Saturday, 10 January 2015

The story of my love to the English language


I would like to share the story of my love to English language and my decision to teach it. It was not an easy way but I am very happy that I have made the right choice with my profession and that now I have the job I adore.

My students often ask me how long I have been learning English and frankly speaking it has been quite a while. However, English was not the first foreign language I started learning at school. The first school I went to was a small suburbian school which was situated not far from where I lived. When it was time for me to start learning a foreign language,which back then was at the age of 10 (in 4th grade) right after Primary school, we were told that there were not enough English teachers and our whole class started learning German. I can't say I disliked it. I enjoyed learning a foreign language and our teacher was great.

Somewhere at the back of my mind though I knew that English is a more popular language and I wanted to learn it. When my parents came to the headmaster of the school and asked him if the situation could be changed, he harshly replied that there were many different schools in the city and we could go to any of them. My parents asked me if I really wanted to learn English which I said I did. Our class teacher also thought that it was a good idea for me to move to another school where I could have students to look up to. In this suburbian school where I studied there seemed to be no challenge at all.

So my parents started looking for a new school for me in the city centre. There were several options and the choice was made in favour of the school majoring in English which was conveniently located not too far from the music school which I attended. There was one problem with this school though. It was one of the best schools in my city and children started learning English at the age of 8 there,in the 2nd grade. You can imagine how surprised the headmistress of that school was when we came there (there was another girl and a boy who also decided to change schools with me) and asked if we could go to this school while all we knew was German which we had studied for a year. So we had to join the class where by that time children had three years of English while we had one year of German language. We were told that if we managed to catch up with the rest of the class by September, we would be taken to that school. At that very moment a teacher came into the room,and my parents rushed to ask her if she was an English teacher. It was our luck- she turned out to be an English teacher and she agreed to tutor us during summer.

For the whole summer we were learning English. I think we had classes at least three times a week and we had to go to the teacher's place which was quite far away from ours. It was a challenge and it was hard work. The boy decided he did not want to put so much effort and quit. He decided not to change schools. But the other girl and I managed to cover two years of English during summer and we joined the class in September. The plan was to master the third year while studying at school. I still remember my first English lesson in a new school, I remember the text we had and how lost I felt, I did not understand much.

However,soon I started to enjoy the process of learning English and I came to realise that I loved it and wanted to connect my life with English. At that time I was not sure what I wanted to be but I knew I wanted my job to be connected with English. After all I went into so much trouble and had to put so much effort into learning it. When it was time to choose the University, I had no doubts that I wanted to continue learning English and the only place I could do it in my city was at the Teacher's Training University, the department of Foreign languages. I did not want to be a teacher back then and even my school English teacher questioned my choice because she felt I did not have a desire to teach.

It came to me while studying and having practice at school during my University years. I noticed that I was enjoying teaching, it was a pleasure. When I was a 4th year student I started teaching English at the University I started teaching students who were only three years younger than I was, it was quite a challenge. They did not treat me as a teacher I guess but I was still enjoying it. I did not know much about teaching because I was still studying methods of teaching. I know it can sound weird now when the majority of teachers at our Universities need a degree. Somehow I started my career like that and I had been teaching at that University for 15 years before I became a freelancer.

Now I can boast of having the most wonderful profession I can imagine. I am satisfied and happy with what I have. I go to work with the best of feelings every day, I love my job! I am so happy that my life turned out the way it did and that my parents supported my desire to learn English all the way, both at school and later when choosing the University. I love English language and I feel the greatest pleasure in improving it, learning new expressions, coming to realise some nuances of language. I really like this quote by Confucius: " Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life". I have a dream job, and every day I teach English is a great pleasure.

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