She has worked at EEC for almost one year now as our hard-working, assistant director. She uses both English and Arabic at work, juggling tasks such as liaising with teachers, staff members and, of course, our students. Basically, she’s part of the family here. We decided to find out more about her, and how she came to learn English. What better way to do this than a one-to-one interview?
Hi Sahar, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us.
No problem, I’m happy to help others who are also learning English.
So, how old were you when you started learning English, and where did you start learning?
I started learning English when I was a child but I didn’t like it. It was a hard language for me. However, when I started to grow up I realized how important it was to learn English – in many aspects of life. Therefore, I really started learning 4 years ago. I went to the United States to study English.
Wow! That was a great opportunity for you! Tell us about your time studying in America.
Oh, it was an amazing experience! I went to Minnesota for 10 months and then I moved to Philadelphia, or Philly as we called it, for 9 months. I learned English for Academic purposes, which you might know as EAP. It was effective. I learned the techniques of writing and how to write different kinds of essays accurately. I wrote about various subjects. I made multinational friends and learned more about their cultures. Also, I learned how to adapt to different lifestyles. In terms of the cons, learning English for Academic purposes doesn’t emphasis speaking. Also, the time of the classes was too long so I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and make conversation with native speakers. Other than that though, it was just wonderful.
What is the most challenging aspect of learning English for you?
Speaking with native English speakers is the most challenging part of learning English, although I’m definitely getting more practice from working at EEC. The teachers are from America and Britain, so I enjoy listening to lots of different accents.
How do you study? From books, TV, or something else?
I love to watch TV shows and movies with English subtitles. I usually write down the whole sentence that I hear and try to use them in my conversation.
How has working in an English academy helped you to improve your English?
Before working here, I didn’t like speaking with people in English. I preferred texting them or writing to them. Now that I work at EEC, and because all the employees including the director are native speakers, they help me to improve my speaking and fix the mistakes that I make.
Do you have any advice for students learning English?
First of all, learning a new language is something you can do at any age. You’re never too old! English is the language that you need everywhere, whether at your job, traveling, studying or to order something online. It’s so important.
Also, learn English from native speakers to pronounce the words well and to learn new slang. You will sound more natural.
Lastly, practice your English everywhere and anytime. Make a note of new sentences that you hear or learn and start to use them. Never stop learning.
Thank you Sahar. You’ve been a great help and it was a pleasure talking to you today.