I have a very long roman with English. And it's not an easy one, so I still don't feel good while I use it.
I have been studying English for a long time at school, for 6 years. And I was a good student; so good that after the 10th grade I went to the courses for people who would like to study English at the University as their major and was the best one among them, as I had been told by teacher. There are 11 grades in Russian school, so I had one more year to study English in the high school. It was clear I had a chance to pass exams to become a student at the language institute. But I went to another area, to the faculty of journalism.
So I continued to study English at the University, at the faculty of journalism. And I don't think the classes were good. We took articles from the English paper called Moscow times and translated it, and it was for a long period. We had no practice. We didn't listen to radio or watched TV, we had never seen the native speaker. We didn't talk much, at all. There were some rare forigners in my life whom I spoke with. That's it.
By the way, I think, the system of language education in Russia seems at least very strange. People can spend years on studying it but to have problems just with chatting with the native speaker. They can't communicate! I'm not telling the same about institutes where English is a major but in general high educated persons might write in their CV that they can read English texts "with a dictionary".
And it was America which helped me a lot to improve English. I was here in summer programs in 1999 and 2000. And after that it was silence for years. Me and English lost each other. I didn't know people who speak English and had no chance to use it at my work. I took some tutor's classes as well but I've got a complex from her to speak it. She always told me that "nobody needs my bad English", so I began to scare to do mistakes. that meant I scared to speak at all.
So when I've got the journalist fellowship in Michigan University last year I was completely unhappy with my English before coming. We could audit any classes at the University but it was a limit of English, so I couldn't take as many English as I wished.
For the whole life English was my dream. I always imagining myself as a successful woman in connection with the perfect English. But I spend a lot of time and money and haven't reached the goal yet. I don't know, if it would ever be possible for me to be perfect in English but I really want too!
So I have some particular tasks to reach to fill myself closer to my general goal. After two sessions here I would like to understand clearly time frames and be possible to do for example "if" or other difficult sentences without grammar mistakes. I want to be able to write information requests for my job or requests to do the interview in different countries and to be replied successfully. I want to enhance dictionary as much as it possible and be able to use those new words in a real life. I think, I need at least 30 words weekly to learn in your class.
My roman is at the height of, I can speak, read, listen to it, and hope I'll do, I will, some visible progress. But will I reach the goal at the end of the program? I don't know.