My Experience with Learning English Language

I've always been curious about languages since childhood. I was fascinated by the fact that people could communicate in so many different languages. I wondered what it would be like to learn any of them well. Living in a multilingual community helped me to understand that languages can be learned naturally.

My beginnings with English

My experience with English goes back to the 80s. In my case, I owe much of my passion for the English language to my high school teacher. She gave me the motivation to perfect each area of the language, which in the end would become the engine that would guide my life in the following years.

First contacts with regular English speakers

The determining moment of my relationship with English was the summer I spent in Shillong. Thanks to the efforts of my parents, I was able to experience an unforgettable experience by discovering the outside world and understanding that a knowledge of English can help conquer it.

From that moment on, studying and perfecting English was no longer something that served to pass exams. It became a vital necessity that I began to feed with all kinds of activities in English, such as reading, watching movies, and encounters with foreigners. As I got better, I felt a greater desire to go even further. At the same time, new personal and professional opportunities emerged to help me progress in the language.

If you want to learn English, you do not have to study English, but you have to 'Live' in English as much as you can. Of course, it is best to reside a season in an English-speaking area, but if that is not possible, there are endless ways to make English present in many areas of your life.

There are simple things like watching English movies, changing the language of your mobile, listening to English radio programs, conversations with English speakers on the internet. Today, all of this is within everyone's reach. We've never had it that easy.

Coming out of my comfort zone

Self-learning is fundamental, but in my case, I came to a point where it was difficult to advance much more without improving the theoretical basis. Therefore, I decided to enroll in the advanced courses which allowed me to acquire more skills in all areas, especially in vocabulary, new structures, and expressions. I bought several English grammar books and some vocabulary dictionaries.

As I became more and more familiar with English, I began to read entrepreneurship, psychology, or lifestyle books in that language. At the beginning, there were many words that I did not understand. Gradually I was assimilating the information and in this way, I understood more and more.

I admire an excellent native teacher whose unorthodox and motivational methods made learning a rewarding experience. In any case, if you want to improve your English, a quality course with native teachers can be helpful.

The result of all this process led me to an advanced knowledge of the language, but above all, it opened many doors for me personally and professionally. It is one of the personal achievements that I feel the proudest of, for the effort and for the enormous satisfaction of answering "Yes, I do" when someone asks me "Do you speak English?

My surprise came when my professor told me that they no longer had courses for my advanced level, but that, if I accepted, she would be delighted to have me counsel the present batch of new students.

Each time different students came to classes to practice English. Many of them entered the class grudgingly, as part of the compulsory nature of the program, but some others were enthusiastic about learning the language.

In general, each session consisted of discussing topics ranging from geography, personal relationships, travel, work, etc. Each one gave their point of view, while the rest of them waited for their companions to answer.

That's when I began to realize that there were students who, despite their lack of experience, threw themselves into the pool and spoke in English with confidence. Some of them paid attention to me. Others simply wanted to finish the university's English program because they cannot qualify without having passed all levels.

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The Truth About English Academies

Excited with the experience and determined to continue inspiring anyone who wanted to study English, I decided to look for a teacher's job. After offering my services at various academies, I was amazed by mass classrooms, old textbooks, teachers with minimal preparation or impossible promises such as learning English in a week.

Between one thing and another, I ended up entering an academy as a basic English teacher. The teaching material was a series of printable PDFs with lists of vocabulary, grammar points and small dialogues that introduce the student to the language. Basically, the student paid a high monthly fee to receive material that he could easily have found on the Internet and studied on his own. In fact, popular opinion had convinced them that if they wanted to learn English going to an academy was mandatory.

Going to an academy can be a good option when starting out. I always said to these students that if they want to advance in English and reach a level that they can feel proud of, they must study it on their own. You have to do more at home, read simple novels, listen to podcasts or chat with foreign friends.

A method for learning English that works

If you want to take the reins of your English learning, I recommend the following in each of the following stages. In the beginner phase, everything is new. The sounds seem very strange to you and you do not understand a single word. When faced with a text, the vocabulary is meaningless and the grammar seems to be completely different from your mother tongue.

At this stage, the brain, in addition to going through the process of absorbing large amounts of information, also needs time to get accustomed to new sounds, words and language structures. Set your personal goals. Commit to dedicate a few minutes a day to English. Put it in writing.

Find a good way to get started. The quality factor in the study of English is fundamental in the initial stages. For this reason, you must find a textbook that shows you the language progressively. A method of studying parallel texts in English and your mother tongue with associated audio is ideal. Take the text and read it. Listen to the audios and repeat them aloud.

Absorb every word. Play with the lesson. Ask yourself. Live the dialogue. Try to form your own phrases with what you have learned in each dialogue. Create your own dialogues. Slowly absorb the language. It is not about getting the perfect sentences. Complete it with stories for children, videos on YouTube and any type of material that provides you with basic grammatical structures and vocabulary.

The goal of this stage is to achieve a base in the language, with which you can communicate with a limited vocabulary, but broad enough to communicate your thoughts.

After a month or so, you should study more difficult textbooks. In addition, try to converse more in English. At this stage, many people are stuck forever. If you notice that you are stagnant, press a little and continue forward. Or change your strategy and do something else.

On many occasions, getting a teacher allows you to get out of that stalemate and gives you that push to the next level. Learn little by little and without pressure. Strive every day and be curious. Ask yourself questions and look for answers. Do not despair, everything will come. Be humble and face the fears. You are exposing yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Throw yourself into the void and build your own wings in free fall.

In the advanced stage, you can now use the language in real situations like reading novels, following podcasts and blogs or viewing TV series and movies. This allows you to increase your knowledge of the language without the need to use courses or books.

Motivation in the pure state

Thanks to my mastery of this language I can consume the best information worldwide, whether through blogs, e-books or videos on YouTube. I can watch English movies in original version without problems. I have friends from several countries with whom I communicate in English habitually. It has served me to be able to travel on multiple occasions to foreign lands and also to clear job and other interviews.

English has helped me to speak my own language better and to have a broader view of reality. It has allowed me to meet very interesting people. English is the communication tool of this century, and I dare to tell you without hesitation that if you do not know English you are at a disadvantage. If you do not know English you are a modern illiterate.

To end, learning English is not the end in itself, just a simple medium. It is a vehicle to get something more. English opens doors for you. It gives you possibilities and invites you to broaden your perception of events and life. Knowing English will change you forever. You will never be the same again after doing it and that, undoubtedly, is positive, since it implies personal growth.

My Experience with Learning English Language

  1. I was born in France and moved to London when I was 18 which is where I really had to brush of my English since my english was pretty bad prior. I also took classes a few times a week but I never really enjoyed them. Although it allowed me to meet other non French speaking people which really helped. We all met at the pub and had a couple of drinks and somehow learning English seemed to get easier after that :-)

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  2. This was very interesting reading as an native English speaker. The way you have learn the language is the best way, it really is what you put in studying yourself not just at a language school. I have been trying to learn Italian for years, as my husband is Italian & I spend a lot of time in Italy. I have been to schools, got the computer courses, but I am lazy at studying! I can get by, but no where near fluent. I need to take your steps into action!

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  3. Very informative article about the struggles of learning the English language. While English is my first language, it is not the case for my Korean wife who also had struggle and practice throughout the years to get ahead, although near perfect now.
    It looks as though your English has come a long way judging by the way this piece has been written. Well done.

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  4. Learning a new language is no easy feat, let alone mastering it as you have, so hats off to you! It's very interesting to read your journey to learning English. I'm a teacher in Asia, and many of my students are ESL learners. Immersion and exposure to English in as many ways as possible is the best way to learn, but like you said, the student's motivation is also a huge factor. Will definitely take your points into consideration.

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  5. The interesting part here is that in many schools, they put a lot of effort to teach English to kids but they can never speak fluently because that comes from practice rather than theoretical studies. Speak with your peers, and even watching movies and serials in that language are a good way to improve that. Thankfully you found the right company at the right time.

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  6. Learning a new language is never easy, so I'm very, very impressed! I've taken French and Spanish classes in college and tried to pick up Swedish while I was staying there for a month and never got very far. I know that you're absolutely right in saying that motivation and work makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing more about your experience.

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  7. Congratulations on your mastery of the English language, as a native I can tell you your written English is flawless. It's better than mine! I would have loved to learn other languages but my head was always full of nonsense when I was younger, but there is still time so you never know!

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