A personal article
|It was the late 80s. My parents were divorced. I was living with my mom and my sister in a tiny house, in a town near Buenos Aires city, called Victoria, in the Northern area of the province of Buenos Aires. I was quite young, just about ten years old, when I asked my mother to enroll me in an English class. Those were difficult times! She was working in a house as a cleaning lady so we didn't have much money, and we didn't get any help from my dad. Anyhow, she didn't find it hard to find a suitable course. You know, moms are like superheroes when they are in charge, so she managed to find an affordable school for me to get started. And there I went!|
I started learning English in a state school in Florida, a town not so far from where I lived. I had to take a bus which went along the Panamericana highway, which let me be there in no more than half an hour. I remember I loved learning a second language! It was my little world. We used a book called V8, and the following year we used one called Snap! I remember reading the dialogues and looking at the drawings and pictures. I was living my own adventure. My English books were like a window to a new world, a new and different culture. I still remember Nick, Sam and the dog Oliver. I also remember those English neighbourhoods with detached houses, front gardens and white fences, and children playing and smiling.
A few years later, I moved to my grandmother's house. I was attending secondary school when I decided I wanted to make a change and take my lessons in a different school. So I grabbed the telephone book and checked the yellow pages, where they used to advertise different types of businesses and their phone numbers. That's when I found a private school of English in San Isidro, a wealthy town near my grandma's house. According to Wikipedia, it ranks as the province's most affluent neighborhood. So I phoned them and I asked for an appointment. I was fourteen now. My mom said that she would phone the place and see if she could afford it. I was really happy when she said could pay for it! So that's how I became a student in that school of English, which was called English Cultural Centre from San Isidro. I loved going there. I remember I had to do a placement test and after that they decided to send me to 3rd year adults!
Then came 1991, a special year that would change my world forever. I remember I was not doing well at school. It was that part of your life when you start listening to music and reading magazines for teens. I remember I was listening to the radio when they played the number one song in those days: It must have been love by Roxette. Oh, my God! That was a great song by a great singer! I wanted to know more about her since I didn't know who she was. Then I found out they were a Swedish duo: a guy and a girl who sang in English. I remember copying the lyrics to their songs in a copybook I had bought. I also pasted some pictures I found in magazines. It was my hobby. And that's how I got more and more interested in learning English. I still remember those lyrics by heart! Would you believe it?
In sum, that is how I became an English learner. Then I went to college and became an EFL teacher, which is a different chapter. But my message is: Don't be put off by obstacles! That is what life is all about. If you are going through difficult times, trust the ones you love. There will always be a helping hand to help you find the way: family, friends, teachers... No one makes it on their own. I promise.