English in My Life
Basilio Hernandez Lopez, Mexico
Basilio is a 15 year old, 9th grade student at the Secundaria Tec de Monterrey in Zacatecas, Mexico. He loves track and field, sprinting especially.
We live in a world in which people in everyday life need to go to work, to seek for better opportunities, in a world in which your only ally is you, and one of your most important skills is English. Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products and other aspects of culture. Globalization has had such an impact in our lives that we not only need to compete not only among our neighbors or among Mexicans but we also need to compete with people all around the world for being the best at what we do.
I’m a Mexican, a teenager, and a person conscious about his future. I know that when I grow up I will need to search for a job, and English is a very useful tool for achieving it. That is the reason why my education has been bilingual since I was 1 year old. I owe my parents what I am today. If I’m successful, it is because my parents have pushed me to become it. My father is a doctor. He never had a chance to study English, however, he knew it would be very important in his life. Because of that, he made sure that his children received the best education possible, for them to be prepared in what the world has for them.
I have been in five different schools, all of them were bilingual. From the time I was in second grade of elementary school I started developing my English skills. I had a teacher named Connie who helped me a lot in English. She was from Texas. I admired her a lot, because of what she did for me. She is one of the greatest teachers I have had. Arrived to that school practically knowing nothing. I was not ready for the level of the school, but she helped me to be at the level. I rapidly got accustomed to it, and the words flowed like water through my mouth. What I loved about English were the Spelling Bee contests. I always won them, so I knew my skills were growing. I had the opportunity to go to an oratory contest once. It is one of the most beautiful experiences I have had. It served me as a base for losing the lack of self-esteem. It prepared me for the world. That is the closest experience to the real world I have, not only because I competed with many other students, but because I proved my skills to myself and to a group of people.
But where can we test our abilities? Simple... When you go to a trip in the U.S. or in another part of the world, you are tested. I’m lucky to have traveled to Europe. It’s totally another world, another perspective. There, if you want something you need to fend for yourself. English is the universal language so you need to use it, if you don’t know the native language.
Now, I’m lucky to continue my studies in a bilingual school, which keeps showing me the importance of English and its value as the universal language. English in our lives is not a game. It is not a language to learn, because it’s pretty, it’s a language to learn because you need it in the real world. But knowing English is not the only language you need. As a person you don’t need to be conformist. You need to have ambition for more, because it is a globalized world you need to start learning more languages. English is the base of a great pyramid of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself in learning only one language. You need to go further and expect more of yourself and the world in which you live.
Please check the Methodology and Language for Secondary Teachers course at Pilgrims website.