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I see it again and again. Those people who start from zero in anything and have a strong commitment and determination to move through whatever it takes to reach the sky, almost always reach way further than they expected, and with such a higher quality of experience and knowledge.
In terms of English, we have a level at our school which is what we call Elementary Preparation. This is basically for people who have a zero level of English. Perhaps they can write their name, perhaps they can say ‘hello my name is….’, but that’s about it. Following this after about 6-9 months of learning English 5 days a week at our school, I bump into them in the corridor and have a full blown conversation with them on how life is going.
This I always find really surprising. Mainly for these reasons:
- The last time I spoke to them they could only blubber their way through a sentence.
- They have such amazing confidence.
- They are excited to see me to show me how good their English is now – in such a subtle way, like they are having a conversation with anyone, at any time, like it is just a way of life for them.
- It looks and feels so natural coming from them, like they have always spoken English.
- How error-free their English is.
The last one is an important point for those starting at zero. If you have a zero level, that means you are like a clean slate. You don’t have any ‘street English slang’ that you picked up online, or your haven’t been influenced by all those American action movies who throw the odd word here and there, and most of all, you haven’t learned your English from someone who really couldn’t speak English well themselves, so you haven’t picked up any bad habits of poor English phrasings that are literally impossible to get rid of.
Learning English from zero at a quality language centre can be a very important decision to make. Though the going gets tough (because it will with learning a new language), the perseverance and determination to make it through level by level at that quality institution, can be the most important decision you make to ensuring your final outcome will be confident, extensive and perfect.