English becomes official language in almost the whole world. In school we learn Basic English but let be serious – did we actually learn something? I have been learning English at middle school, but when I came to UK three years ago I did not know anything. Literally! Nothing! I came for personal reasons but I stayed because I like UK and mostly I like Newcastle upon Tyne. I stayed to work and to study and I enjoy living here.
However, as I had no knowledge or maybe just a little bit, I could not even think about going to the shop to buy something. I was afraid not to talk to people but of their reaction if I make a mistake. We all know that is called language barrier. But why it is so difficult? Everything needs practice. I was meeting only Bulgarian people, watching movies with Bulgarian subtitles and rarely was listening to the lyrics of English songs. After four months of staying at home and doing nothing I started an English course in University of Sunderland. It really helped because I have met people with basic knowledge of the language and also people who want to talk but afraid to do it. That has changed everything. More practice – more knowledge and that was my goal to achieve, my priority at the time.
Eventually I got a bit more comfortable and with a bit of luck and help of a friend I start working as a waitress. Listening to people who speak English all the time and trying to talk to them is the best way of learning. Of course I required a correction when I do a mistake. They helped me a lot! How I learned English? I was talking to people. I was social. I was trying to be everywhere and to listen to everyone. Being at home in front of the computer could give an excellent knowledge but will not give you the experience of actually talking.
I have a few friends who are having difficulties not understanding but talking and that is why it is called ‘language barrier’. As much we practice as more we will be able to speak English. If we do not take the initiative of learning even the best teachers will not help us! Good luck to the beginners!
I have no attribution to the picture. The credit to it is on Flickr.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/