I started learning English (well, sort of but not really) when I was in 7th grade.
I was living in what was then Yugoslavia and now it’s part of Serbia. I lived in Beograd and only spoke Serbian and a very little Russian. You see, in this country students start learning a foreign language in 5th grade. I wanted to sign up for English, but by the time I got to the school, those classes were full and the only other option was Russian. So I had to take Russian.
How did I start learning English 2 yrs later?
Thanks to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I learned “I wanna hold your hand” and “Satisfaction” and “Eroplane” (yes, that’s how I heard it and that’s how I pronounced it) Those words were the extent of my knowledge of the English Language. Oh, did I mention that I didn’t know what any of those words meant? At that time, there was no google translate to help me out, so I just knew some words from a song and had no idea what they meant. My family didn’t listen to that kind of music and my friends didn’t know either.
After my 8th grade, my family and I moved to America and with my knowledge of English, I started high school within 2 months of arrival.
Talk about immersion into this part of my life….this was a gigantic step for a 15 yr old.
- a new culture
- learning a new language
- making new friends
- being the translator for my non-english speaking parents
- learning my new surroundings
- being the oldest freshman in high school
That first year (or rather 1/2 year, I started in January) was very difficult. Needless to say, I didn’t know anyone and couldn’t speak the language, so could not communicate with anyone. Not too long after I started, most likely about 2-3 weeks, I met a couple of girls who spoke my language and things started to get better.
Learning a new language can be fun and exciting, but when you are thrown into it, it can be rather frightening and demoralizing.
Since then, I have grown in to a wonderful woman with a slight accent.
More of my story in Part #2.
Be Good to Yourself