Here at Intrepid English, we always say how fortunate we are to have such a wonderful group of students. In today’s blog and podcast, I am chatting to one of those wonderful students, Sevgi. We discuss her experience of learning English and what it was like for her to move to London. She also has some useful advice for English learners.
Hi Sevgi, please introduce yourself to everyone
I’m Sevgi and I’m 34 years old. I was born and grew up in Turkey. My hometown is Ankara which is the capital city of Turkey.
Tell me about your move to London.
I moved to London with my husband 2 and a half years ago due to my husband’s work. And luckily, we love it! We’re planning to live in London for the foreseeable future.
Did you have to overcome the language barrier to make friends?
At first, I found it really difficult! I didn’t understand a word they said and I felt like they were speaking another language which I didn’t know! ????
Tell me about your experience of studying English.
I was taught English at school and I’ve always worked in and with international teams, so English has always been a part of my educational and personal life. But, this was the first time that I’m in a fully British environment. So, the first year I wanted to take a sabbatical to concentrate on improving my English to adapt to our new environment and settle down.
Now you’re considering taking the IELTS exam, right?
I’m qualified as a pharmacist, and to be able to practise as a pharmacist in the UK, I have to be registered in the UK. To be able to apply to register as a pharmacist, I need to provide evidence of my English language competency first. That’s why I am considering taking the IELTS Academic exam.
Can you tell us about any difficult areas of the IELTS Academic exam?
I think the most challenging part for me is to speak in a structured way. I also think find the writing really hard because of the limited time and also the topics are really boring.
Had to taken any lessons online before you had lessons with me?
You asked this question to an experienced student! I’ve tried different teachers at various platforms.
How did you find the experience?
Learning a new language is not easy and as much as I want to improve, I also want to enjoy spending my time on it. I couldn’t commit to any of my teachers before because this kind of teaching requires perfect balance. It is easy to repeat the same things without any change or improvement, or being so strict and get the student bored. So, I was about the give up on this journey, to be honest. Luckily you were there! Because I found you, my approach has changed, I changed my approach to learning English.
In what way have you changed your approach to learning English?
Language is an organic thing which evolves over time so I think it’s a never-ending story even for native English speakers. And as a non-native, in the beginning, I was so afraid of talking to others, making mistakes, hesitating because of lack of vocabulary… all of these negatively affected my daily life. I had become reluctant to communicate with others. And you can’t make friends or find a job without talking! 🙂 After I found you, Lorraine, finally I started to see the improvement of my language skills which encourages me to communicate with others more and that was the start of new relationships and opportunities for me. And you made me realize I’m much better than I thought. So, it’s not only about language skills, as non-native speakers we need a little push in the right direction. We’re not shy, I mean not all of us, not me, obviously, so I want to thank you to help me to be me again in another language!
Thank you, Sevgi, that’s really sweet of you to say. It’s a really lovely moment when you are able to overcome your fear and let some of your personality show when you’re speaking in a second language. I remember feeling that way when I was speaking German. It’s quite difficult to get to that point, but when you have that feeling, it’s addictive; you want to carry on learning. When I know that a student’s experienced that, I look forward to how excited they are going to be to learn more.
Yes, it was a relief and then now I want to go further.
Have you ever had an ‘Aha!’ moments or surprising moments when you have impressed yourself with your English skills?
Yes, when you asked me for this podcast. I was more than surprised actually!
Well, thank you for being here. So far we’ve had a few interviews with the teachers, so it’s really lovely to have an interview with a student. So, what advice would you give to other students?
Don’t give up, there might be some unpleasant reactions while you talk to some people and we should admit that it’s also not easy to understand someone who is not speaking fluently. But don’t take any of those reactions personally. And Enjoy!
That’s excellent advice, Sevgi. Thank you very much. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we say goodbye?
I’m glad that you asked me to join this podcast and I’m glad I found you! And thanks for encouraging me to make mistakes and not feel bad. And having learned about the language, it’s helped me to absorb the culture better. I can’t thank you enough for helping me to feel this way.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experience, Sevgi. Feel free to chat with us in our Community any time!
Sevgi mentioned, learning English doesn’t just happen overnight, it can take a while to reach your English-language goals. That’s why we have created the Intrepid English Academy, a library full of self-study courses to maximise your valuable studying time.
So, if you are still wondering if online English lessons are right for you, why not book a free trial lesson today and talk about your English goals with an experienced and friendly English teacher. It’s never too late to reach your English goals!
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This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher and Founder, Lorraine.
Find out more about Lorraine on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.
Book a free trial lesson today and talk about your learning goals with an experienced native English teacher. Say goodbye to boring English lessons! If you’re not sure what you want to learn, let your teacher choose from the range of English courses that have been designed to help our students to achieve their goals.