What comes first to your mind when you think about going to a language school? Most people will certainly think that that is a place to learn how to communicate in a foreign language properly and with a good level of grammar accuracy, right? Right. But that’s not only the thing that will define your experience there.
You must be aware that what comes in the bundle when you decide to study abroad goes beyond the acquisition of a foreign language itself. You will always learn something else, other than the target language, and that extra thing has the potential to positively change your life forever.
Of course that these learning experiences will depend on many factors such as the country you are going to, the language you are learning, the school you are attending, the people you are meeting along the way, and, most importantly, the person you are. The way you perceive the world around you plays an important role in making each new experience a good or a bad one.
In every place I go I try to make the most of everything. Letting go of the bad things and holding tight on the good ones.
During my stay in London was not different. Of course that there were some cultural shocks. That is normal. But what will always make you overcome them is the ability to look at the bright side and extract, as much as you can, the greatest things the locals can teach you. That, I did well.
Although my time at The English Studio was so short (only four weeks), I consider my learning experience M-A-R-V-E-L-L-O-U-S (as one of our teacher would always say). Not only did I expand my vocabulary and understanding of the English Language, but I also learned life lessons that I always carry on with me.
Here are the 5 most important ones:
#1 Excellence is everything
The conclusion I came across while having contact with three different teachers at The English Studio was; Excellence surpasses differences.
What I mean by that is that all of those three teachers were different. All of them had specific strategies and approaches to prepare us for the CPE exam. However, they all had something in common; the pursuit of teaching excellence. That made my learning experience a rich one.
All in all, speaking as a teacher now, the methodology you use in order to attain excellence is not as important as attaining excellence itself. It is just like a must-go destination, a paradise island, for instance, that you are planning to go and there are different ways to get there, either by plane or ship. It won’t really matter how you got there, but the fact that you got there.
#2 Never giving up is the key for success
Learning a second language is not an easy task. The older you get, the harder to absorb all that new information. Therefore, patience and hard work will play a crucial role in the process of mastering a new language.
Many times I felt dismayed for not understanding some grammar aspects, since they were so different from my mother tongue. But I did not give in. I kept walking in my pursuit of learning English, and things that were hard to comprehend in the beginning, started to become crystal clear to me at the end.
It was all a matter of not giving up and practice. The more you study and use what you learned in your daily basis, the better.
#3 It is ok to make mistakes
At the English Studio, there is this positive learning environment that you will feel safe to make mistakes, after all, is through trial and error that you will reach a satisfactory result in many areas of our lives. Language is just one of them.
#4 Communicating things well is paramount
It is said that if there is communication, then everything is OK. However, you cannot communicate things well to others without knowing the proper workings of the language. That’s why learning the grammar is important, and learning English at The English Studio is paramount. The teachers had great methodologies to teach us the English grammar and help us practicing what we had just learned.
#5 Expanding my world is a nonstop activity
It is common to say that the world is shrinking due to improved travels, communication and technology. For me, every time I travel and get in contact with a new culture, I get the opposite feeling. I feel my world getting bigger and bigger, and at this time couldn’t be any different. The English School is a place where the world meets. In my classroom there were people from Spain, India, France, Ukraine, Greece and, of course, Brazil.
Our classes were not limited to the learning of the English language only. Every single day we were learning cultural and historical aspects of England and all of those countries I mentioned previously.
That rich experience always makes us understand ourselves, others and the world better.