I Believe in Pursuing Perfect English

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I believe that English proficiency is important in my life.

I’m from China. English is an important part of our schooling from grade school to university. Some students not only study English in school, they also attend training courses and watch English television. Others just regard it as a task and study it carelessly. I was a person who belonged to the second group. Because of that I had some unpleasant experiences.

After middle school, I attended a summer camp in America for a month. It was an unforgettable journey. For the first half of the month, we lived with a host family in Los Angles. Then we travelled around America for a couple of weeks. I really enjoyed the sightseeing and learning local customs. But in my opinion, this was not a wonderful journey; it was full of regrets.

One day, after we went shopping, my friends and I were hungry. We decided to eat at Subway. In the showcase, there was a wide variety of vegetables and meats which were extremely attractive. Unfortunately, when the salesclerk asked me, “What do you want?” I became mute.

I knew what I wanted to eat, but because of my poor English, I didn’t know how to say it. I hesitated, and then spoke quietly and cravenly with two words, “The same.” She seemed to understand, and prepared the same sandwich the person in front of me had ordered. It was the most unpalatable meal I have ever eaten. I know that sandwich was a punishment. When we studied the food words in English class, I was distracted by dreams of shopping and parties.

Another event during that time touched me as well. When I was living with my host family, my temporary parents were very friendly and warm-hearted. The day before I left, we had a going-away party. I wanted to express my gratitude to them. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to say it. When I talked with my mother, I just said, “thank you.” Although she was touched by my simple words, I felt disappointed with myself. There was so much more I wanted to say. In addition, because of my poor English, I didn’t ask for their contact information, so we have remained out of touch. That has become an indelible regret in my life.

Now, I’m studying abroad in America. Although my English still needs to be improved, I have made great progress since my summer camp experience. I can watch English programs, study in English, and make everlasting friendships. These are my valuable life experiences because I have worked so hard to learn another language.

I believe in pursuing perfect English.

-Xingnan Li

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