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                                      The Benefits of Passing Exams in English Language

                                                 An article written by Lee Robert Cross

                        

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars,” once said American pastor and writer Norman Vincent Peale. This means that if you have an ambition in life you should start to achieve it. If, after you try really hard, you still have not reached your target, it is very possible that you will still be a lot wiser and better at something. This quotation can also refer in a sense to the learning of foreign languages.

For myself, I never really thought that I could learn any language except my own very well. I studied French language in secondary school in England for five years, but this because it was part of my curriculum, not because I had any real desire to learn it. For me it was a difficult language to learn. The grammar was as complicated, if not more so, than English grammar, but even more difficult was learning the pronunciation of many of not only the vowel but consonant sounds. French pronunciation, while it is a beautiful thing to hear from the mouth of a French native, is notoriously difficult for English speakers to perfect, and I did struggle with it. Nowadays, many years later, I do wish I had continued my French studies. It really is a melodic and enjoyable language to hear, though of course today – because I live and work in Poland and have done for many years, Polish has become my second language.

That said, the learning of foreign languages is not an easy task and does require some kind of motivation, otherwise it can be very laborious. Having taught conversational and grammatical English in schools in Poland for many years, I have learned that a great way to get and increase the desire to learn a language is by working hard at it – study, study, study, revise, revise and revise again -and, eventually,  to pass an exam in it. There are all kinds of reasons why people find themselves taking English exams these days. Not just because they want to be better than their peers, but also graduating from secondary school, university, getting better job opportunities both in Poland and abroad or simply because they want to network or travel and feel more sure of themselves.

For me personally, foreign language exams are not something a person should rush into. Apart from the study, you also need to get certain key elements absolutely right. The first thing to be sure of before you take an exam is why you want to pass it, and if the type of exam you are thinking of will help you achieve your goals. Secondly, and equally important is finding the right teacher who has the patience, experience and skills to help guide you to where you want to be – one who can improve your pronunciation and your knowledge and use of everyday English, phrase and idioms as well as your reading, writing and listening skills. If you find the right one, though, the sky can really be the limit.!  With a good exam qualification in English, you can find yourself in your desired institute of higher education, in a well-paid job in your own country or even another working in multi-national teams, or just globetrotting and having fun. The opportunities are endless, and the point of is, if you have the motivation and you find yourself a good tutor, wherever your journey takes you – just like Norman Vincent Peale said, you will most likely be somewhere much further and better than where you started! J