Learning for Survival

Speaking more than one language is what the globalization is all about. Nowadays, people have to understand each other to make the world a better place. This way, they contribute to each other’s efforts to build an open and intellectual generation which was not possible until people started learning each other’s languages. Therefore, I chose to learn English as a second language for many reasons including finishing my studies, learning new cultures and communicating with people from different societies.

     The turning point in my life was when I decided to go on a scholarship to the United States of America. First I applied for a scholarship and after that started to think more seriously because I had to learn a new language in a short time especially at my age because younger people – specifically kids – can learn many languages easily, but it becomes harder when people get older. The decision was a challenge for me because I had to change my life and routine to fit in with the people around me. However, eventually I made up my mind and decided to go to college in the United States. When I first arrived I felt so strange since I did not know how to speak and express myself. However, after a while, I started to learn the basics and succeeded in most of them. So I started to be more open and responsive to the changes in language. Indeed, I had to speak English most of the time and in the beginning I was afraid that I won’t be able to follow up, to speak and write in English which was a difficult for me. But when I signed up for the Intensive English Programs here in America I did my best to learn new words and strategies to write and speak fluently. I also practiced until I graduated from one who could not construct a simple question to one who would write down a full essay. I however feel like I still have room for improvement.

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     On the other hand, learning English made me learn and understand more about the American culture and lifestyle. This made it easier for me to interact as I spoke with various people on a variety of topics. I also got a chance to learn the language from native speakers.  My first American friend was the one who helped me completing some school papers when I was yet to learn English. I also got a chance to compare our various cultures and spot similarities and differences. For example, one of the American social habits that I wasn’t exposed to is the tip system and how much we give to the people who helped me in the various places I visited, so I asked my friend about it and he explained it clearly. Since then, I have understood many cultural habits that have helped me fit in with the American community. In addition, learning about another culture made me think wider than the circle I was living in and how big the world is and we are all part of the world with our thinking and creativity, also made me wiser in dealing with a variety of social differences because we share our values together. 

Learning English from the USA was advantageous for me. I got a chance to learn English by immersion from Native English speakers. It seemed much easier and natural for me than simply attending classes. Making friends was very difficult at the beginning. I almost resulted to sign language once in a while. With the foundation I have now, I can make friends easily and participate in social activities. I understand most of the English Language now and I am really enjoying my stay here. The much I have learned about the culture also makes me more accessible to friends through the English Language.

To make things even better, it happens that English is a global Language. Learning English has given me an extensive number of people to make friends with. The Language, being known across the world makes it possible for me to make friends with people from the USA and from other places too. Learning English has been an eye opening experience with the cultural diversity of the USA. It has enabled me to learn the cultures of so many people from across the globe. With the English language as the medium of communication, it has been easy to communicate with almost every person with the USA. The freedom and exposure provided by learning English has been tremendous.

 I am not the only person who has benefitted from my learning English as a second language. The fact that I can now communicate in English means I can now express myself in front of other people and give them a chance to learn about me and my culture as well. It has enabled me to share my experiences with my new friends, compare my culture with theirs and even become a better person around people from across the globe.

In conclusion, while learning the English language has been exhaustive and difficult, it has also been fun and enlightening. It has given me a chance to interact, learn and share with other people. Learning English has been more like giving me a voice to speak to the entire world. With this kind of knowledge, I feel like I uncovered a treasure that had laid hidden in me just to be discovered at this point in my life. I doubt I have learned anything recently that turned out to play a role as important as that which the English language has played in my life.

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