It has been 18 years now, but I still remember how it started. I had my first English class in the second year of primary school. We were given these colourful course books and excercise books. The classes were twice a week with a teacher from a big city. I don’t think she was using all this amazing methods that are known now. So I countinued learning English through my primary school, secondary school and highschool. Looking back, I wouldn’t describe them as effective classes. 90 minutes per week, devided by 20 students, minus time to start and finish a class, can not make you a great English speaker BUT can give you some base. Back then I couldn’t go on the Internet and search for phrases, listen to music or watch videos on youtube. All I had in highschool was 500mb (0,5GB) to use each month! (comparing to 38GB I get on my phone nowadays it was nothing). There wasn’t any possibility for me to have a private lesson with a native English speaker, because they were expensive. Anyway, I didn’t feel I needed them.
Nobody made me realise how important English would be in my future life. (at least I don’t remember;p)
During the 3rd year of high school I fell in love with English thanks to Agnieszka, my private english teacher. I loved doing all the exercises, writing, reading and speaking. I spent a lot of time studying English, studying really hard. I passed my A-level with really great marks! It made me feel really good! 🙂
Then I went to my lovely island Jersey, thinking that I am so good in English… well I couldn’t be disapointed more. People having different accents, speaking fast, using phrases that I had never seen in books… whaaaat? I thought “What the f*** am I doing here?”… I couldn’t really speak much however, I understood 80% of things. The main reason for choosing Jersey/UK was to learn the language… So I signed up for a Cambridge course (twice a week), extra writing workshop on Saturdays (thank you for everything Jenny!:) ), then once this one was finished I took another one… I studied at home and in total I spent hours and hours mastering my English. Just for you to know, it took me 8 months to overcome shame of speaking English with other people.
I still have so much to learn…
OK, but now let’s get to the point… 🙂 There are three reasons why am I writing about it:
1. For myself,
to never forget how hard I have worked to become fluent in English and to remember that nothing comes easy. If I want something to be perfect, I have to keep practising and working on it.
2. For you, who are fluent in English,
to ask you not to tease others about their level of English.
Don’t laugh at them.
Don’t laugh at their grammar mistakes.
Don’t laugh at their pronounciation.
Don’t laugh at them speaking English.
At some point you were exactly where they are now. Help them. Listen to them. Make them comfortable. They can actually communicate in a foreign language!!
3. For you, who are on their way to become fluent.
Don’t give up! Keep practising to become better and better every day. There are so much waiting for you in the world. This one reason should already be enough to keep you focused and motivated.
P.S. It is of course not only about the English language, but about every foreign language!