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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† October 8, 2004

I want to let you know about me and this short biography allows you to know the most recent issues of my life since I got involved in trying to learn English as a second language.

Colombia, the country where I came from, has Spanish as its primary language.I grew up hearing just this language until my 26th birthday.The knowledge of English that a student gets at the elementary and high school level in Colombia is very shallow.In fact, the day that I arrived in the United States, English sounded very strange and I couldnít recognize any sounds. At that moment, I felt frustration at being unable to express my thoughts clearly.

In addition, I didnít have the opportunity to study English as soon as I arrived here because I needed to take care of my little baby Matthew.It was only one year ago, when I could have started my studies again. But, because I didnít know English I had to take an English course. It was then that I found out that Kingsborough Community College offered an English program called CLIP (College Level English Program), aimed at preparing students who desire going to college by helping them to pass the CUNY skill tests. These tests determine if students have a proper level English for college, by testing their reading and writing skills.

One semester wasnít enough to make me ready to pass these tests. However, I didnít want to spend more time at CLIP. It was then I decided to go to college to restart my studies of accounting which I had started in my country almost seven years ago.

Today, I have taken 20 credits and I have done quite well.English, my second language, is being improved day by day and now Iím able to understand English when I hear and read it.

Nevertheless, writing English takes me a lot of time, and sometimes ideas get mixed up in my mind when I try to translate them. But, without a doubt, speaking English is the toughest part of acquiring a second language.

As an English learner, I consider frequent practicing the best method of getting familiar with a new language, rather than a chalkboard grammar class, when a student just tries to put together a lot of information.

That is the case in my ESL91 class, which focuses on a discipline where we have to apply our previous knowledge of English grammar at the same time that we work on a subject that we consider interesting. Related to my major, this semester I chose to work with the Business and Marketing discipline. Here, I am learning how to analyze, summarize and write papers based on lectures I have read. This method, at the same time that I improve my English skills, helps me to adopt a proper way to study.