The two questions I’ve received most in my life:
How did you learn English?
How did you work abroad?
You can read my work abroad here in a short time. Now let’s start with the first question.
How did I learn English?
Foreign language education in our country is being given since the 4th grade in elementary school, we all know that, we have all received. “What is your name?” the first question we learned was, “Sit down!” first sentence we learned.
Sometimes I think, how a person can not speak a word about a language that he/she saw in his lesson from the age of 10? How does one not even have a single word in mind, and how do they try to learn a foreign language more than once when they graduate from university?
In fact there are many answers to these questions. Now our subject is not to criticize the education system, the way students work in our country, or to try to find a solution.
I will tell you how I learned English in my own life.
Note: You can read my article about my learning techniques for foreign languages, not just English.
Why Did I Want to Learn English?
Knowing English is no longer an advantage, because it is seen as something you must already have. When you go to a job interview, your level of English as a beginning point may make you appear to be among the elimination candidates.
I was well aware of this while studying engineering, but the reason I wanted to learn a foreign language was not just getting into a good job about my profession. I was very excited to talk to foreign people, to learn about their religion and way of life.
Also everything on the internet was of foreign origin, I had to know a certain level of English even in order to be able to apply for European Union projects, look at the application, not to mention the times I will attend.
And obviously there was a Jim Sturgess, I could have learned English just to talk to him. 🙂
What did I do to learn English?
I loved learning English in elementary school, and then I graduated from Anatolian High School.
I had something to do, I wanted to know, but I wasn’t doing anything special for that. I was just listening to the lessons, studying for the exams and passing.
When I started university, I started to take Professional English lessons, and in the advanced English classes, the teacher said “How are you?” I’ve been from people who can’t answer the question.
A foreign language that never intended to work excessively, when I was aiming, turned into a tool that I was interested in when I finished taking the course.
It was effected by the people I met in the school communities, of course, the foreign friends, the European Union projects, my desire to do an internship abroad, and the desire to live abroad and find work when I was in the 3rd and 4th grades.
It was necessary for me to know English and I had to do something.
And here I have to say what is the greatest motivation to learn a language:
If you have to do something, you have to find a way to do it.
I’ve been doing this all in English. I was using my phone in English, I was keeping a diary in English. I was following the sites I used with English and I was trying to stay away from sites with Turkish language options.
Because I already knew Turkish, the language I needed to learn was English!
Apart from this, foreign series and music were very helpful, I was able to watch TV series and I was learning new words and phrases through subtitles.
I was trying to write articles on my own, and then I searched the sentence sentence in google search, and I was looking at whether such a sentence was used 🙂
And maybe the most I’ve developed myself was this: I made a friend from India one day and I asked him to tell me something in English every day. He was telling me about his faith, life in India, the places he wants to visit. And I’ve been telling him to Turkey.
It felt so hard to use / install phrases I thought I learned while watching the series!
While in Turkey I was thinking a certain level of English can learn things, and now I had enough confidence.
I could go to the main stage of language learning.
I didn’t encounter too many foreign people because of I am being in Konya, anyhow there was no one to speak English in our class.
But I had a touristic place like Mevlana.
For this I was going to Mevlana, I would try to talk to tourists from China to Thailand.
Since I have already spoken in very simple speeches, I had no problem understanding and I was feeling very comfortable. Of course, the most important progress in practice was to go abroad.
If anyone says: “When you go abroad, you learn a language perfectly”. Do not believe these sentences.
If you go without knowing it, it turns as you go, you just add yourself to the places you’ve traveled. If you want to improve your foreign language abroad, you must at least know some basic things. After learning the basic topics, I thought that I could improve my English abroad.
Of course, I thought that this part of the development would be immediate and as soon as I knew that I could build all the sentences I knew, I could start speaking English and think English or something. (Visions)
But, that didn’t happen the way I thought.
When I went abroad for the first time, passport control at the airport, the British woman asked me, “What is your purpose of visit?” I did not know how to respond to such a simple sentence.
Yeah, I knew all the grammar rules. Yes, I could easily make a sentence when I was writing, but I remember very clearly when I came to talk…. It was like a horror movie for me. (Truths)
Maybe my first sentence was the hardest talk of my life.
But my second sentence was easier.
My third sentence was easier.
And finally I realized that I started to establish in English directly without thinking the Turkish of sentences in my head. This was not a very long time. Maybe not more than 10 days. People get used to everything. Learning right away and practicing.
If the purpose is to get people to deal with it, you can do it anyway. You will see. But if you want to sit down and talk about a technical matter, you’re gonna have to try.
When I started to work, everyone’s attention was on me because of I am from Turkey and everyone was asking questions about my country.
What Didn’t I Do While I was Learning English?
I did not attend a language course or get an online language learning course.
It is also a proven method in which can improve the language by reading English books, but I did not read the any English book.
I did not download or use any application that you can talk to foreign people. Because I didn’t think that the “hello hello” style of talking to a different person every day would help me.
I didn’t try to memorize words, I remembered every word as soon as use them.
What did it earn?
The easiest part of my personality was that a self-confidence I had. I said the sentence I wanted, if they were wrong, they were already correcting. But the fact that I was able to get that trust was to think that I had the
I knew that my English accent or English language knowledge did not have to be perfect.
As long as I feel comfortable, I knew I could talk the way I wanted. The important thing was trust, the important thing was feeling good. Now, if I go back to the beginning, do you understand why we can’t speak English since grade 4?
Because they laughed at our mistakes, we were ridiculed. Isn’t it annoying to know that every sentence you say is being scrutinized? You can learn English the day you go. Don’t worry, don’t think too much.
It will be easy to use technical English after you can speak enough English. I’ve told you so long. In this way, I first learned the basic parts, trying to talk, then I’ve consolidated abroad.
I developed my technical English in terms of engineering by working abroad. Sometimes I did an English presentation in front of hundreds of people, sometimes I had a conversation with a single Dutch friend about the Orthodox and Islamic traditions until 3 in the night.
It’s no different than speaking to a single person or hundreds of people. Because when you look at it, the most beautiful thing that the foreign language will add to you is self-confidence.
The self-confidence of achieving something, the pride of being able to agree with others in a different language.
That’s how I learned. How do you learn or plan to learn?
Do you want to share it with me?