Humanising Language Teaching
Magda Starościak ( Gdańsk, Poland)
The majority of people I know think they would be the happiest people in the world if they could live in London. Everybody who's been there , always wants to come back. Probably I was the only girl who was not happy to live in London.
I went to London with my parents. I went to Polish school ( three times a week) and to an English school. The English school was a disaster. I did not speak any English at all! That's how I began to hate English. I was sure that everyone stared at me and ridiculed me. Reluctantly I started learning English and after some time I discovered I was quite successful : I would always get an A in all writing and grammar tests. Unfortunately, I felt too different from anyone else to speak English. Actually, I can recall two conversations I had in English which lasted longer than five minutes. I did not think I was capable of having a proper conversation in English.
Now, I think I was wrong. I spent a year in England and when I came back to Poland I enrolled for an FCE course without any problems. I can express myself and share opinions in English so I should have done it back there in England, but I was too shy, because the people around me were not Polish. In fact, I probably wasted a lot of time in London not being able to speak, but at least I could listen.