Ana Luiza, como você aprendeu Inglês? – com áudio

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Ana Luiza Bergamini é de família brasileira, nasceu nos Estados Unidos, cresceu no Brasil, voltou para os EUA por mais alguns anos e depois veio de novo para o Brasil. Concluiu o curso de engenharia em 1993, trabalhou sete anos com marketing, vendas e pesquisa e em 1998-99 fez pós-graduação em administração. Desde 2002 é professora de inglês, com passagem por escolas de línguas e ensino particular. No fim de 2006, criou o site Inglês Online.

Os ótimos podcasts gravados por Ana Luiza no Inglês Online me levaram a convidá-la para responder a seguinte pergunta: Ana, How did you learn English?

A resposta está no áudio abaixo. Im-per-dí-vel!

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Transcrição do Podcast

Hi everyone at English Experts, this is Ana Luiza of and I’m here to answer Alessandro’s question: How did you learn English?

My first contact with English happened very early on in my life, since I was born in an English speaking country. I went to school with other kids and I spoke some English like 3-year-old kids do.

However, my family moved to Brazil when I was 3 and a half years old and I grew up here. So what happened was, although I wasn’t in an English-speaking environment anymore, a couple of things kept me in close contact with English: music and teen movies.

I always loved music and I really wanted to learn the lyrics to my favorite songs. Back then I didn’t care at all about verb tenses or prepositions. I didn’t even know what that stuff was. All I cared about was making some sense of what my favorite singers were talking about in the songs. I used to listen to my favorite songs over and over and over again while following along with the lyrics, and… of course, I ended up memorizing lots of them that way.

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The other thing that kept me in close touch with English was teen movies and teen actors. I was crazy about movies and I really wanted to know more about the actors and actresses my age. I got a hold of some teen magazines: one was called Seventeen and the other one was called Teen Magazine. Back then there was no Internet so I asked my dad to give me a subscription for my birthday. Every week I would receive my copy of Teen Magazine and I would read it until the pages turned yellow.

All that happened before I went to college. Back then I would say my English was about intermediate or upper intermediate level. A few years after I graduated from college I moved to the United States and then my English really took off. It isn’t hard to understand why, right? I had to interact, I had to make myself understood as well as understand other people if I wanted to pass my exams, find a place to live, get the kitchen sink fixed and so on.

Up to that point, it had never crossed my mind to become an English teacher. That only happened after I had been back in Brazil a few years. One day someone asked me for help with an English exam. I started teaching, word spread, I built a website and pretty soon I had a handful of students.

But here’s the thing that I really wanted to tell you guys: when I came back from the United States, I felt like I was able to say anything I wanted in English. But you know what happened after four, five years I’d been back in Brazil? My English started to occasionally fail here and there. I started to stutter, miss words, forget how to say certain things, and why did that happen? Because I was back in Brazil and my exposure to English had gone from almost 100% of the time to nearly zero. Sure, I watched American TV shows some nights, but that wasn’t enough. And at the time I thought this was happening because I wasn’t living in the US anymore.

Not true. When I finally realized that regular listening and reading in English were missing in my life, everything changed. I got myself an mp3 player and I started listening daily to podcasts, audiobooks and anything that would hold my interest. I’m on my second mp3 player now – the first one broke, I used it so much. It really didn’t take long to get results. After some time I started to feel confident again because I noticed that I was able to express myself a lot more naturally. So I’m gonna tell you what I’m sure other teachers already have: find stuff that interests you, and listen to it. Read it. Work it. Keep it close to you. This may be just a bit more challenging if you’re a beginner, but just a bit. You can find stuff that is good for you too. Whatever your reasons may be, if you really wanna learn English, nothing can stop you. That’s it!

Ana, muito obrigado pelas dicas e sucesso com o seu podcast!

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Alessandro Brandão

Alessandro Brandão é coordenador do English Experts e do Fórum de idiomas. Trabalha também em projetos na área de Ensino a Distância (EaD).

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