Carlos Roberto Silva from Brazil shares his experience while attending the General English courses (Upper-Intermediate) at English language center in Vancouver.
I learned English in the late sixties and early seventies. Since then I never touched an English grammar book or textbook. Time goes by and my children also learned English. But nowadays the world is a global village. English is everywhere. My children began to criticize my almost illiterate English. I have been reading English technical books, a lot of them. I never wrote a sheet of English and only talked twenty days a year, the last six or seven years, on holidays in the USA or overseas. Listen? Only at movies.
What can I do? Yes, I had a three-month leave-of-absence to improve my abilities. My mind went crazy. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I knew that’s a myth, but can I improve my English? How? How many months do I have to spend?
My name is Carlos Roberto and I am almost sixty years old. I have been studying English at EC Vancouver for seven weeks now. I wish I could help the “young-old” people like me to get courage and take their first step to a new journey. Yes you can! This is not only for the youth, you will be among them, that is a great advantage, believe me. You will return back home knowing a lot more about your children.
I went to an agency and looked for a school in Vancouver. In 1989, I spent some time working in Montreal and I fell in love with Canada. Since then I have looked forward to an opportunity to come back. I got the whole package. I’m in a home stay like almost all students. And I am falling in love with this city. Each corner has a surprise. Gastown reminds me of the city I was born in: Ouro Preto, MG; Granville Street is a place for all kinds of people; you breathe liberty there at night. Stanley Park is far better than my favorite park in Brasilia (Ok, that’s not fair, we have the Pacific here and it is like a desert in Brasilia). This is a cosmopolitan city for sure. Walking around the city or using the excellent and on-time public transportation, you can see people from all over the world, and listen to them speaking all languages also. And there is the sight-seeing all around: Rocky Mountains, Whistler, Victoria and even a tour to Seattle or Portland to compare against the USA culture. I’m certain you’ll love this city also. What a gorgeous city!
But I have to be honest with you. This is an expensive city, but you know, it’s better this way because you don’t waste your time on the pubs. For us “old-young” people it is really tough to improve our English. At the beginning you think you can learn easily, and then you realize there are so many things to learn, so little time. There are really a lot grammar rules to recollect. I recommend you do like I am doing now, to begin from scratch, learn one rule well, and then go to the next one. Take your time. Don’t be afraid, at EC School from the front desk to the director, you don’t need to be shy or afraid; they will do everything to support you.
Are you interested in learning English for academic purposes in Vancouver? Visit our website to learn about EC Vancouver!