Центр моей жизни / The focus of my life
Today the focus of my life is learning languages. Since early childhood when I didn`t understand many things, I was dreaming about learning at least five of them. I always named English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and sometimes even Japanese. Of course these words meant very little for me then. I just heard them very often and wanted very much to be clever. When I was a small, I already realized that an intelligent person is a person who knows a lot in general and, especially those who can speak many languages. Now I see how difficult it will be to make my child`s dream truth. But I strongly believe if you really want something you`ll certainly achieve your aim in spite of all troubles you have to face with.
So, I have made my first steps on this long way I chose. The first language on my way is English. Already I have some results. It`s not a problem for me to express my feelings, or my opinion. People say that you know language only if you think in it. I personally don`t notice. I just speak and enjoy the process — there is no time to think in Russian then translate it into English.
No doubt English is my cup of tea — I like how it sounds, I like to speak fast and English gives me such possibilities. Maybe that`s why when I was a child I very often imagined myself as an English lady talking on the phone. At that time I didn`t know any English words yet but my imagination allowed me to transform Russian words.
It`s difficult to say exactly when I started to learn English and who should I thank for my love to it. This process can be divided into several stages and I have to admit that the first one wasn`tso successful. When I was about three perhaps four years old my father tried to teach me the phrase: «My name is Tania». I could repeat words separately but I couldn`t repeat the whole phrase although it would seem nothing difficult in that. Now I understand what my father`s mistake was: he wanted me to repeat like a parrot after him, while I think, he just had to speak with me. We know a lot of examples when children speak two and sometimes even more languages because their parents just communicated with them. There is an explanation of this fact. At early ages a child`s brain can soak up new information like a sponge. Well, I regret that I wasn`t as lucky as those children.
The next stage relates to school where I had five teachers. Each was very experienced and had own way of teaching. We paid our attention mostly to writing with one of them and we just read the textbook with other ones. Sometimes we even listened to some cassettes (progress, isn`t it?). Only one thing unites them. They all tormented us by grammar! We had to learn every rule by heart and to write endless exercises with typical sentences. It`s terribly boring when you are writing about thirty, absolutely the same sentences (they of course have different meaning, but seem the same because they have one principle in formation). Generally I was taught many things at school… but not using English in daily life. And what can be more important then to speak in language you are learning? Whether it is English or any other language, you learn it to communicate. Sadly teachers often forget about it.
Thus I came to the school of art in Marino three years ago with no idea how to speak English. As many pupils I was afraid to say something wrong, to make a grammar mistake. This school of Arts, and especially their spoken English lessons helped me to break the barrier, and now I can`t stop. Here I have opportunity to communicate with native speakers at least two times a year when I have my English exams.
My reminiscences from the first exam are still live. I remember this day very well. It was the first exam in my life and I used to hear about exams (Russian ones) as about something terrible, as about a nightmare. So it was a big stress for me. I couldn`t sleep that night and awoke very early. When I came to the school and was sitting in a small classroom with other pupils everything seemed to be good. Mister Bayley was telling something to us, and I have already calmed down. I don`t know why but I thought that I would be somewhere in the middle of the list and there would be a lot of time yet. I couldn`t even think that I will be the first! So, I didn`t expect to hear my name so fast and my reaction surprised even myself. I felt tears stream down my cheeks. What is more I couldn`t stop it. These were nerves and I suppose that Sandra (my first examiner) was scared more then maybe I was at that moment. I`m very grateful to her because she did everything to cheer me up. When the exam started I was so surprised. It was just a pleasant conversation in which I participated with ease!
I returned home and felt the burning desire to try it again. I told myself: no more tears and no more nerves. Since then, I always look forward to the next exam. I changed my mind about it. Now I know the exam can be a pleasant pastime. Also it`s the greatest happiness to realise that you can understand the interlocutor and he understands you. It means that I don`t work in vain. These exams inspire me for further learning.
In my opinion I made a huge progress within these three years since my first exam. Now I`m even helping to teach a small group of young children. There are eight pupils who are looking at me with their bright eyes and who are listening to me with attention. I`m so happy that I can share my skills and knowlege with them! I really enjoy it. And who knows maybe it`s my future profession (anyway I`m sure it will be connected with English). Of course I`m far away from a real teacher. But it`s a good experience which is very useful for me.
Definitely my life wouldn`t be complete without English. It changed my life, my way of thoughts. Now English language is some kind of a hobby for me but it`s certainly my future, — the focus of my life.