This semester was very challenging for me. I came to New York City from Brazil and I encountered many problems that are very popular among international students. The main problem is of course language barrier. It was very hard for me to speak in front of other people. It is really frustrating when you cannot find the right words to express what you think or feel. And I was getting very upset when that happened.
This course required a lot of communication and writing and it was exactly what scared me the most because of my poor grammar and speaking skills. But to my surprise this course turned out to be the most interesting for me. I rarely missed this class mainly because I felt very comfortable in it despite of all my problems with English. The professor made it so interesting and entertaining that it was just impossible to stay indifferent.
During this course we have read a lot of English poems. We do not study international poetry back in Brazil so it was completely new for me. I learned a lot about English literature in the course. And I can also tell that my English has improved. I feel more comfortable speaking in class and explaining my point of view. And I can see that my grammar is getting better. Besides from reading poems and discussing them we also wrote a lot of essays during this semester. I realized that free writing that we were supposed to do almost for every class was very helpful for my English skills. At first it was very hard to put my thoughts into writing. Usually I had a lot to say about the topic but translating my ideas into English made it hard for me to keep it understandable. At this point I can tell that my writing skills have got much better and it is easier for me to put my thought together and express them on paper.
I can definitely say that this course came up to my expectations.
I can see the evident progress when I compare myself before starting the course and now. The main change that I have noticed is that I have become much more confident with my English. I know it is still not perfect and I still experience some problems communicating in it but at least I feel free to speak English and do some writing in it. I also worked on my grammar because it is one of the main components of learning a foreign language together with conversation in it. And most importantly I have received a lot of interesting and educational information about literature in general and poetry in particular. It was very entertaining and engaging to read all that material and get deeper into what the author meant. During the discussions of poems I was able to compare other students’ point of view to mine. Every person sees a different thing behind every poem and it was very surprising for me at first.
As a conclusion I would like to say that I am very thankful to the professor for such an amazing course. I enjoyed the atmosphere we had in class and it was simple for me to get comfortable there. I feel that I have overcome my fear of speaking in English and now I try to express my opinion whenever I have a chance to. I know that I still do not sound right sometimes but the best way to learn something is to get benefit from your mistakes. And this is exactly how I am trying to work on my English.