TERTIARY STUDIES IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

I thought it was an easy language to learn because I only used limited, and same, vocabulary all the time. Unfortunately, I was very much mistaken to assume that it would be easy for me to do my postgraduate studies in English. I had expected to "master" the English language in a short space of time because I regard myself as a good student, and the results of my previous tertiary studies confirmed this belief. Few weeks, following my arrival in Australia, I realized how wrong I was. As a prerequisite to study for my Master’s degree, I had to successfully complete an English language course. This was to be done over a period of a few short weeks. As the course started, I became aware of the great difficulties that I will face, not only with language but with my actual Master course. I felt very helpless, isolated, and depressed. After a short period into my English course, I felt like returning home and giving up my pursuit. This was due to a near-complete ignorance of what I was being taught. I had great difficulty understanding what was being said in class, which led to a lack of participation, something that I, the clever student, had never experienced before. Furthermore, I was too embarrassed to ask for clarification. I didn’t want to be the "laughing stock" of the class. On the other hand, my confidence started to weaken, and I started losing confidence in my ability. There were other issues that I suffered from as a result, feeling of despair, failure, embarrassment, and even depression. I couldn’t imagine myself as an "unsuccessful student", as I had never had that experience throughout my academic career.I shared my feelings with some other students from the non-English speaking background, and to my surprise, I wasn’t alone in my "suffering". I soon realized that what I was going through was so common among the majority of my fellow students. Realizing this, I became more –≤etermined and motivated to achieve my goals.