5 key LIFE challenges when learning ESL


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When people think of the challenges involved in learning English, we tend to focus on the content of the course. Today I’m looking more at the social challenges of learning English. Check these out:

The challengers are:

  1. Your friends

The people you grew up with and loved the company of, are now going to be one step further away from you. Unless they learned English themselves and are interested in speaking it with you regularly, you may find yourself seeking out other people to talk to. This can affect friendships badly as sometimes they may thing ‘oh he/she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore, he/she only wants to talk English…he really thinks he’s someone now he has the language.


  1. Your family

This is a tough call as the family often are the ones who have supported you both emotionally and financially through your life and even through your course, but they too (like your friends above) can’t necessarily speak English and so not only may they feel pushed away from you, but they may even do the opposite and start relying on you to do every ‘English related’ thing for them.  You can end up becoming the English machine/translator for everything they do. This poses a strange dilemma, on the one hand you want to show how grateful you are to them for supporting you, but also you need to expand your own horizons too.


  1. Your bank balance

Taking on good courses and great teachers doesn’t come cheap, and even if you have paid a lot of money to not only do the course, you may be living away from home, and away from any other income. Your savings are precious. Caution is always required when doing this. But one good thing is that in some countries if you are doing an English course, they also let you work. If you work you are winning both ways. Winning by having your bills paid by your salary and winning by practicing your English outside the classroom in an everyday work setting.


  1. Your dreams

For many people English is part of their dream. But for many other people English is only one small part of it. There are the dreams to marry the one you love, to have children, to care for your family, to help your country. A lot of these things have no necessity to know English. So when you are pursuing your dreams, sometimes other dreams get in the way. It’s good to prioritize for now. Other dreams can come later. Best to get the tough ones nailed first and then you can focus on other things.


  1. Your social status

With this one it’s not about lowering yourself, it’s more about raising yourself. Simply by learning English you may find yourself in a completely different position in your social world. If you are a shy type who doesn’t like the limelight, you better get used to it now as your life is about to change. Learning a language comes with some responsibility for those around you who need you to do things you never thought they would ask for. But the plus in the long run is worth it. Taking on responsibility is like accepting to help people. Take it all in your stride and your confidence will grow with it too.


So there you have it – 5 typical life challenges that come with learning English.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “5 key LIFE challenges when learning ESL

  1. Pingback: 5 key LIFE challenges when learning ESL — AIYSHAH’S ENGLISH PAGE | So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?

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