This is the end of the line - all change!
Well, it seems that my time is up….
Jiae, it's been a pleasure to read your writing - it's been a breeze for me as a teacher because you write English so well. I wish all my students were like you! Enjoy your holidays and your time with your brother. Good luck!
You know, looking back at the comments and posts over the last few weeks, I’ve realised something. We’re really quite a nice bunch of people! I think we should give ourselves a pat on the back. Your comments and posts are thoughtful, show a lot of interest in other people and other cultures, they are open-minded and polite – isn’t that a great thing? Sometimes, reading newspaper blogs or other more general blogs I get quite depressed by some of the unnecessary and vitriolic words that some people write. It’s been a real pleasure to be a part of this community and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot, and I hope that you have. I think in this case the English language, for all its faults and idiosyncrasies, is doing a good job of bringing people together. Long may it continue!
I am going to leave you with a question:
What would you do if there was a pill which you could take which would give you the ability to speak, understand, read and write English like a native speaker?
Maybe most of you would bite my hand off if I offered it to you.... take a pill to speak English? Of course!
But I would like to think that a few, maybe just one or two of you, would not immediately take the pill. Why not? Well, for one thing, because I’d be out of a job! But not only that. I'd also like to think that there is something enjoyable about the process of learning English (or any language), however old you are, and that you can enjoy the journey and never stop learning. For me, if I'm no longer learning anything, life becomes stale, like an old loaf of bread. In fact, I'm thinking of starting a Masters degree in October to study something called Digital solutions and e-learning technology - I've been inspired by my experience here! It is a sad fact that the number of young people learning other languages in the UK is dwindling. For too many people learning languages is a chore, something they hated at school, and sadly many language lessons at school don't excite or stimulate students.
I've really enjoyed doing this blog because of the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn which comes across from all of you, even though we're all so far apart. Oh dear, I've just realised that I'm on my soapbox again..now it really is.time to get off.
Please keep reading, reflecting and sending in your comments. I'll certainly keep reading, and I'm already looking forward to our next bloggers...I hope to see you all again here some time in the future.
Goodbye and good luck!
time is up - this means that there is no more time, that's something's finished
a breeze - if we describe something as a breeze, it's very easy
bunch - in this case it means a group
to give yourself a pat on the back - to congratulate yourself
vitriolic - expressing hatred and anger
idiosyncrasy - a strange or unusual feature or habit
bite someone's hand off - to accept something very quickly and eagerly (jump at the chance to do something)
dwindling - diminishing, reducing in number
chore - a boring job or task that you don't want to do (eg housework)
Jingjing - thanks for your comments. All the London parks are free. In fact, some of the parks, including Regent's Park, are royal parks. This is because most of them were originally taken by King Henry VIII for him to use as hunting grounds in and around London. You can explore these beautiful parks here.
Nice to meet you Vinh The - it's good to hear that you've found a place in the countryside where you feel comfortable.
Alexander - I completely agree with you. In this mad rush for money, consumer goods and our pursuit of a dream we are forgetting about what is really important. It's a shame more people don't think this way...I don't think the Olympics in 2012 will change the balance of the city too much. Most of the building work is taking place in Stratford in East London, a built-up but run-down area without much green space. The architects of the Olympic sites are promising that these Games will be the 'greenest' so far. In fact, on the main bridge leading to the Olympic Stadium they are building in feeding posts and nest sites for birds! Some of the Olympic events like horse-riding will actually take place in London parks - I think that the Games will actually be quite beneficial for London.
Benka - your spa experience sounds wonderful. I love visiting any hot springs and thermal baths and used to go quite a lot when I lived in Ecuador and Hungary. I think you're very lucky to have such neighbours!
Paulraj - yes, many people think that the 'streets are paved with gold' in cities. But I think that they often find out that things are not really so easy when they actually arrive in the city.
TrieuHoa - I went to St.Ives earlier this year. It's a lovely little town and I also found the people friendlier in general. Did you go anywhere else in Cornwall?
Abdisamad - thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate them and it's great that we could all spend this online time together. Best wishes to you and your family also and keep blogging!
Henrique, I hope that the authorities in your town can take measures to make sure that the congestion doesn't get too bad before it's too late. A city with forest reserves and botanical gardens sounds wonderful! Enjoy it while you can.
Hyoshil - so you're as mad as a hatter are you?! What a nice thing to do to make a hanging basket for your friend! I think the world needs more 'nutcases' like you - maybe then it would be a friendlier place. Did you ever go to the open-air theatre in Regent's Park? That's a really nice experience, watching a Shakespeare play in the open air on a long and warm summer night. I've really loved reading all your comments, they always make me laugh and you're very inventive with the language. Best wishes for the future....
Silvia, that's a very good question, where are all the people going on the tube...Where were you going?? I went to Italy a few times with my family when I was much younger, mainly around Florence and in Tuscany. Last year I visited Rome for the first time which was fantastic. I'm a big fan of Italian food...
Marianna - that's a tough question. I'm lucky because I really like teaching but I've always had the idea that I would have liked to be a marine biologist. I'm not particularly scientific-minded, but I love the ocean and scuba-diving and particularly now I think it's a tragedy what is happening to our seas with all the over-fishing and killing sharks for soup and so on. I'd love to be able to do something to help protect our oceans..... Best of luck to you too!
Ana Paula - so you're really going for the CPE! Wow, that's a great challenge to set yourself. I wish you all the luck in the world. My advice? Read as much as you can and read different varieties and genres of English, record vocabulary collocations instead of single items and find a native speaker teacher!!! Good luck!
Lucy, it's certainly true what you say about wealth not translating into well-being. Sometimes perhaps we just need to slow down and consider what is really important in life. I'd much rather stand on top of a mountain, walk in a forest or sit by the ocean than go window-shopping or visit the newest shopping mall.
Adriana, your commute sounds quite relaxing, and your neighbours also sound lovely. Why can't everywhere be like that?? There are a lot of great things to see in London, and I hope you can visit here some day. Have a great weekend - all the best.
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