“Learning English is Something that is within Reach for Anyone”

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia Uncategorized

Yanira is one of our most highly motivated students. Being passionate about English from her childhood, her motivation comes from curiosity of the English language itself, and that’s what brought her to our English classes. In her essay, she has also talked about how self-learning is important and has provided several tips for people who are motivated to learn English but do not have the luxury of living in an English environment.

“Since I was little I always felt the curiosity of learning English. I watched movies in English. I did not understand anything and I wondered how it would be to learn this language well. Living in the USA helped me learn naturally and that learning English is something that is within reach for anyone. In my country, El Salvador, it is very difficult to learn English because of lack of opportunities but in high school they taught us a little and my teacher motivated me to continue learning English and I owe a lot of the interest I feel in the language to her. Undoubtedly the most decisive moment of my relationship with English was two years ago when I arrived in this country. Thanks to the efforts of my brother I could come here and discover the outside world and understand that your knowledge of English can help you. From that moment studying and perfecting English was not a dream but a necessity.

I started to practice all kinds of activities in English such as reading and watching TV [and] movies. I was improving and I felt the desire to go further. As I get better there are better opportunities to continue progressing in the language. I think that if you really want to learn English you have to live in the English language as much as possible. Of course the best thing is to live in this country but if that is not possible there are many ways to learn English. For example, change the language on your cell phone, listen to the radio or YouTube, and watch TV in English. Today everything is in your reach. We never had it so easy. This self-learning is fundamental but I reached a point where it was difficult for me to go further. For that reason I enrolled in English classes [with LCNV] at Lorton Senior Center that allowed me to acquire more skills, especially vocabulary. In any case, if you want to learn English, any quality course with good teachers can be very helpful for your learning.

The result of all this process will lead me to more advanced knowledge of the language, but above all I have opened many doors personally and at work. Now I can work in a place I never thought I would, make medical appointments, talk with my lawyer, my neighbors and my colleagues, and I can teach English to my children. I am proud of the effort I am making and the satisfaction of answering ‘yes, I do’ when someone asks me ‘do you speak English’ wherever I am.”

To support our learners, LCNV is always striving to provide a variety of resources to support our learners’ learning process, such as the Learner Network and a variety of skill-based and need-based classes. This fall, we proudly present our distance learning program, English on the Go. Combining traditional classroom education with distance learning materials offered by Cell-Ed, the program is designed for those who want to learn English but have a busy schedule and cannot attend class regularly due to work or family commitments. If you or someone you know is interested for the program, come to register on October 21 at James Lee Community Center.