Challenges When I was 12 years old, I started my second language training in English at a cram school. I was the oldest one in the class which was very embarrassing. At the beginning, it seemed easy. As I progressed to a higher level things became harder and more confusing. My English teacher at junior high school was awesome and was the one who made me start to love the language. Because of her communication skills, excellent teaching ability and passion it made me desperately want to get more involved in learning English.
It became my favorite subject. For me, grammar, communicating with people and writing essays are my challenges in learning English. With the most challenging part about developing my English skills was learning the grammar. In English, one word can have several meanings and/or different pronunciations which make it more difficult to understand and learn. For example, the word “record” has several meanings, including to set in writing or an actual hard copy of music. Everyone has their own unique accent which makes it difficult to understand.
For instance, some people with Middle Eastern accents may pronounce certain words differently to their traditional English pronunciation. One major thing that was different from my native language, Mandarin Chinese, is the order of sentences and the way I write them. When I had a conversation with someone I would think in my native language, then translate into English, and then rearrange the words to make it sound correct. When I was seven years old I started to play tennis. Later I traveled from country to country to play tournaments and I had to speak English in order to communicate with people.
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If I was playing doubles I would need to communicate with my partner so we were playing correctly. I could not be successful just because of my ability; I had to know English because it is the worst thing in tennis to not be able to communicate. Learning English is very important for me because of this. In professional tennis, English is the only language that is used during matches, so I want to study abroad and to get an education in English. Writing a formal essay is a very challenging endeavor, the strategies that I used were comma slices, syntax differentiation and grammar and punctuations.
For example, read more English books, magazines, and newspapers to improve my vocabulary skills and comprehension. Since the order of sentences is different from my native language. The tenses, grammar, punctuations and the order of the essay are very easy to make mistakes on. Making the sentences too wordy is the biggest problem for me. As I said, the more practice I do, the more likely I will have a better essay. Some people have better learning skills than others allowing them to catch up more easily than I do but I continue to work every day to improve my writing skills. A large portion of an essay includes vocabulary and its proper use.
This is the weakest part for most international students and has been challenging for me, so I carry my electronic dictionary everywhere and it has helped me to write this paper. In the end, it is important for me to learn English for many reasons. Even though it is difficult learning English gives many benefits and opens opportunities for my future. The more practice I have, the less afraid to make mistakes I become and it ultimately will help me to learn new things. English is an international language used to communicate all over the world. Learning to speak other languages, especially English, helps when I apply for a job.
It helps my resume allowing me to have a better chance to be hired. My strategies to learn English were and still are to force myself to speak to native English speakers. Talking to native speakers helps me tremendously and it made me start thinking in English when I talked to someone instead of Chinese and then translating in my head. This made my speech better and my responses much quicker. The more I talk, the more I can learn. Learning for me is getting involved with it, not just reading a textbook; we should try to use it in everyday life. I would say you use it or you lose it.
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