The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Personal experience: how I studied English at an American college


Source: Yandex Zen

The Immersion Method is one of the most effective ways to quickly learn a language. The author of the blog "I Live in America" ​​talks about his experience at Yandex Zen.

Photo: Shutterstock

– Come upstairs. I won't speak English with you, I heard my American husband say as I pored over my English textbooks in the living room on the first floor. The immersion method, so to speak. My brain choked from this immersion. I "drowned" in the language. And these words “Go upstairs. I will not speak to you in English” sounded to me like words of salvation, like a lifeline for a drowning man. Going to an American college was not easy, I'll tell you straight.

Ten years ago, I just arrived in the US, and my head was just splitting from English. 24/7 I was immersed in it.

No matter how great your English is in Russia, when you get to an English-speaking country, you will most likely think that you don’t know anything and you should learn the language.

At first I learned a little on free courses. But then, for more serious knowledge, she went to Community College in Portland, Oregon.

English for Speakers of Other Languages. English for Speakers of Other Languages ​​(ESOL)

I could not even imagine then that during the study of “only” three subjects in college I would literally not have a minute of free time. At the institute in Russia, we had much more subjects, but there was enough time left for trips to museums and concerts.

And here it was necessary to spend at least 48 hours a week preparing for these three subjects. That is, it is more than a full-fledged working week with an 8-hour working day.

In college, you must first pass a test to determine the level of language proficiency.

The test is divided into three sections:

  • Listening - listening test;
  • Reading - reading test;
  • Writing is a written test.

Communication in any foreign language occurs in a certain way. You need:

  • understand what they told you;
  • quickly figure out WHAT YOU want to say (you will think in Russian, WHAT to say and HOW TO translate it into English);
  • SAY it;
  • to be sure that the interlocutor understood you.

That is, it is necessary first of all to train such a skill as listening, "listening". In Russia it is called listening.

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I liked English since school, I knew it perfectly within the framework of the Soviet school program and then studied it in courses. In my school years (and this is the end of the 1970s), it was a great success to find a record of dialogues in English. Tape recorders came later, but YouTube did not exist at all. Life without YouTube! Can you imagine this now?

In school, in the classroom, we read texts from the book, memorized poems and listened to our teacher. The English teacher was wonderful. She helped us fall in love with the language. I still remember her with gratitude and remember her name. Her name was Irina Nikolaevna. But still she was not a native speaker. Therefore, I did not have a real listening skill.

An American college listening test took place on a computer. Each subject had a computer and headphones. Special tasks of different difficulty levels.

The reading test was also on the computer. After reading the text, questions for understanding were suggested.

In the written test, you had to write about your favorite hero of your country in 20 minutes. I wrote about Gagarin.

Based on the test results, they took me to level 6. And my studies began.

Classes in each subject were two times a week for 2 hours.

Preparation for each subject required 4 hours of homework for each hour of class.

That is, if the class was taught for 2 hours, then by the next lesson it was necessary to work out at home for at least 8 hours. And so on for all three subjects. And this is the minimum. Perhaps more time was needed. Who has what abilities.

My brain was seething. In class, every time homework was checked and evaluated either in points or in percentages. The system was completely unfamiliar to me. So I prepared to the fullest.

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As a result, I finished the course, semester, as we would say, with “A” in all subjects. Spending!! In America there are no 5, 4, 3, and 2. There are A, B, C and D.

Tuition for one semester in one subject cost $400 for residents. That is, for those who legally live in the region. And $800 for international students.

And this, mind you, is the price for one item. Some students, like the Mexicans, took only one subject. Then they made money on the second one. It is very hard to study and work at the same time.

The same subjects, but at the University of Portland, are almost twice as expensive as at Community College. Moreover, the same teachers often work at the university. Is it a paradox?

I also want to note that the training program is structured in such a way that if you did not pass the final test for a passing score, then you cannot go to the next level. And, naturally, nobody returns the money.

If the student did not prepare for the lessons (it doesn’t matter for what reason, he worked or was lazy) and did not pass all the necessary tests, he will have to pay again for this subject. This is time, money. Many already have families. Learning is getting harder and harder.

Studying with Americans can take years, unless the parents have taken care in advance and have not saved the necessary amount for the education of their child.

Original column published on the blog. "I live in America”On Yandex.Zen

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