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Dominique Dominique | 14:35 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

A happy day, yes a very happy day. When I got up, doing my daily activities..Shouting silently against that sun who has risen too early (as usual ), jumping on the scales, complaining about this weight. Asking myself whether I will go to school this afternoon...

Anyway! I went after all. But I think I should've stood home! I met that man who asked me in English the way for the nearest hospital. My goodness! I understood but I couldn't answer. Oh happy day!

What a shame for me, who is supposed to be bilingual, as a Cameroonian!
Now, struggling to learn English...a long way to go...

I'm from Cameroon, that country divided in two parts: One where English is the main language spoken, the other one where French is mainly used.

So these holidays, I just needed to get away to Bamenda (an English speaking town in the North west Cameroon), and realized how hopeless I was in English, and how I liked that town! I daresay it is my " wonderland " here in Cameroon.

Hi! Wonderlaaaannnnd !!! Funny. How about you? Do you think you have a place in your country that could be your paradise?

Anyway, strange though it may appear, there is nothing so terrible as learning English, as far as I'm concerned (of course). Learning a vocabulary to forget five months later is not particularly encouraging, is it? But I just can't help learning English because I just love it!

My name is Dominique, I study in Senegal, and I really hope you will enjoy reading about me ( and what I think) all over this month. This is my first post, I didn't know what to say, so I just remembered how amazing it was to struggle in expressing oneself in a non-native language.
Anyway, I like it. And you ? Do you like learning English? I'm interested in your experience...


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Dominique !

    It's a great plagiour to know you. Browsing on this website reminds me my first steps in knowing the so gorgeous language of shakespeare. We had an outstanding messageboard where people from world interacted and some teachers came from time to time to help us. There was one teacher I forgot the name who really gave me the longing to learn in deep the language of shakespeare. Her idioms exercises were so good and they suited me right down to ground. As a french speaking it was an opportunity for me to show off my mastery of the language to some of my friends who had the fortune to continue their studies in university. They were gob-smacked to see how my english were improving without attending an english class. As a keen reader I bumped into a novel of Georges Owel " animal farm " which I introduced on the messageboard where an exceptional teacher came and explained the plot, the characters, and told me that the novel was in the programme of literature in her university. I was totally surprised to see I was learning the same thing as people who were going to school. I Started breaking the barriers of communication day after day. One day I decided to tackle the International Language Testing System at the british council(IELTS) in my country to really check my knowledge of the language. I realised that there was much work to be done. I totally agree with you that learning a new language I mean as foreign language is hard nut to crack because the environment is different from what you are learning. In other words, it is good to learn the language where it is spoken; this is my opinion. CONTINUE.....................

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Dear Dominique! Welcome to the our favourite BBC Learning English blog! Yes, today is a happy and super day! I can say you are really divine and I very like your writing, your two great questions, I will answer to them in my next comment here: I have something to say too. See you later.
    Best wishes,

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi, Dominique,

    It's a pleasure to have you here! My name is Natanael and I live in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil on the other side of Atlantic Ocean. It's a pleasure to know you, too.

    Well, I know that for our professional life is very important to learn english as well. I'd really appreciate take this way with our students collegues and you and I believe that it's a good oportunity to improve your english.

    Tell us about your city, your country, your friends and your parents. Tell us about your culture so rich. You life in Afrika "the Big Mother Afrika", certainly you have lots of things to tell us. Tell us about your goverment, your country curiosities.

    Once again let us know about Afrika and once again it's a pleasure to have you here.

    Nice to meet you.

    Bye, Natanael - Brazil

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Dominique, Welcome to the blog! I'm eager to hear from your country and your life and activities. I think we have something in common: we love English language and to learn it. You look very pretty in the photo. Beatriz from Argentina.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Dominique! Nice to meet you :)

    I started learning English when I was eleven years old. I changed my school then and the kids in my new class had already been learning English for two years. I knew absolutely nothing about English tenses and my vocabulary was about thirty English words. So I think you can imagine how it was difficult for me to keep up with my new classmates. But somehow I managed to get the mark "good" at the end of the first term (though I think the teacher gave me that mark just to encourage me and show that she had noticed my efforts). Anyway, my English was improving quickly and the mark "excellent" at the end of the second term was deserved. Now I study English at university and I really love it. Especially I enjoy reading in English.

    I'm looking forward to learning more about you, your country and its culture this month.

    Good luck!
    Nastya, Russia

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Dominique. I like very much the whay you write, and I understand you when you talk about speaking. I thin you're luky to live in a country where they speak the language, that way you can practise as much as you can, it's only a matter of time that you can speak it fluently.
    About mhy own experience on learning the language, I really don't have much to say, only that I've been learning it by myself for about seven years, that I can write and understand it a little and that I hardly speak it.
    I've never been in a hurry to learn, because I do it only for fun.
    I hope you reach all your expectations in this blog experience.
    See you soon.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Dominique and please accept my warm welocme to BBC land . It 's a very nice chance for you ( in learning English ) and for us to know soem one from Afica and ... and learning English , too. Hope to more about you . I 'm wondering how people from diffirent places love their homeland . Mose people love it and they think it as paradize ! By the way I love my homeland , too and I don't want to leave it at all . I love learning English , too. firsly I just like English and I don't know if I want learn another langu.. if my feeling will be the same or not . It 's too sweet for me ! and secondly it 's an essention in the globe ! By learning English now I have many firends form all around the world and I love them .
    hope to hear more about you . I wish you a good Blogging month
    see you around
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi, Dominique!
    I DO enjoy reading about you and your country!!!
    I think learning English is a brilliant way to find foreign friends=) Do you have many friends?
    And...how old is you?
    Nastya from Russia

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi there and welcome to the blog, dear Dominique! I'm very much looking forward to hearing more about your life and your country and I hope you will enjoy being a blogger and have patience with us commenters, too...
    I was thinking about your question about a place in our home country that could be our paradise. At first, I thought this would be easy to answer. There are so many beautiful spots in our mountain range, the Alps - I've spent a lot of highly pleasant hiking and skiing holidays in one or the other mountain resort there. But when you come to think of it, those places are impressive and paradise-like only in nice, sunny weather; the moment it is cold and rainy or stormy, they can be unbelievably drab and unfriendly - and it's winter three quarters of the year in the mountains. Sooo, I think that paradise can be experienced only for short moments, in different places, sometimes even in the very place where I live even though there's no dramatic scenery around here.
    What is the special thing about Bamenda that makes it your personal wonderland?
    All the best,
    Elisabeth (Austria)

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi, Dominique
    It's so nice to see you here,I can' wait to know about you and your life, what's kind of country Cameroon is? so please tell as more. Thanks

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Dominique


    Whenever the word ‘Cameroon’ comes to me, a picture appears transparently in mind. Football World Cup Italia ’90! What a game you had played against Argentina!! (Though I’m a supporter of Argentina) Starting from Roger Milla and others, the world has got Samuel Eto, by time. It’s great!

    I come from Bangladesh, where Bengali is our mother tongue. It’s widely spoken all over the country. I think, you’re luckier in this case that you’ve an opportunity to practice it in a part of your country. I wish you a tremendous improvement soon.

    To tell the truth, I need English rather than I like it. That’s why; I’m trying to learn it with my all-out effort. And, I’m sure that I’m developing myself day after day. I believe, learning English is a really eye-opener as it reveals a new horizon to the learner.

    All the best for the month.

    Ashish, Bangladesh.

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi everyone.please people help me to improve my writing skils.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Dominque

    I'll always remember your name becasue it sounds like my name "Domingo" and my sons name "Dominic". I'm from Philippines. Our country is majority Catholics and there's one saint named St. Domique which i guessed where your name came from. I wish my guess is right?

    I'm glad that you are the blogger for month of September.It will be a great opportunity for me as well as to other readers to learn more about Cameroons history, culture as well as tradition. Honestly, it's very rare I've heard about your country except by watching Miss. World and Miss. Universe contest.
    Giving a response in English to somebody who is fluent in English or native speaker of such language is bit difficult specially if you are not accustom to. You will grasp for words and sometimes you don't want to speak at all becasue you might commit mistakes either on grammar or pronounciation. This could me minimize or improve by finding a conducive environment where you could practice English orally. You've mentioned in your blog, that large part of population in your country could speak both French and English. I think it is a good opportunity to practice.

    In our case of our country,most people could speak English however the proficiency rate has been fast declining. There's lot of reason. One, is the educational system. School authorities has emphasized the use of native language as a medium for teaching the student rather than English. Second,English teachers somehow need more training to upgrade their skill in order for them to become effective and competent. Third, is lack of conducive environment where you could practice the English language everyday.it

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Dominique....
    Nice to meet you... My name is Marcelo, from Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, and to me was a pleasure your words...

    Domonique, to us, in Brasil, seems like Domingo ( Sunday ).. rsrsrsrsr
    I'm just kiring, ok.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hello Dominique
    Nice to meet you.
    I have been seriously studying English since 2005. I've put a lot efforts in to it and I find it extremely challenging and rewarding too. Thanks to my English studies my life's changed. I've been struggling to grab a decent international job, but in this day and age is really tough. I've never been in Africa but, I'm pretty sure that I will go there soon or later. Your English is veeery good. Actually, I didn't know that English is currently spoken somewhere in your country.
    Where I live there a so many places which could be my paradise. One is definitely the Dolomites although I won't boast about them and I will let you check out them on your own.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thanks Marcello for your comment.Well i will check it,and let you know(^_^). it's very nice to share with us how English is or has been important for you, it's encouraging.Hope you'll stay around!
    2Marcelo Trindale: Nice to meet you too! Sunday? yeah i heard about that!(^_^)

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Seka!
    You asked people to help you improving your writing!
    Well,you have the best opportunity here in this forum to be fluent in writing providing you read the comments are posted by other learners.
    If you read the comments carefully,most of them contain the basic points that can be useful for you as refrences.Then, try it.
    Good luck

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Dominique,

    Wellcome and congratulations for being selected to be a student blogger for this month. Hope you enjoy this month with us. I am looking forward to learn more about you, your traditions and most of all your country's history.

    Now coming to your point about learning experiences of english. To be honest, it is a long process. It is not something that could be learnt in weeks, months or even years. In my opinion there is always room for improvment. One can never say that I have a complete command on a language. As to know a language you not only have to learn for just communication but also to be good at writing it and understanding it fully. Coming to my own experience, I have been in the UK for about 18 years but I am still not confident with the language. May I didn't try hard enough because I was a bit shy at the begining to communicate it with other people. I always thought that people will make fun of me if I make mistakes. Gradually I realised that I have to speak it no matter how I speak it and this was the turning point for me. So it is just practice, practice and pratice. The more practice you have the better master you will be become of that language. So that's all I can say about learning a language. Have a great time and looking forward to next blog.

    Take care


  • Comment number 20.

    Hey, everyone.
    This is the first time I come here and I am very happy. Actually, I have learn English for 3 years but I never have tolden English with everyone.
    So, I want to tell very much.
    I know, when I come here I will to meet much people all over the world. At that, every one speaks English. That is big opprotation for me development English.
    Today is September 15th 2010, It is the most remember in my life. Because today I can say anything by English and if anyone is goot at English, I hope someone will repair sentences, words for me.
    Thank all.
    I will again soon

  • Comment number 21.

    hi dominik hope you re fine!learning a second language is very important as we all know language is considered to be the main means of communication so that each one can transmitt his message and can be understood of course so we re obliged to learn other language as for english language which is considered as the lingua franca the international language!i ve learned it for 9years but never have the opportunity to speak face to face so i don t know if i can manage a good conversation good luck

  • Comment number 22.

    Hello Dear Dominique,
    Great to read your blog. I am from a country which has the population of more than 200 billions people but just few universities and collages. Yes this is called Balochistan (which was an independent state since 11th August 1947 which then was forcefully merged into Pakistan in 27 March 1948). We have a very rich country in Natural resources and minerals. Balochistan has a very important geographic status.
    Anyhow this was a short introduction of my native country occupied Balochistan.
    I am not stong enough in english because the lack of learning institutions in our areas where i live. There is no government teaching institutions in the suburb areas of Balochistan.
    I personally tought the primary level classes, there is a very huge number of student which have no government backing.
    One question here i want to ask from all of you is that how can i improve my voculary? Because while speaking i forget some specific words, and also i can not speak english fluently. I know your answer will be that there is not any logic to learn english, but as for me there must a logic to learn english language.
    Best Wishes
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 23.

    hi all and hi deedagh jan i want to answer for your question how to improve english vocabukary....the right way is to read books i mean english stories because we don t have where to practice it but first we develop it from a great deal of reading then you will be of course fluent step by step for instance when you will converse in english you will not find a problem in words by reading of course
    see u by

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Hadjer,
    I hope for your good health. Really its a pleasure for me to have ur answer and advise to me about english learning skills. I will try to read the books and stories. Is there any specific book which contains words and materials of daily usage.
    Best wishes

  • Comment number 25.

    hi deedagh i m fine thanks as well u i hope so!i don t know lot of titles of books having daily words sorry!but me i use to read jane austen books i just try to read some thing i really like for me i prefer rmtic stories so i m inclinated to jane austen whose books are really at the top i apreciate her great deal for when i finish the story i get angry lol so u have just to try what u like!fiction romance or history thriller just say which kind u like and i ll seek for some titles good luck

  • Comment number 26.

    Hello Hadjer,
    I am busy in teaching the students, i sometime go to bazaar. But we have the internet facility here in our home. So if there is any book which i can download on the computer then plz refer that. And from all reader this is my request to them as well if they know any benificial book containing english learning materials plz kindly provide the link. we would be thankful to you all.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Dominique!
    I really felt some strenght on your words! I've been studied english for many years and as a non native speaker of english I also can feel the dificulties of improve this language when all around us is shown in our native language. Here in Brazil to study another language is always to much expensive then I appeal to BBC Learning English to keep on contact with one of my passions, study english. I thought for many times to give up but, I think I'm adicted on it! LoL I just can't help on studing english. You told us that your country is divided in two parts, one that english is spoken and another that french is spoken, isn't it a little bit more easier for you? What do you usually do to improve you english?
    Thanks for your incentive!
    Oh!, sorry if my english isn't so understandable


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