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Just say it aor how I learnt to speak English. The Personal Narrative - Essay Example

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English language has always been a source of amusement for me. I have grown up watching a lot of English movies. I especially used to enjoy watching the action movies. My favorite movie stars were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvestor Stallone, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan…
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Just say it aor how I learnt to speak English. The Personal Narrative

Download file to see previous pages... Watching their movie, I used to think that I will be able to speak English very easily. Although I did not understand all the words that Stallone or Schwarzenegger said, I used to get an idea of what they were saying. It was much later, when I came to know that I was going to the US, and was required to speak English, that I realized that my favorite stars did not actually say much in the movies. It was their guns and hands that did most of the talking, and not their tongue. I started thinking that if I had chosen to watch maybe the romantic movies or the dramatic movies, I would have learnt English more easily. At least, my travel to the United States would have been smooth. I realized that just listening to someone speak a language cannot make you fluent in that language. With this discouraging realization, I landed in the United States. It was not that my English was bad, but it was not good either. I could manage to speak in broken English. I could read and write quite nicely. But when it came to speaking, I used to choke. I realized that the fear of being laughed at, or being ridiculed, hampered my efforts to speak in English. My friends and relatives in the US were unaware of my inner struggle with English. I conversed with them in my regional language so the question of my inability of speaking good English never really came up in front of them. However, it was bothering me a lot. I knew that in some time, I will join the college, mix with people and will have to speak in English without an aid of my own language. I decided to hone my English speaking skills. The very next day, I bought a book that promised to teach how to speak fluent English. To avoid my family members from knowing my dilemma, I used to go to a nearby coffee shop, order whatever I saw in the pictures that were stuck on the wall, grab a corner table and immerse in the book. This became my regular habit. I used to go to the coffee shop at early hours to avoid rush of customers. It used to be deserted at early hours and that provided me with the silence and peaceful environment that was necessary to concentrate on my ‘study.’ This went on regularly for some days. I became sort of familiar with the waitresses and the cashier at the coffee shop. However, I kept my conversation limited to a ‘hello’ and a ‘thank you.’ Things were going fine till I became aware of a pair of eyes watching me intently for past few days. I realized that one of the waitresses was keeping an eye on me since past few days. She was in her late forties, with plump physique and blonde hair. From the way she was treated by her colleagues, I could tell that she was working there since a long time and had gained a respectable position. Even though she was just a head waitress, she had an authoritative attitude and her authority was accepted by others. I got to know that her name was Jennifer. From the way she watched me, I could make out that she was curious about what I was doing. I started feeling uncomfortable and awkward. Thoughts like “am I looking stupid,” “am I doing something wrong,” “am I breaking some coffee shop rule which I am not aware of,” “is it crime to read books in coffee shop,” “is she going to call police” etc., started haunting my mind. I became restless with these thoughts and was thinking of stopping going to the coffee shop. However, I knew that I was making some progress and gaining confidence by reading the book. Even though I had not yet started to speak in English, I was ‘feeling’ that I will do that in a few days. However, I was not at all aware that the very next day I was going to learn a big lesson in my life. As usual, I got up in the morning, got ready and went to the coffee sho ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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