English as a Second Language: My Journey

Follow my story of mastering English, from overcoming obstacles to celebrating successes, and discover the tips and strategies that worked for me.

English as a Second Language: My Journey
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash

Right now I am living in The Netherlands and I am speaking in English almost 24/7! I am also trying to learn Dutch using English as a base language. But English is not my native language! My native language is Bangla (Bengali). The main complication is that everything is different from English! Letters and everything.

For example: my language has 49 letters, and you can combine letters to form new, different sounds! On the other hand, English has 26 letters and no joining of letters.

Yes, I did get a basic English course as part of my regular studies, but it’s not mandatory anywhere in my country! The subject was an additional one; the rest of the courses were in my native language.

Right now my main focus is to master English so that I can also learn Dutch using it. Plus, mastering a global language has its own perks.

This is what I am doing right now or have done before:

  1. Watch lots of English movies, most of the times with subtitles on
  2. Watch Japanese anime with English subtitles
  3. Watch YouTube videos at 2x speed
  4. Listen to podcasts at 1.5x to 2x speed
  5. Listen to audiobooks at 1.2x to 2x speed
  6. Read any English book and write a summary afterward, even if it takes 6 months to finish the book
  7. Write lots of documents in English and spell-check them
  8. Write my blogs in English
  9. In 2024, rewrite all of my writing with ChatGPT and try to mark what’s missing
  10. Recently, I started to read philosophy books and poetry to understand the deeper meanings of words and feelings.

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