Greetings from Keystone Toronto!
We were lucky enough last week to host two exchange students from Italy. They assisted us around the school and also took the time to write up some pieces on their experiences studying English as a Second Language.
Next up, we have Sofia’s post about her interest in the English language and her experiences speaking it here in Toronto.
Hi, I’m Sofia–
As an Italian student, I started learning English in elementary school since in Italy it is part of the scholastic program and is compulsory for every student.
Nowadays in my country, English is everywhere, especially in the workplace. Almost every career requires a language certification and that’s why the subject was introduced in schools in the first place.
I’m grateful I had the opportunity to learn it, because up to now I found it very helpful in my life and I’m sure I’ll find it even more helpful in the future.
My dream would be majoring in Biomedical Engineering and, to be able to do this, English is essential.
It’s not always been easy my journey through learning this language.
English and Italian are pretty different; the main differences are regarding pronunciation and spelling.
Italian words are pronounced as they are written; each syllable has its own specific sound that remains the same in every word. English, on the contrary, doesn’t have standard phonetic rules so sometimes it is hard to get the right pronunciation without ever having heard a word before.
In addition, in Italian schools, teachers focus too much on studying grammar rather than listening or practising speaking, and because of this sometimes I find it hard to communicate without needing to stop and think about what I’m saying.
Besides English and Italian, I also speak a little bit of Spanish but I can’t consider myself good at it.
In any case I’m not giving it, nor English, up and I am determined to get better in the future.