Struggling with English.
I am Nuria Juárez, an education specialist and Spanish teacher from Spain. I have been trying to learn English almost all of my life and finding out how to learn a language effectively and fluently would become soon one of my goals as a language teacher.
When I was a child I used to learn English grammar at school. Unfortunately, we never practiced talking, we just had some books and listenings. The English learning system wasn’t very solid at that time.
In the last few years, I attended different English courses where I learnt a lot. However, I still felt I didn’t progress as much as I was expecting. Then I realized I didn’t know how to learn a language indeed.
After thinking about my situation, I realized I was stuck and I needed to change my learning methods.
How I try to overcome my mental block.
One day, I decided to live in Australia.
I really wanted to overcome my mental block with English by becoming fully integrated into the way of living and thinking of the country, by creating my ‘Australian self’.
I found another problem, though….
Surprisingly, I realised after a few months that I was surrounded by Spanish all around…
I worked as a Spanish teacher in a language school, had Spanish friends and lived with Spanish-speaking housemates. Sometimes, even when buying at the supermarket or eating out at a restaurant, people would speak to me in Spanish…
Practising English was almost impossible! It soon became clear to me that my goal of learning the language effectively and fluently and becoming integrated into the culture was not going to be fully accomplished.
That was when I asked myself, what is the point of being in another country and not being able to learn the language and culture properly?
Despite my efforts to organise Spanish-English language exchanges, study on my own or talk to locals, I still felt that I was not fluent enough and did not have the necessary vocabulary in English.
I sometimes could not understand everything that people were saying to me or hold a full conversation in a group. It took me ages to put a sentence together, and although Australians are super respectful and patient, I felt I had to do more.
Researching how to learn a language
So, I did a lot of research and deliberation on how to learn a language effectively and fluently and then put it into practice.
I analysed what was not working for me, I sought extra help and created my own study method. Then is when I started a 30 minutes practice plan every day in order to gain perseverance and fulfill my goals.
Would you say I did it? 😉