Jooncheol is a student in the low intermediate level. Here is his experience with “Meet-up”, and his suggestions on how to improve your English learning and make new friends.
I want to introduce my story to you because I’m sure my story will be helpful to EC students. For a long time, I wanted to meet native speakers to practice my English, but it was difficult for me to do this. I really didn’t know how to do this. Of course, we communicate with our teachers and pedestrians everyday, but only for a short time.
So one day I asked my teacher how I could meet some native speakers. That’s when she told me about the website “Meet-up”. This site can give a lot of information, like Google. For example you can find many groups to connect with. Even if you have a peculiar hobby, you can find a group that shares your same interest.
One month ago, I searched the website, meet up, for a group connected to my hobby. At first, I was worried about signing up because internet meeting can be a little dangerous. But finally I decided to join a conversation group at an open cocktail bar. After I had decided to join the group, I felt nervous and excited. But I thought this was a very important chance to meet native speakers. The meeting time was at 6:30pm, so I prepared my list of topics by 5pm. I arrived at the cocktail bar at 6:30pm, but nobody was there. So, I decided to wait until 7pm, but still, nobody came. Then I left the bar and went to Times Square. I did some window shopping to kill some time. I thought to myself ” This experience was going very badly”.
When I finished the window shopping, the time was 8:30pm. So, I went back to the cocktail bar because I really wanted to converse with a native speaker. When I arrived there, I saw many people talking to each other. I wanted to join their conversation, too, but I was too afraid. However, I took a chance and joined them because I didn’t want any regrets for taking advantage of the opportunity. Finally I joined their gathering. I met a journalist, who had an interest in Korea, so I developed a conversation with her.
We talked about our common interests such as baseball, history, etc. After our meeting finished, we exchanged contact cards.
Later I contacted her by e-mail to make an appointment for the following weekend. She recommended I go to Korea town, located in NewJersy, to eat some traditional Korean soup. While we were eating the meal, we talked about a lot of things such as our hobbies, world history, politics etc. While she was talking to me, I was focusing heavily on her pronunciation, vocabulary and some idiomatic expressions that I had never heard. That meeting was a memorable moment for me. Meeting with her was very helpful in improving my English skills.
So if you want to improve your English skills, you should meet native English speakers and avoid your own native country speakers. I strongly recommend Meet up. I’m sure that you won’t regret it.