Burak Bekircan, an NWCCI student from Turkey studying in Lakewood, Washington, spent his first quarter at Pierce College studying in the Intensive English as a Second Language program. He received an award from Pierce College’s ESL program for having the highest grade in his grammar class. This quarter, he will also be studying photography. Here is Burak’s advice for other international students on how to improve their English fluency:
During my first month here in the United States my English was not so good; I could not understand what people were telling me and I had a difficult time to answer back to them. Also, my writing skills were not as good as I wished, and it made my life not so easy.
I study English every day and I also watch American TV shows. To improve my reading and writing skills I read newspapers, story books, and comic books. These are very effective ways to improve English. My listening skills improved by watching American TV shows, cartoons, movies, and also listening to some radio stations. The difficult part is that sometimes people speak with a very fast accent. This can be a bit hard in the beginning but if you always talk to them they will help you to understand them and also to speak well.
I guess that if you really want to learn English, the main important tool is to have international friends. They have the same difficulties about learning a foreign language and they make the same mistakes as everybody who does not speak English as their mother language. They are the most important tool because they can support you and help with the doubts you have and they will never laugh of your mistakes.
As my last advice to students who want to have good English skills I can tell to you all: do not lose your hope! Study hard every day and don’t put big pressure on yourself because if you do this, your English skills will improve one hundred percent. “Herkese iyi şanslar” in Turkish or good luck to you all!