Diary: Thoughts on a rainy day

We continue to have wet weather. After my early morning workout I went to my favourite cafe for my morning cappuccino and to read two newspapers. ESL learner from Pakistan, you who write so well, learned English so well and share my enthusiasm for languages, one day perhaps we will sit down together there and discuss language learning! The same, hopefully, may happen with other language learners out there who come to Vancouver.

How much can be achieved by enthusiasm and commitment? Lots. There are so many language learners of all origins who have proved it to me. Unfortunately I see many immigrants to Vancouver who do not try very hard to raise their level of English. They are in a vicious circle. Many have university degrees. However, their English is not good enough to work professionally in English. They end up working for those of their compatriots who got here earlier. So their English never improves. Even if they work in English they seem satisfied with a “self-defense” level of English. They stagnate.

Language improvement is possible, but it takes an intense commitment. It only starts to happen when the learner takes charge. Unfortunately there are too many services available here in the language of the immigrant who blends into his or her ethnic community. It is true that the next generation does not have these problems, but it seems a pity that more of the first generation immigrants do not manage to get out of their language trap.

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