I would like to start this very first post by talking about how I learnt English. I know that my story will not be unlike that of many other language learners but, as it was successful, I believe it is worth sharing.
I started studying English when I was about 6 years old, attending different language schools. Soon after, I also had English lessons at school, which, due to the typical overcrowding in the Spanish education system, were quite boring and useless. In fact, throughout my school and high school years, English was usually considered a “maría” -that’s what Spanish students used to call a doss subject, alongside PE or Arts.
In any case, I soon found that I liked languages and that I was quite good at it. What made me a good student? Well, one of the differences I found with my classmates was that I was always curious to learn new things and to try and use them. So, my motivation was quite high.
I could also see that I was not afraid to make mistakes and that, on the contrary, I was quite talkative even if my grammar or vocabulary was not good. That usually granted some appraisal from my teachers, which gave me a sense of confidence.
When I started high school I was quite certain what I wanted my future to be; I was one of those rare teenagers who really knew what their vocation was. So I chose a path that would take me to university to course English studies so that I would become an English teacher.
During those years, it was difficult to watch English films or TV series but I tried to read English magazines and short books to practise as much as possible. I also had the chance to spend some time in the USA, living with an American family.
And then, I started university! And that was the biggest step in my learning history. As I was taking an English degree, all our tuition was in English, which meant that I experienced almost full linguistic immersion. To make the most of the experience, I used to meet my classmates after lectures to speak in English and prepare for our exams.
So, did I learn everything then? No, of course not! Learning a language is a never-ending process; we can always learn new words, expressions or even grammar rules if our minds are open.
Last but not least, my advice to you? Practise as much as possible, be curious, never lose heart, and take any opportunity to speak, read, write or listen.
Would you like to share your learning story?