 2015-16
I liked the contents a lot. Especially the relationship between the topics and the language part.
It was always my pleasure to start a new section. I found quite interesting the selection of listenings, texts, and translations. They were perfect to boost discussion and analysis.
The contents helped me to link different aspects
I think the way we work on the practice contents always bearing in mind the topics is an intelligent way of working towards this competitive exam. We never know what is going to come up in the language part, and a good example was this year’s exam, quite different from the previous ones, so the way we work in this part in your classes is very useful.
Further feedback from students
- This is what Andrea Fábrega wrote when she started the Poppies Foundation Course + Face to face classes in February 2015:
My name is Andrea and I have been in Madrid for 10 years now. I decided to take the English exam and become a civil servant about 7 years ago but, unfortunately and after having taken the exam 4 times in Madrid and 1 in Barcelona I have not been successful yet…
…I expect to cover different aspects on the English language through the course, to be able to perform better than I did last time and to be able to pass the first part which, for me, is the most difficult.
So far , I must say I have liked what I have seen and I have enjoyed today’s lesson.
Andrea was successful and got a permanent position in Madrid in July 2015
Comments on the Poppies Pilot “Mini-course”- 2014
I think the materials that you provide us with in the platform are brilliant and I appreciate the way you make us reflect on the topics with the questions on the Practico. It’s very useful that they are related… I feel really lucky to have access to the platform. 🙂 (Noemi I)
Comments on the Pilot Poppies Course Design
Comments on topics & exam preparation