We have a special blog post from one of our amazing students, Mike!
I would not say it is a challenge, but it’s a valuable experience for being an English learner that I had three interviews with different native English speakers. Before sharing these, please let me introduce myself first.
My name is Mike and I was born in Taiwan. Following the traditional education in Taiwan, English was not a tool for me; it was a subject which I had to study for the exam and I hated it. For this reason, I hardly talked to anyone in English because it almost killed me. It was easy to keep the speaking part of English away when I was a student; I could be a good student only with reading and writing. But it didn’t work after I got a job and that was why I went to Canada to improve my English skills.
“I like your class, but it’s hard.”
I hear that a lot in Power Speaking. I always find it interesting because when I started my career as a teacher, I never imagined myself teaching a high-pressure class. For sure, we laugh a lot in Power Speaking. But we also have high expectations of ourselves, and we move quickly through the activities.
I was 14 years old when I first really understood that French was a language.
…what?!? You didn’t know that?
Of course I did! I had studied French since elementary school, and my brain knew that it was a language. However, I only heard French in the classroom; it was just a school subject. Finally, when I was on holiday with my family in Mexico, I heard some other tourists speaking French. Suddenly, I understood: French is not just a school subject – it is real communication for real people. That was a real eye-opener for me [something surprising that taught me about life].
Language is much more than a school subject. Language is the way we interact with our world: we build relationships, solve problems, and express our emotions. Language is powerful, complex, and fascinating. If we only learn language in the classroom, we will not understand it completely. That’s why we must go outside and use our language with real people in real situations.
This is why we encourage REV students to practice English by doing real things. In Power Speaking, we visit art galleries during the Art & Décor unit and we interview a music teacher during the Books & Music unit. In Skill-Building, we go outside to grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes. In Project, we make phone calls, interview professionals, and organize events. It’s all real!