my class

Overcoming my English-learning challenges

I tell the story about how I stopped hating English, what and who got me interested in it, and what helped me on my journey.

In this story about how I stopped hating English and got interested in it:

The first 2 years I studied English at school, I was sure that it was not my thing. It was a torture.
I was a very hard-working student. I was good at every other subject. But I remember I never felt sure at English classes – about what I hear, what I read, what I translate. The teacher’s corrections which didn’t make sense and only confused me. I remember resenting English and wishing to be anywhere else but there. Horror mixed with indifference.

1 step to overcome my English-learning challenges

Everything I had done before that – in class and at home – was learning the rules, doing exercises, and completing the assignments. That time we were covering the topic “Travelling” and we were tasked to describe a trip we took. Usually, we would take a sample text from the textbook and learn it by heart, and then just recite it in front of the class.

But that time something stopped short in me. Maybe the fact that I grew up in a village and hadn’t been anywhere worth talking about, and only dreamed of going somewhere.
I imagined flying in a plane, looking out a porthole. I imagined flight attendants’ uniforms. I imagined how the horizon would  when we’d start landing. I tied to imagine what my first words would be after exiting the airport.
My dream and my imagination picked up a dictionary and started painting a picture – with words.

The firsts on my English journey

As far as I remember, this was the first time I used a dictionary to express myself, not to do exercises.

This was also the first time my class listened to a story different from the one in the textbook.

This was probably the first time the teacher was proud of me.

It was the first and crucial shift: I realized that English is not just a school subject, but a way of understanding and expressing yourself.

I realized that in English I could remain myself and prove myself. I could be more and better than without it.

English stopped being a spiderweb to get stuck in, and became a light that makes everything clearer. I started seeing English not as swamp or quicksand you drown in, but as a beach or sandbox where you can build anything out of the sand.

That’s how my English journey started.

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Overcoming my English-learning challenges
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