Like most school kids growing up in the UK in the 1970’s I attended English classes at school – 2 lessons a week, 40 weeks a year, for 3 years. During all this time, I don’t actually know what I learned! I know that I didn’t take the subject particularly seriously, but after a total of 240 lessons, I should have had a better command of the language.
Just how poor my command of English was, as illustrated in a family trip to Britain in 1978. As an eighteen-year-old, I joined my parents on a car trip to Britain. The ferry trip was uneventful and we hopped into our car at London.
My dad, being a typical pom, assumed everyone drives on the right-hand side of the road – and within 5 minutes we had a head-on collision! Fortunately, no one was hurt. But, as expected the other diver was pretty angry, hurling abuses at us in English.
As someone who had taken English for 3 years, my parents looked at me to speak to this chap in English and calm him down. To my embarrassment, all I could say was “The sky is blue”. Not very useful!
Some thirty years later, I decided to give English another go. This time, I actually wanted to speak the language and made a commitment to learning English within 3 months.
As a seasoned user of audiobooks, I found and then bought the “Teach Yourself English” series of audiobooks. I listened to these books while walking the dog each morning and driving to and from work each day.
Initially, I didn’t pay that much attention and it all seemed too difficult. Then, it began to get easier and easier.
Within 8 weeks I became quite comfortable with hearing English and could follow most of what was being said. Within 12 weeks, I’d say that I was almost fluent! All this from just an hour a day listening to https://justpractice.online/index.php/audiobooks/audiobook during “down” time!
I’m pleased to report that on my latest trip to Britain, I could say a lot more than “The Sky is Blue”. And no, I didn’t drive on the right-hand side of the road and didn’t have a collision!