To begin with, it should be mentioned that studying English has already become an inseparable part of my life. I am sure this language is like a “lucky ticket” to my future life. Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “The limits of my language are the limits of my Universe”. And that’s really so because knowledge of different languages makes the “universe” of a person almost unlimited. In many respects, it is a perfect way of keeping up with the ever-changing world, since all the progress in technology, business, arts, medicine and education is mirrored in English, the most widespread international language.
I am glad to share my own experience of learning English with you. If you ask me why I have decided to study English, I would give you the following reasons. First of all, it will certainly help me to get a well — paid job after graduating from university, and then climb up the career ladder faster than others. Foreign languages are absolutely necessary for people nowadays, because of the growing international contacts between countries. English is one of the most often used languages in international tourism and business. That is why, specialists with the knowledge of English are wanted everywhere.
Moreover, the ability of speaking English helps people in different countries develop their friendship and mutual understanding. For instance, studying English gives me a brilliant opportunity to communicate with people and make friends while travelling about different countries even if I don’t speak in their native tongue. This is the main reason why I learn this language. Actually, there is one more saying I fully agree to: “Man is so many times man how many languages he knows”. I find it necessary never to give up studying foreign languages and not only English, but also French, because it is a widely spread language as well.
Besides, it is also music that makes me study the English language. When I listen to songs, lyrics are as important for me as the music itself. It has already become my hobby to make out words in British and American songs. While listening to different songs I learn a great number of English words, idioms and useful expressions; get to know different people`s stories about love, friendship, art and nature. Thus, I face different cultures, national peculiarities, social ideas and historic facts. Such activity broadens my cultural horizons.
It would be unfair not to mention the place where I study English so intensely and where I am getting the most profound knowledge of the language. Obviously, it is my school. It is called Gymnasia №2 and it is specialized in foreign languages. The English language is studied here in small groups, which gives a teacher an opportunity to make an individual approach to every student and makes it easier for students to master English vocabulary and grammar. Fortunately, my English teacher is an experienced specialist.
She uses a lot of different techniques of teaching English. For example, we read and listen to numerous interesting texts, then do various tasks to them; make up our own dialogues; watch films in English and discuss them. We mostly use authentic materials. Also, we make presentations and reports and have discussions on different problems where we can express our own ideas and points of view.
I would like to say a few words about the importance of examinations that are included in our school program and are held in the end of each school year. They contain listening or reading comprehension, some oral topics for discussion and a grammar or vocabulary test. My favourite one is an oral part of the exam where I can share my opinion on different problems with my teachers and become an equal speaking partner to them. On the one hand, these exams help me to enrich my knowledge of English; it`s a good exercise for my mind. On the other hand, they help me get ready for the final state exams. And sitting for these exams will be an opportunity to see what I have learnt.
I would advise any student, who is going to take such examinations, to mind the following rules. First of all, he should be determined and willing to succeed. It is the crucial point. Secondly, he should do much more than just attend classes and hand in the homework in a half – hearted way, meaning he should make a habit of learning English or reading something in English just for fun. There are many cases of people who were able to communicate in a foreign language after a few months of reading authentic books regularly. I would also advise him to write down lyrics of songs in English and learn verses by heart.
My experience shows that listening to songs is not only enjoyable but also memorable. For example, singing English songs to yourself while waiting for the bus is an excellent way of revising vocabulary. The best thing about this form of revision is that one can do it at any time and place. But there is one more technique which will help you to revise and recall information — to write down useful phrases or rules on small cards. One should carry the cards with him everywhere and revise vocabulary during the day.
In addition, I should say that taking part in all possible contests and competitions including Local, Regional, All — Union and International ones is essential, too. Students from my Gymnasia have already achieved some remarkable results the school can be proud of.
Another great opportunity to speak English is to attend our School Linguistic Camp. Every summer we have some college students from America to give lessons in English. We communicate with them not onlyfor the educational purpose, but also to learn more about their country, customs and traditions and also their culture and traditional food, holidays and what not. In our turn, we tell them many interesting facts about Russia.
To sum it up, I should say that the more I use English, the deeper I take to it. I use every single opportunity to enlarge my knowledge both inside and outside the classroom. I appreciate people who help me do it. Thanks to them I am getting a better idea how to shape my future, and how to achieve greater success in my life. I strongly believe, the English language for me is not just the only tool of achieving success but it is my “second nature”, to be exact. My hopes and dreams are connected to English; it is my inexhaustible source of inspiration.