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  1. #1
    achen is offline Newbie
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    Default "Making" English my first language?

    Hi, my name is Alex and I'm 15. I had no experience with English until I was in 6th grade, when I attended this international school. Every class is in English, but I did everything else in Korean, which is my first language.

    However, ever since my 8th grade year, I've started to speak less and less Korean because I feel like I have a hard time understanding stuff without translating them to Korean in my head. I started doing everything in English, including reading and using the internet. I've made my parents to speak English to me, and am avoiding Korean as much as I can. I'm in some way trying to "forget" Korean and make myself think in English, which has been quite successful since I no longer think in Korean and I am more comfortable with English than Korean.

    So my question is is this a helpful way to learn English? Since I'll be going to an English-speaking country for college, I want my life to be in English. I want to in some way make English my first language, by trying to use English in every aspects of my life and neglect Korean completely.

    I had this ESL teacher a long time ago, that said English will always be my second language and my English will always be less proficient than my Korean. I think he is a complete idiot who is just too lazy to do his job, since he rarely helped students improving their speaking or whatsoever he should be working on.

    And by the way my pronunciation is alright. I don't really have a Korean accent, since many native English speakers have told me I sound just like a native. Nevertheless, I still feel like I do have an accent and am extremely picky on myself.

    I know it's a very long post but I hope people can help me. I had always just been pondering about this problem by myself and never asked about this to anyone else so I hope you guys can give me an answer. Thank you so much.
    Last edited by achen; 06-May-2013 at 11:13.

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "Making" English my first language?

    1. You can master English to a high degree of native-like proficiency, with effort.
    2. Forgetting Chinese is not necessary.
    3. But, using English in your real life experience for many hours a day is.

    Hope this helps. But, don't be a Pinocchio; be yourself.

  3. #3
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    moonlike is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Making" English my first language?

    Welcome to the forum.
    Wow! great! You're a wonderful student. I wish all the learners were so eager and enthusiastic like you. Keep up the good work. Well done. Concerning your accent, you can watch films or listen to some listening materials and repeat it (we call it shadowing in English).

  4. #4
    achen is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: "Making" English my first language?

    thank you so much for your replies, moonlike and
    konungursvia.

    this brings up my next question, does using or exposure to first language sabotage english development? I've been intentionally avoiding my first language because I'm afraid it does. Also I feel like my tongue gets weird when I don't speak english for a while.

    I'm always afraid that Korean is gonna make my english worse and I want to know if speaking Korean is harmful or not.
    Last edited by achen; 06-May-2013 at 11:13.

  5. #5
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    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "Making" English my first language?

    The best thing is to have as much practice in English as possible and stop worrying about whether Chinese is harmful or not. Just concentrate on your English without trying "to kill your Chinese", because it's not Chinese as it is but your thoughts about its harmful influence that may prevent you from making progress in English.)

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