One of the best things about booking an English course abroad is you discover how to learn real English for real life situations. Seol from South Korea is coming to the end of his General English Intensive course in Brighton. His English was already good (pre-Intermediate level), but it was “text-book-English” rather than English for real life. Here, he explains how living in Brighton over the past 9 months has really helped improve his English fluency and ability to use English in everyday situations.
Oh definitely. Yes. The first time I came here, I couldn’t finish a sentence. I was Pre-Intermediate level, but I wasn’t really fluent and made lots of grammatical mistakes.
Yes. I got lots of help from my host family. I learned a lot of English vocabulary that I might use in real conversation. For example, my host-Mum said to me one day, “Could you bring the condiments over to the table”. I had no idea what she meant!
She explained it was sauces, pepper, salt etc. She said to use condiments was quite “posh”, but she likes to use it. I asked her what other people might say. She explained they might say, “Bring over the sauce or ketchup.”
Yes. The English language is really different from the Korean language and that affects the way of communicating. For example, in Korea we just say “Hello” and that’s it. In this country, you say “Hello, how are you? What have you been up to?”. This then leads to longer conversations. I think that’s a good thing; it’s more sociable.
Yes. The English we learn in Korea is focussed on words you need for the exam, for example for TOEIC or TOEFL. But those words are not really necessary in real life. For example, the first time I attended the Conversation Club here in Brighton, I didn’t even know basic words such as flip-flop. It was quite embarrassing!
Not really, but I discussed with my parents the best way to improve my English. We came to the conclusion that I should learn English abroad. Also, my Mother said it would be a novelty for me to experience another culture and broaden my perspective. I think it’s working very well!
I think it will be my experience with my host family. They were so nice. It was my host-mom’s rule to have dinner for the family at 8 pm each evening. We talked about what had happened that day. They were also a bit like my own parents, giving life -skills advice.
A University Degree in Korean language and literature.
That is the question I’d really like to solve! I’m thinking of working in an International Bank, but I’m not really sure. That’s one of the reasons why I came here, to see myself in a different situation and “to know myself”. So, I haven’t decided, yet, really.
One thing I do know, I’m going to work with foreign people in the future. It’s amazing to be able to speak English with people from different countries.
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