Tuesday, 29 May 2012
The Student´s Perspective - A Learning Journey
Inspired by the #ELTCHAT Challenge and a class assignment, I invited a student to blog about her learning journey as an EFL learner. Cintia Overvag is one of my students at Cultura Inglesa, and I am really proud of her for accepting this challenge. Cintia is about to complete the first term of her upper-intermediate course and you will be able to see that she is a very talented learner. This is her post, without any editing from me.
NEVER GIVE UP - MY ENGLISH LEARNING JOURNEY
by Cintia Overvag
Hello my friends, here I’ll tell you a little bit about my long journey in attempt to learn the English language. As everybody knows, the best time in life to start learning a second language is when we are children. Therefore, to understand what has happened with me, I’ll explain the function of the education system here in Brazil.
According to our regular system, English language is mandatory only after students start high school, when we are teenagers. In other hands, we have a huge number of students who can’t finish their basic education. So the majority of population here does not have a clue of English. I really think that we should start to learn English in the regular school as earlier as possible! At least, this is the reality in many other countries, where they have their main language and the English is almost consider an official second language. This is because their public school teachers all population a high Standard English language.
In fact… well… you know… the whole thing is even more complicated than that, because besides the public schools, we have the private schools, its system is a little bit different.
Some schools (normally very expensive) have English as a first language, where the students will have the best opportunity to learn. Another model of private schools where they teach English as a normal subject, and the students will learn according to their level of interest, I mean… these schools don’t push too much. And to improve their learning process, normally these students have to go to private English courses.
Eventually and unfortunately my journey to learn English language belongs to the first case. I started to learn English when I was fourteen years old, in the eighth grade. At that time I had already realized how important it would be to know the English language for my professional life. But as a matter of destiny I could only dedicate to study English after I was 19 years old. In that time I was trying to get into a university. As a test in one of many foreign languages was required I decided to apply for English.
Therefore I began on the private English course. Oh my God, I can barely realize that this happened almost 20 years ago! Why so many years trying to learn a foreign language? In fact this is really what I always ask to myself. I’ll tell you a small secret: I’m still studying English! The point is, I have begun some different private courses as Oxford, CCAA and (the best one) Cultura Inglesa, but for many different reasons I had to stop for a while. As you can see I haven’t studied continuously nor haven’t practice so much what I have learned.
To tell you the true, nowadays I can understand and speak much better than before, but to my concern this is changing a little bit slowly. The writing, as you will probably verify, still is a huge problem for me. You have no idea how difficult it was to start writing this BLOG! I really felt uncomfortable. But as I never give up, I'm still studying, and I will do until I reach a good level of reading, listening, writing and speaking English. I have so many goals and so many crazy dreams related to this language that I really love. I’m 38 years old, and I don’t mind to study until I pass to 50s, because I see very clearly that learning a second language bring to us another totally different world.
I have to tell you another secret: besides this private English Course I’m doing, what really increased my learning was that six years ago I met my husband who is from Norway. There are many countries, you know, as Norway where English is not the officially second language, but is a professional and business language.
Therefore, we have our day by day life the English as our main language, which is very good to me. However he is trying to change as he needs to learn Portuguese, but this history I’ll tell you another time! I’ve been in Norway many times and there I can only communicate in English with family and friends. Also here in Rio we regularly meet some friends who can’t speak one Portuguese world, so I have no other option unless speak English.
This is for sure something that has helped me a lot, and I’m so proud of this, especially when I picture myself 20 year ago where I could barely spell some basics sentences as for instance “what is your name” and “where are you from”!
So my friend, you know, I have a long journey ahead and I’ll never give up, because I have a world to achieve. Don’t you agree?!
Postado por Giselle Santos às 10:27