Do not be afraid of studying English! Just try to find a way to learn that you can enjoy a lot.
My name is Ahmet Ömer Yüce. I’m a 27-year-old English Teacher. I learned English in 2004. My country, Turkey, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 and was a host for the contest in 2004. When I started to watch the contest, the hosts were speaking English and French because the official languages of the contest are English and French languages. At that time, I noticed that I needed to learn a foreign language to understand them. That is the start point of my language learning journey. First, I started to learn English from dictionaries then from English teachers and songs and TV. Nowadays, the internet is the key for me to learning a language.
Start Point: Translate Everything
After the contest in 2004, I started to translate words one by one from dictionaries. As soon as I heard or read a word, I had to translate. I made a list of words that I learned. I made flashcards to learn words easily. Then words were not enough for me because I do not understand the sentences. I thought I needed to translate sentences, so word translations became sentence translations. I bought English stories books for kids, collected paragraphs from newspapers, and tried to translate user guides of tools. After a while, I noticed that sentence translation was so difficult for me because I had no idea about phrases, prepositions, and conjunctions. Basically, I had no idea about English Language grammar.
Step 2: Private Tutor
It was obvious I had to change my strategy, so I talked with my parents about the situation. I told them I want to learn English and I cannot do it by myself. They considered the situation and then they agreed that I need an English teacher. After 2 weeks, I started English private courses. I had an amazing teacher. She was a clever, funny, and open-minded person. Also, she was married to a foreigner. When I went to their house, I needed to speak English to communicate with them. It was a brilliant opportunity for me. I remember that we made a tense chart. I had struggles with tenses at that time because there are so many tenses in English that I cannot understand the logic as a beginner. Thanks to my teacher, she made a tense chart for me to understand and study better. I got a great mark on my school exam because of her. After a couple of months, she had to move to a different city because of family issues. I was so sad but she taught me until the intermediate level.
Improve Your Pronunciation
I was on my own again. I didn’t give up and studied even more. I learned the structure of English, so I had to study hard. When I read the books out loud, I noticed that my pronunciation was not okay. I wanted to speak English correctly, so the first thing to do was to study pronunciation more. For me, the best option to study pronunciation was singing songs. I started to imitate the pronunciation of the singers and sang the songs in their style. I played the songs at the same time I was singing the song with lyrics that are open on another page. Also, the other option was TV. I watched American series to understand their accent and to imitate them. Of course, my watching series addiction started at that time.
Never Give Up!
Today, it is easier to learn a foreign language than in the past. Thanks to social media, we have tons of reading materials, private courses, online dictionaries, songs, and series. As you read, I prefer interactive ways to learn a language. I still use these methods to learn a new language such as French and Spanish. My biggest advice is don’t give up and do every possible way to learn a language.