English field test

This is the translation of an article that I wrote in German for my blog and for „Vera’s Corner“ in the LingQ library:

„Vera’s Corner“ is the place where I collect articles about this and that related to language learning. I think that now that my holiday in the United States of America is over, it may be of interest to you to read about my personal experiences during my trip.

I studied English more than 30 years ago at school. At that time it was almost of no practical use to me. I needed some English for reading technical manuals about computers and programming, but this was for many years my main contact with the English language.
Around 1990 I had a two week holiday in Florida, and four or five years ago I had a long weekend holiday in England. On both opportunities I didn’t speak a lot of English.

My recent holiday in the United States had been planned for many years, and therefore I started to study English two and a half years ago. About two years ago I discovered LingQ, and since that time I’ve been learning with the LingQ website and tutors.

I was very interested to see if my efforts would pay off, and I can tell you: they paid off!
There were several situations during my recent trip where I was very glad that I was now nearly fluent in English, at least when the conversation was about everyday subjects. There were no problems with the immigration officials. But my English knowledge was very much required when we had problems at the car rental agency, and when we had to visit a doctor. At the doctor I had to fill out a form with a lot of pages and questions about this and that. With the exception of three or four words I I was able to deal with it quite easily.

It was helpful that I was able to call the hotels in advance to tell them when we were going to arrive late. Having had many conversations with LingQ tutors I’m used to speaking English on the phone, and more import to understand it. My listening ability was very bad when I came to LingQ, but it improved a lot while listening to podcasts and having a great bunch of conversations with tutors.

Usually I speak three times a week for 30 minutes with a tutor. At the beginning 15 minutes per week were enough. I had problems to find enough words for 15 minutes, and was relieved when the time was over. Today I think at least 30 minutes are really short. I’ve had a lot of fun with my English, again and again.

I especially enjoyed the conversations with the people we met. I discovered that I’m able to understand most of the Americans very well. Sometimes I had problems with Americans originating from Asia or South-America, because their pronunciation was worse than mine.
Furthermore I had proof of my English skills reading the brochures we got at the National parks.

All together not only was the holiday worth it; my English knowledge improved a lot too. I’m convinced that such a holiday is much more fun if we are able to speak the language of the country a little bit.

I’ll publish a detailed report of my holiday during the next weeks. I fear, it could turn into months, since I wrote out all the texts of my notes from the trip, even if it is only a rough draft. Then the texts have to be recorded. At the same time I’ll publish some pictures and videos on my new blog „Veras Reisen und mehr“. I hope you’ll like it, because it is more work than I thought, but it makes the report livelier. Besides the work involved, it is a lot of fun and lets me experience my holiday again. Last but not least this great and eventful holiday will stay in my mind for a long time.

 

You’ll find Text and Audio of the German version in the collection „Veras Corner„, Folge #35, Praxistest Englisch
http://www.lingq.com/learn/de/store/lesson/86090

Link to my new blog „Veras Reisen und mehr“:
http://verasreisen.posterous.com/

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