Studying English

By finding your personal needs, you won't waste time.

Studying English has become very important for me. In the last few years I knew I would like to live and work abroad, so I started to deal with this language quite intensively. In writing this post, I would like to share the path of my studies, how I got here where I am, and some tips with you.

My English level is acceptable hopefully (ignore this statement if you're a native speaker ;) ). I have a 'half' advanced language certification. Just a half, because I have failed the listening part of the exam, and I've succeeded only with the written part of it. It happened more than a year ago, so if I tried again, maybe I could do more at listening now.

I started to learn English at secondary-school when I was 15 years old. For my huge luck, our teacher was strict yet great, so we've acquired a precise grammatical foundation. I did not like English at secondary-school. I did not hate it either, just did not care much: it was a compulsory subject from which I had to have good marks and pass exams.

By the end of secondary-school I obtained my intermediate English certification, because it was important for me to study further. Fortunately, I did not need the help of a private teacher, because as I've mentioned we've got quite a stable knowledge by our original teacher.

At the university I did not take part in English education, and I can say that for 2-3 years I have not dealt with the language at all. Lots of words fell out of my memory, and I could not use it in speaking either. It happened to me that I have gone to a job interview where I should have proved my English speaking ability, but I did not even understand the questions. It was very embarassing...

One and a half year ago, the thought of living abroad became very powerful in me overnight, and since that day I started to improve my English in an autodidact way. I do believe that being self-taught is the best way of learning. I directed and contolled my own studies, and chosed the technics which were the most suitable for my progression.

First of all, I have chosen a goal for which it was worth to improve. Despite it seemed quite a big challenge after 3 years break in my studies, I decided I'll try to pass the advanced English language exam. I ignored if this is a too big challenge or not, because I think significant goals help you achieve significant results.

I have bought a tiny grammar book which contained only the most important rules, so I just needed a quick refreshing about what I have already known. I made some notes, so when I got confused by the grammar, I could just take a look at them. I also started to watch a lot of movies in English with English subtitle, paid attention to the lyrics when I was listening to music, purchased a novel, and noted the foreign words from it into my vocabulary. Alongside my efforts, I started to write a hand-written diary in English, and it also helped me a lot. I remember when I wrote the first English page in it: it was not natural for me, I needed to consider the structure of almost every sentence etc., but in a year it became much easier.

I always had the most serious problem with listening. I think, this is the most complex part during someone's language studies, because the speed of speaking in different videos and films does not match with the speed of your comprehension sometimes, so by you understand something, the speakers may be three sentences ahead. However, you don't need to worry, because your understanding, and the speed of it comes along with the expansion of your vocabulary. You hear what you know, and it's very true.

And at last, the most important factor: my English has become ten times better when I started to learn from a native teacher. If you would like to reach a very good level, it is impossible without learning from a native speaker. S/he can correct you from time to time, and by listening and hearing how the language has to be spoken, you'll improve both consciously and subconsciously very fast. You don't always need to find an official teacher and pay a lot of money, just go to some websites/chat rooms maybe, and start to talk with native people from different countries.

These days, beacuse of my business with exams, I neglected studying English a bit, but I have just keenly started it again. It's getting more and more sure that I'll go to Northern-Ireland in August, and in order to find a job I'll need to have the right words in my mind. I am also interested in college studies there, but I don't want to rush, it's just an interesting idea for me. I would need to accomplish IELTS language exam for that anyway, so I don't know what will happen.

Do you have any experiences about IELTS? :)

Thank you for your time and attention by reading this post, please, join me on Facebook too.

x Rose

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