Thursday, November 25, 2010

My English Learning Try

My English Learning Try

My English learning experience is consisted of 4 stages.

The first stage was the time before I became an English teacher. In 1990s, when I was young, many children started learning English as they entered their middle schools. I still remember the time when I began to learn English I felt very confused due to the discordance between Korean and English. For instance, if I wanted to say human in English, I thought it would be okay to say 'saram' just translation of pronunciations of a Korean word. But I came to overcome that period and there were not many difficulties to meet demands of Korean English education system by memorizing words and solving reading comprehension questions for SAT. Even though I entered the English education department, that period wasn't very helpful because most classes were pedagogical classes in Korean. So I thought only 2 English conversation classes were all I took for increasing English ability directly. But 1 year for TOEIC studying helped me with my English listening. But hard time started after I became a teacher. I say that is 2nd stage.

I was a little above the average ability that the Korean education system asked, that was reading comprehension ability, but the changing society required English speaking ability. I taught 1st grade at my first year, and the next year 2nd grade, the next 3rd. Every chapter in English book includes speaking parts. And surprisingly, my speaking ability increased while I taught those parts to my students. What I taught and spoke in classes made me and my tongue familiar with repeated sentences naturally. So I felt a little confident of basic conversation. But whenever I participated other English teacher's training course, my confidence became shrunk again. Then I luckily joined the 6-months English teachers training course. That is the 3rd stage.
For first five month, we stayed in the dormitory from Monday to Friday, and everyday 6 hours classes we took. Those courses were not only for enhancement of overall English 4 skills but also for showing and sharing teaching skills of qualified faculty and participating teachers. Ideally, every participant should talk in English in dormitory. Although I couldn't keep the rule, I tried to speak English for communicating with others and solving given tasks for 5months. That was really helpful to increase my English ability, especially when I speak in English, the fear I used to feel reduced quite a lot. Also that experience I became a student again and learned English with fun made me eager to teach my students to feel like what I did, totally immersed in tasks and the need to communicate with others.

Already 2 years passed. Now I think I am at the 4 stage after the training course. My new challenge and task is to increase my English ability in the real world and individually compared to that training course. One way to solve the task is why I am here now. As many of you already know, there are many easy ways to achieve MA degree. But I think language learning for just improving conversation skill is quite vague and hard to achieve. I believe when language become a medium for each one's purpose, its original function, communication, will be activated. While I use English as an instrument to acquire what I want to get here, my English ability will increase naturally. Sometimes I feel shameful of my present ability, but I know this kind of time will raise me up for the next level. So, I am still trying.

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