Citizen of the World
I was scrolling down the list of the topics for the summative task. I was looking for something less technical, less methodical, something more ‘human’ I’d say. A title straight away jumped to my eyes: ‘How can English influence a student’s future career’.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Christian A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
My Personal Experience
While reading that line I felt that whatever I was doing at that moment, in that stage of my life, that surrounding, whatever I was doing in that instant, in that specific part of the world, would be pure imagination If I had not learnt English.
I needed a personal approach, a tangible example to express my view on the argument. I thought that the best way, the most natural and honest way to talk about it would be to tell my story, my experience with learning English and how it shaped my character and my career.
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English in My Life
It’s for my hard to explain the impact that this language had in my life, it brings back memories of embarrassment, anger, struggle, sleepless nights, and then smiles, laughter and eventually satisfaction together with a hard to describe confidence when you realize that that language, the one that made you feel you like an ‘alien’, became yours.
The will to learn and master the English language took me out of my comfort zone, my country, away from family and friends right after finishing school. My language knowledge was very mediocre due to a lack of motivation, why should I learn this language? I won’t need it.
But then we grow up, we change together with our goals and suddenly I found myself in London, begging for jobs that I was never going to land. I waited and waited for replies that never came.
That’s when I realized that I needed to take a step back. I wasn’t going to be part of that world, to understand that culture without knowing the language. I quickly learned that I had to lower my job expectations, to sacrifice and push myself like I never did before.
7 years on, I’m sitting down in a café, writing about the importance of learning English for students. I smile. It’s been 7 years since I left home, I’m a manager in the hospitality industry, I’ve lived in 3 different continents, 4 countries, travelled over 20, worked for over 10 establishments, I have friends of over 50 nationalities.
Learning English provided me with the key to open doors that I didn’t know existed, gave me opportunities that I was only dreaming of.
I was pushed to raise the bar because without realizing I was also raising my competitiveness level. I took on challenges that I would have never thought of dealing with, ended up in a business meeting, I slowly realized that this new language was shaping my future, or at least it was giving me a medium to do so.
And then it came that feeling, that incredible sensation on confidence, I owned the language. Learning English made me a citizen of the world. I’m now ready to take a new path, ready to translate 7 years of experience in the ‘human business’ that I call hospitality into a new career.
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English isn’t my native language, but I want to be a human example of the importance of learning it.
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