Learning English: the London experience!
Hi everyone! This week, Paola from Colombia tells us about her experiences in London and about learning English.
Tell me about yourself…
My name is Paola, I am 18 years old and I come from Colombia.
I am studying architecture but I now want to change and start studying art. I started my studies in Bogota (Colombia), but I expect to come back here to the UK after my course. I would like to do a master degree here in London.
How long have you been living in London?
I’ve been living here for 5 months. I arrived in January.
Why did you want to come to London?
I remember that when I was 12 or 13 years old, I was always watching TV programs and English movies, and I thought, “Oh London is amazing and I want to go there one day!” It was like a dream. Everything was very amazing for me and that’s why I wanted to go there to see Big Ben, red buses, etc. And finally I’m here!
What was your first impression of London?
Very cold! The coldest place I’ve ever been… The weather is very different from Colombia. It’s almost June and it’s cold! When I arrived, I saw snow for the first time in my life so it was amazing. We just have one mountain in Colombia but it’s a natural park without snow.
People are very polite and a lot of things are very different. For example, I only take the bus in Bogota – we don’t have tube or overground trains. There is massive transport here.
Everything is organised and clean. Last week, with the Champion’s League football final at Wembley, the streets were a disaster! But after only 10 minutes everything was clean!
The food is also…“different”.
What do you now think about London?
It’s the best town I’ve ever been to because I like this culture. But there are a lot of people… It’s very crowded, it’s incredible! There are people from all over the world. During rush hours it’s very difficult. But definitely it’s a nice city and people are very friendly.
What is your favourite place in London and why?
I think my favourite place in London is Greenwich because it’s a beautiful area, with a park and a market right near the river! It’s in the south east of London. I also like Hyde Park!
Do you think your English has improved since you arrived in the UK?
Yes, definitely. When I arrived I was intermediate B1 level, so it was not so bad, but now I am advanced C1! I really like English. I would like to be a native but it is impossible.
When and where did you start learning English?
I started when I was 12 years old.
When you are learning English in Colombia, it’s very difficult to improve your level because you just learn basics like colours, numbers or something like this. It’s not very interesting. That’s why I wanted to go to England and learn English by myself.
Do you have any advice for students to improve their English?
Practice and do exercises! Speaking is not enough. Grammar, verbs and vocabulary are too important if you want to speak English well. So for me, the best way is to understand and then to speak. It is also a good idea to do a course at Bloomsbury International – the best English school in London!
Have fun with English
The letters in the words below are mixed up. Can you unscramble them to find the items of clothing?
Last week’s answers
1. When it is extremely cold, small pieces of hard ice, called hail, come down and if they hit you, it could hurt!
2. “I’m not going to take my umbrella today. It’s only drizzling now.” (raining very lightly)
3. “Why are your trousers wet?” “I stood in a puddle.” (pool of rain)
4. “I can’t believe it’s so hot in April! We must be having a heatwave.”
5. “I saw the weather forecast earlier and it’s hopefully going to be sunny tomorrow.”
6. “When I looked at the thermometer it said the temperature was 15 degrees.”