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A year ago, I didn’t speak English!

Profile odd2 Odd Bjerga
A year ago, I didn’t speak English! -

A year ago, I didn’t speak English!

tirsdag, 3. mars 2015

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t understand, read or write English. I was just very shy when engaging in a conversation in English and I would typically stick to short answers like yes, no, and okay. So talking with with me was, needless to say, one sided.

I was 25 years old when I made my first trip abroad on a summer holiday to Spain. More than ever, I experienced my limited English and had to rely on my friends to order me food, getting me registered at the hotel and so on. Known amongst my friends as the chatty girl this was really something I was not proud of. But the fact was this – I felt extremely embarrassed the few times I tried to speak English. Hence, I chose not to.

Sounds familiar? So what happened a year ago? Well, I got a new job at Lingu Stavanger as the sales manager. Lingu has a lot of foreign students coming in to learn and improve their Norwegian and English skills, so when accepting the position I was also accepting the fact that most of my days would be spent communicating in English.

The first few weeks were challenging, needless to say, and I´d preferred that no one heard me. However, my encouraging colleagues, who also gave me great feedback on my written English, helped me along the way. Today I am the course manager at Lingu Stavanger and am proud to say that through everyday practice, my English is now as fast flowing as my Norwegian. Speaking, writing and studying at my own pace with a private tutor has been amazing.  

The solution? Practise, feedback, corrections and a few drops of “I don’t care anymore”. Perhaps this is why our private lessons in English are increasing in demand. They actually give you a time and a place to be “forced” into practicing your spoken English and most importantly for us Norwegians, to be corrected when making common mistakes. (Yes, we all tend to do the same mistakes!). The good news is that it does not have to take a full year. I personally recommend that you try to work with a personal English tutor! You will be more confident using English quickly and efficiently.  

I am still not good at something though… I suspect there are many of you with the same issues as I had prior to learning English. Do you attend meetings held in English? Do you need to present your ideas using English? Have you ever had to discuss topics or negotiate things at work using English? Or been to social arenas where you want or need to small talk with English speaking persons? Stavanger is an international city where chances are you´ll encounter a situation where you need to speak English .

At Lingu, we offer English classes to improve your business English, to better speak it when on holiday or another setting that acquires you to improve your English beyond your current level. With a private tutor you have a flexible schedule and lessons accommodated for your need and who knows where that will take you?

Kind regards,

Astrid Lura