Part of what Reick does in class is to instill confidence in her students. Students need to speak even if they are shy, she said
"I get bossy with them," she said. "I don't accept 'I don't know' or 'I don't understand' as answers. They have to try or make a guess. I won't go away until they do."
Once students get over being uncomfortable and realize no one is going to make fun of them, they get better at conversing, she said.
Reick knows what it is like to learn a language. Although she does not know any of the languages of her students, she speaks fluent French. She said she remembers living for a time in France and having to communicate with French-speaking people. She had to keep trying until they understood her, and the effort helped her become a better speaker, she said.
She conducts the the class entirely in English.
"I couldn't possibly know Karen, Spanish, Ukrainian and the other languages of all my students," she said.
On Tuesday evening, she worked with her students on first conditional sentences. Those are "if, then" sentences. One example she gave was "If I push the bottle, it will fall over."
She asked the students to give an example.
One of the students said, "If I study English, I will learn."