„I need to learn English! I need to learn Spanish!“ you might hear yourself saying. Or you might need to learn another language for your life or career.
The fact is that language in another country is totally different from learning in your home country because you can embrace other cultures and you can really be in touch with this language abroad. I had studied English in Brazil for two years, but I really learned it when I lived in NYC for six months. It was amazing. Being there made a big difference.
American people are so polite and encourage you to speak. It’s normal to hear people say, „Don’t be shy“ ,“You can do it,“ or „Just try“. I’m sure that when you are in another place, learning the language that you wish is more complex than you imagined. I cannot say it’s easy because you’ll come across many new forms – idioms and sentence structures that you have never seen before.
Brazil has excellent English schools, but you can’t learn exactly the American way here. In your home country you never need to buy something in English, ask for information in English or talk with someone in English. In class you learn in Portuguese about English and often not with an American teacher.
However, in NYC I didn’t have a choice. Every day was a challenge for me – all the time.
Of course you need talk with yourself and work hard and study a lot to make the dream come true. English is not easy as ABC unless you are in the right place. It is a daily exercise that you need to practice. Even now in Brazil I am still studying English and practicing every day with my amazing friends while keeping in touch with my nice teachers from Zoni – people that I met during my travels. Even though learning English is quite difficult, I’ll never give up on it because my goal is to get a good TOEFL score. That’s so important to my life and career.
It’s magical. If I can give you some advice it is exactly this – Pick up your suitcase and go. Go to the city that you wish to learn about. Go to the city whose language you want to master.
Amanda de Gama, Brazil
Zoni Language Centers, Manhattan Campus
(Source: Zoni Voice Vol. 12)