English is the most widely spoken language in the world. To tell the truth, I disliked it to the bone when I was in the middle school. There are approximately three billion people in around one hundred seventy countries who can speak English. It is easy to learn English, if the person is born in the European country, as their languages are related. However, I am from China. It is an ancient but conservative country where people can speak only Chinese. I was born in a city, with a population of two million people. Only five percent of them are able to speak English. Thus, I did not have an opportunity to communicate in English. The first time I touched English when I was 12 years old. However, I was not interested in learning this language. That is why, I did not cope with English tasks well. I have learned it just because of the exams. Step by step, I started to hate English and the English home tasks. I lost the interest to study at all. Therefore, it was a huge problem during the studying years in the middle school. I could not understand the importance of English language in the modern world. However, times change and so do people and their world view.
My mother is a teacher in a high school and she speaks English well. She was extremely disappointed with my bad English, especially with my awful attitude. After a graduating from the middle school, my parents decided to send me to New Zealand. They helped me to choose an international high school. According to their point of view, it was the best background to study English. Parents wanted me to achieve some international experience. Moreover, I had an opportunity to improve my English by communicating with native speakers. However, I was afraid to go to foreign country where people speak another language, different from Chinese. Although, I did not agree with them but had no idea to disobey my parents will. That is why, I went to New Zealand.
First time, when I came to New Zealand, I was surprised that everything was different from Chinese culture. In the school a lot of students were rather native inhabitants or Europeans. Therefore, English is the only language which can be used for daily teaching and communication. My poor grammar and vocabulary made me feel uncomfortable in this environment. At that time, I have touched a lot of complex vocabularies for different subjects. Accordingly, I felt I was not able to study well. In the middle school in China I was keen on mathematics, but I was not able to understand even a single formula in English. At that point of time, I was regretting that had come to this country. I called my mother and told her about my troubles; but she told me the things which I would never forget: "During your whole life, you will meet with a lot of difficulties. Nevertheless, in the end, you will get ahead. Near at hand, you will find the right way and, please, never give up!" It took me a week to understand her words. After some time, I forced myself to get acquainted with local students and talk to them. At the beginning, I was lacking confidence about my oral speaking. Moreover, I am shy and scared person who still cannot talk to them easily. However, my friends were patient to me. They had never made jokes of me, if I was wrong. They made me confident in studying English. After the one year, my English improved a lot and I was not shying any more. Gradually, I felt that I truly enjoyed spending time with them. I improved as my academic knowledge as my English communicative skills. Everything has changed to me. I have adopted New Zealand’s atmosphere and environment. At the same time, I changed my attitude towards learning English. As my mom said, I had grown up.
After finishing the high school in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to go to America to continue studying. I have chosen Santa Barbara City College because of fine weather and beautiful landscapes. When I first came to the U.S.A., I could not understand the pronunciation of Americans as they are speaking American English. I was not familiar with this accent. It is in my recollection that I made neither head nor tail of my first class in the City College. I started to watch American dramas to practice listening. As well, I tried to read some novels and poems as I was not good in reading. It remained hard for me to read the whole novel. I was just confused about the thing that I have to know the literature. I could already speak English. Moreover, English was not my major. To tell the truth, two years studying in New Zealand set a good example how to overcome difficulties. I decided never to give up.
I remember the time, when I registered in the reading class in the first semester. The class was enormously difficult for me. I had to read the whole “Hamlet”. When the teacher told us about the daily quiz, I was scared. Reading was my weakness and I could not understand English stories. It seemed impossible for me. I have never read a whole English novel. But every lesson quizzes made me read each chapter and pass the quizzes and exams. After reading several chapters and listening to the teacher’s explanations, beyond my expectations, I was deeply attracted to the book. It was interesting because of complex relations between different characters. Here, the main character, Hamlet, appeared as an optimistic and aspiring boy. He was the prince of Denmark. He had to inherit the throne and be a good emperor. Unfortunately, everything went wrong because of his father’s death. After that event, Hamlet’s mother remarried to another person. The bad person took the throne away. After the coming back from Germany, Hamlet wanted to attend his father's funeral. Although, an unexpected turn of events initiated that he came to mother’s wedding instead of father’s funeral. He felt despaired of his life. Hamlet was very angry on the society. The main hero had to play dumb to realize his revenge plan. Finally, he recaptured his throne. It was the first English novel I had read with the help of my teacher. After that, I felt that I had learned a lot of new words and was able to read English novels quicker. After reading the “Hamlet”, I fell in love with Shakespeare's tragedies. It practiced my English. Since that time, I am reading regularly different famous English novels. The literature appeared an important part of my life. At the same time, my reading ability raised.
I started to fall in love with English. This knowledge brought me a lot of friends. As I was extremely interested in economics, I chose it as my major subject. In the economics club, I got acquainted with many people who are fond of it. We had the same classes. When I got any questions, my friends helped me to answer them. We discussed solutions in English. If I was not able to understand them, they tried to explain me again and again. My friends helped me with teaching English, and I sake to teach them Chinese. As everybody had the same major and same class, we got to know each other better and created valuable relationships. We were joining parties after the school and became friends with other foreigners. I got acquainted with the American life style and their attitude to the society and family. Gradually, I felt really good spending the time with my friends. One day, I found that I had improved my English skills. Everything was because of my hard work and teacher and friends’ help. I am very grateful that I have met people who are willing to help me with my English.
Thus, there are my several steps of studying English. Despite of I had a lot of problems; I have learnt how to live in another country where everybody speaks other language. Fortunately, I have changed my negative attitude and overcame troubles right in front of my life. Furthermore, I appreciate my parents. They gave me an opportunity to study English and to be the person I have become. To my mind I have already found my way, the way to the English literature and the way to success.