niedziela, 4 lutego 2018

How I hated English

I've started to use English in my daily work over 2 years ago. Fully, for the first time since 2005 when I started my IT career.  What I mean 'fully'? Not only by reading some technical documentation or even write a code in English (yes in some Polish companies it's not a standard) but also COMMUNICATE! Talk to other people! But let's go back to school times.

Since I remember I hated English! In primary school, we learnt some basic stuff. I barely remember that period of time. But secondary school ... I remember it perfectly. It was 4 years of torment! Grammar, vocabulary, grammar, vocabulary over and over again. I was learning something that was unuseful for me. I didn't understand this whole stuff with tenses, various forms of vocabularies etc. This frustration turned out to a problem with promotion to the last class! English was the only one subject with which I have such problems. In the meantime, I chose Russian and pass A-level with a good grade.

The good side of this history is that's how I meet my future wife 馃槒 She was good in English and I asked her for help. Fortunately, she didn't refuse! We started meeting and so on 馃懌

After that, I went to college ... and it starts again! Grammar, vocabulary, grammar, vocabulary. Come one! What's wrong?! I was happy that I only studied it for some time (for a first or two years). None of us wanted it - Me, rest of the students or even teacher. That was the end of learning English! Hurrraaayyy!

Next, I took my first job in small Polish company. There were no requirements for knowing English - point for me! Next five years passed by quickly. I developed myself mainly as a programmer and was using English only for reading blogs, articles and documentation. Still not speaking!
In a second job (also for Polish company) they asked me if I can read and understand technical documentation. That was the only one requirement. Point for me - I thought.

Years passed and I began to realize that sooner or later I'll have to use English in my daily work. At that time job market in Poland was changing a lot. Foreign companies start to invest here and most of the job offers require it at minimum communicative level. For me, that was a sign that I need to do something if I want to be competitive on the market and get a better job.

I started to learn on my own. After some research, I found "Effortless English Courses" by A.J. Hoge and his podcasts. They are very good and by the way, A.J. explains what's wrong with typical teaching approach in school. His first and important rule is - speak! Speak as often as you can. Before that, I've something like almost everyone - fear of speaking. I thought that people will judge me. Ok, but listening to podcasts was not enough. So I found a teacher, took private lessons during which we mostly talk. It helped me a lot and day by day I began to feel more comfortable. During this time I changed a job and choose the one where I have an opportunity to communicate in English. Right now I'm using it more often also in my daily life. I've switched OS language and all application to English. Publish more tweets, replies or comments, watching tv shows without subtitles etc.

And all of this brings me here. To my very first post in English. I'm so happy and feel, that this can bring new opportunities!

ps. Please, do me a favour and leave a comment in case you'll find any mistake or something that can be written better.