Bilingualism Matters Blog

Welcome to the Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh blog section! We invite a wide range of contributors to get involved and stimulate discussion about bilingualism and language learning. As such, not all opinions given here represent the views of Bilingualism Matters.

The Joy of Languaging: In Celebration of Human Rights Day

Post by Mariel Deluna, PhD Education Student at University of Edinburgh & BM Edinburgh Volunteer

We celebrate Human Rights Day to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted on December 10, 1948. The UDHR is itself proof of the power of language: it has been translated in over 500 languages and is the most translated document in the world. Today, the UDHR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights alongside two more documents that protect our civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. The section that protects our civil and political rights says that ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities, “shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.”

[Read more…]

Galician: A minority language in Spain

Post by María García Basanta, BM Edinburgh Volunteer

Galicia is a region in the northwest of Spain. This is a bilingual area where Spanish and Galician are both spoken and used in education, or by regional public organisations. The population is bilingual: some predominantly Spanish speakers, others predominantly Galician speakers.

The similarities between Spanish and Galician allow speakers to mix them. You will easily find someone speaking Spanish introducing Galician words into their sentences or the other way around. We speak of “castrapo” when someone uses a mix of Spanish with syntax, vocabulary and expressions taken from Galician.

Language switching (or ‘code switching’ as researchers call it) is also a widely spread phenomenon. People switch languages in the same conversation or depending on the environment or the person they are talking to. Most of these changes are mainly due to the age of the speakers or their background (Spanish is mainly used in cities and Galician in the countryside). When you move from one sphere to another, people will categorise you and talk to you in what they think is your majority language. It is like wearing an invisible tag: “I am from a young person from a city; therefore, people will talk to me in Spanish”.

Most language choices made daily, such as mixing or switching, are due to stereotypes and prejudices associated with Galician. This was inherited from Franco’s dictatorship when Galician was forbidden. Many prejudices and bad connotations appeared at the time to discourage the use of the language. This misinformation has outlived previous generations and sadly remains among the population.

The situation affects the language choices families make with children. Parents often do not choose Galician as the language they speak with their children. Young people are widely addressed in Spanish. Why do grandparents, parents and entire families speak Galician among themselves but in Spanish to the children? Is the fear that existed during the dictatorship? Is it because of prejudices and stereotypes?

I grew up with two languages, but mainly one was spoken to me: Spanish. My mum came from a city where she spoke Spanish and she used that language with me. My dad tried to speak Galician at home; however, he was a minority.

My education was bilingual Galician-Spanish and a determinant factor of my Galician skills. Approximately seventy-eighty per cent of my subjects were taught in Galician and the rest in Spanish. When I was in secondary school, the government started a trend of restrictions that reduced Galician exposure to a maximum of fifty per cent of the curriculum. But that, at least, allowed me to maintain a balanced exposure to both languages at school. If it were not because Galician is compulsory in the educational curriculum in the region, most of the young population would not speak it fluently or at all.

I believe we need to break all the negative tendencies, language choices and prejudices. My most used language might be English or Spanish since I moved abroad, but Galician is the language of my home, my family, my culture, my education, and a big part of me.

Outside Galicia we feel “morriña”, a feeling of sorrow when being away of our homeland, and only our own language has a word to describe that feeling. There is a strong regional feeling, we have our own culture and traditions that are linked to the language. If we lose one, we will lose the other. We need a change in the region, in the population, in the families’ language choices. Inform families of the benefits of raising children bilingually, of speaking a minority language. Help families avoid choosing only Spanish just because they mistakenly believe “it will be better for their future”. What is it going to happen to Galician in fifty years if children and young people do not speak the language? We need to break what we have inherited over the years and let the language grow, not disappear.

In Galicia, the word “lingua” means both tongue and language. It is said that Galicians are so lazy that we have a “lingua” and we do not use it. How can our language survive with that attitude?

Accent Positivity

Post by By Maria Dokovova, BM Edinburgh Volunteer

One aspect of bilingualism that often flies under the radar is people’s accents. The “not what you say, but how you say it”.

English language academics have often defined bilingualism as the ability to pass for a monolingual in each of the languages. [1, 2, 3]  However, it is one of the earliest and some of the more recent definitions that emphasise the fluid aspect of people’s accents and thankfully don’t require people to erase their identities to be counted as bilinguals. [4, 5]

You don’t need to look far to see the impact of the strict bilingualism definitions. Indeed, the foreign language learning outcomes listed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education expect high school students to use a native-like accent in their chosen foreign language. The Ministry diplomatically refrains from specifying which native accents are acceptable. As someone who has attended a Bulgarian high-school, something tells me that regional native accents or an accent that matches the students’ social class within their second language might be discouraged by their teachers. Of course, I would love it if I was proved wrong!

The more insidious impact of this philosophy lies in the feelings of shame and inadequacy that it breeds among foreign language learners. Most people I know who have tried to speak a foreign language are immediately faced with how different they sound from the “native” standard. Moreover, second language accents are a mockery staple, especially in a classroom full of teenagers. This results in unwillingness to speak, or in people harboring shame in the failure to change something that is inextricably linked to their identity.

Changing our accent is linked to accepting a new identity. Fellow second language English speakers have asked me countless times to help them get rid of their Bulgarian accent. And why not? If your native accent will lower your score in standardized language testing, lead to lower levels of trust 6, and lower intelligibility 7 then frankly, I might want to consider changing my accent as well!

And so I have, actually. I still remember how alien it felt when I was in high-school in Bulgaria. Every time I tried to adopt an English ‘received pronunciation’ twist, I felt like I was lying to everyone by trying to be someone I am not. However, later in my life, when I was immersed in an environment that led me to rapidly grow as a person, I effortlessly absorbed the accent of the young US women I was surrounded by and whom I ended up identifying with. So, every time I get a compliment for not sounding like someone who identifies as Bulgarian, I take that as a reflection of the person’s values rather than a compliment on the effort that I didn’t actually put into changing my accent.

There is so much more to be said on this topic and we want to encourage everyone to share their perspective and experiences online using this hashtag: #accentpositivity

For now I just want to challenge the reader to try the following exercise. [Disclaimer: I do this exercise regularly, because I need it too: challenging feelings and assumptions that arise automatically after years of societal conditioning is not wrong because it feels uncomfortable.] Consider these questions and how they make you feel: What if people’s accents are just an element of their identity? What if my accent is just an element of my identity? What if they are not a moral choice, or a failure at tongue gymnastics? For the sake of this mental exercise, what does it feel like to accept people’s accents with positivity for what they are?

As a society we are already trying not to treat people poorly because of their skin colour, size, sexuality, gender identity, religion, social class or place of origin. All of these facets can find a way to express themselves in people’s accents and voices. Do we want to encourage their erasure? Or can we adjust to society’s expectations to embrace the myriad wonderful accents our individual identities have created?

[1] Bloomfield, L. (1933), Language, H. Holt, New York.

[2] Huston, N. (2002), Losing North: Musings on Land, Tongue and Self, McArthur, Toronto.

[3] Thiery, C. (1978), “True Bilingualism and Second-language Learning”, in Gerver, D. and Wallace Sinaiko, H. (Eds.), Language Interpretation and Communication, Springer US, Boston, MA, pp. 145–153.

[4] Haugen, E. (1956), Bilingualism in the Americas: A Bibliography and Research Guide, American Dialect Society.

[5] de Bot, K. and Jaensch, C. (2015), “What is special about L3 processing?*”, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 130–144.

[6] Foucart, A., Santamaría-García, H. and Hartsuiker, R. (2017), “First impression matters. Impact of a foreign accent on cognitive processes.”, presented at the Conference on Multilingualism, Groningen, the Netherlands, p. 33.

[7] van Wijngaarden, S.J., Steeneken, H.J.M. and Houtgast, T. (2002), “Quantifying the intelligibility of speech in noise for non-native talkers”, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 112 No. 6, pp. 3004–3013.

Bilingualism and Literacy Development

By Candice Mathers, PhD Candidate in Linguistics & English Language, University of Edinburgh

This October we celebrate Bilingual Child Month. A bilingual child knows two or more languages, which can offer tremendous insights into multiple cultures. There are many studies surrounding the benefits of bilingualism and methods to teach infants and children multiple languages. We know that language learning stimulates the mind, improves concentration and multitasking abilities, supports creativity, and builds strong social interaction skills. Bilingualism also has benefits as an adult. Multiple language use improves competitiveness in the job market and can help an individual to stay mentally stronger for longer.

One of the most important aspects of development for bilingual children is the development of literacy. We understand literacy as the ability to process the structures of a language and to understand the purpose and meaning of written language. Reading is particularly essential for a child’s present and future academic success. Children that experience difficulties with reading may never overcome them, resulting in poor academic performance. Learning to read is a challenge for all children, regardless of whether they are learning to read in one language or two. It takes years of teaching and practice for a child to become a skilled and fluent reader. Children have to learn how letters (orthography), sounds (phonology), and meaning (semantics) relate to one another. Some bilingual children may learn two languages from birth (simultaneous bilingualism), while others learn one language from birth and add a second a few years later (sequential bilingualism). Neither approach is better than the other and bilingual children will regardless have two sound systems, vocabularies and grammars to work with.


When bilingual children learn to read, they compare the differences and similarities of their two languages. This helps them to understand both languages in depth. For example, they will notice that their two languages have different rules for creating words and meaning, and that we can name the same thing but it will be written in different ways. But being bilingual does not necessarily slow down or confuse children when it comes to reading. In fact, bilingual children can even show some advantages over their monolingual peers when developing important reading skills. Research shows that bilingual learners may actually transfer orthographic, phonological, and semantic skills between their languages, which actually supports their ability to read in both languages.


Research on the bilingual child’s reading progress tries to answer several questions, such as:

  • How do children learn to read in different languages?
  • What mental and linguistic factors help create fluent reading in a second language?
  • What challenges do bilingual children face?
  • How can we support their reading development in both languages?

Researchers can test language skills in children with the help of clever and fun tasks, for example by asking children to name pictures, give antonyms and synonyms to words, break apart words into sounds, or remove sounds in a word. Understanding how growing up bilingual affects children’s language skills and reading outcomes can help us understand which language and reading skills parents and educators can focus on to promote reading success.


There are several positive methods for encouraging reading skills in the home and in school. Below is a list of possible activities that parents and educators can use to help promote reading development, though it is far from exhaustive. Some methods may work better than others for each individual child but with some trial and error, each child can become a successful bilingual reader.

  • Begin reading to your children as early as possible. Even when you think they’re not paying attention you’re still helping to establish a reading habit.
  • Make sure your children see you reading regularly and that they are aware of how important reading is to you.
  • Engage your child’s interests by finding books in both languages that focus on the topics they care about.
  • Consider bilingual books where both languages are used to tell a story. You can read the book in one language and ask the child to read in the other.
  • If your kids are already reading, talk to them about the books they are reading, and look for reading material that covers the same topics in the second language.
  • Try to find materials related to your family history and culture to give personal meaning to bilingual reading.
  • Don’t make books the only source of reading material. Look for other things to read such as magazines, newspapers, online articles, puzzles, and board games.
  • Recruit the help of family or friends who speak the second language. Look for opportunities for your child to read to others, such as younger siblings and older relatives, in either language.

It is important to remember that sometimes a young bilingual reader can get things a little mixed up. The journey to bilingual literacy is individual of course, but with encouragement, time, and practice, bilingual children can learn to read in both of their languages.

If you have any questions about raising bilingual children, or encouraging language learning, please get in touch.

European Day of Languages: reflecting on European identity, freedom of movement and the role of linguistic exchange

Post by Vittoria Moresco, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh

Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

Since 2001, when it was jointly introduced by the Council of Europe and the European Union, on 26th September of each year we celebrate the European Day of Languages. Involving institutions as well as the public from its 45 participating countries, it is a day dedicated to the celebration of Europe’s linguistic diversity and the endorsement of language learning and linguistic exchange.

It would feel somewhat contradictory to write about anything European without acknowledging that we find ourselves at a time when our “European identity” is undeniably more fractured than it has been since maybe World War II. If existing in a post-Brexit Europe wasn’t enough to intensify the national-vs-European dichotomy, the COVID-19 pandemic adds yet another layer to this divisive discourse that could tear us apart. In the midst of this crisis, we have seen a number of examples of national interests suppressing the concepts of European solidarity and collaboration our Union was founded on – from Germany’s denial of medical equipment shipments to Switzerland in March’s mask hysteria, to the EU’s reluctant response to Italy’s plight. Moreover, with the importance of freedom of movement being undermined and used as pawn in political negotiations after the Brexit referendum, the threat to our physical freedom has been made even more painfully tangible by the – albeit necessary – lockdown restrictions and isolation measures.

In this climate, raising awareness of the European linguistic landscape might seem to be irrelevant to the very poignant condition of Europe as a continent as well as a social construct. But as an organisation grounded on linguistic research, the idea that the languages you speak and interact with can shape your perspective and identity is a very familiar one. Research shows that learning foreign languages can boost one’s empathy, while also promoting communication skills by enhancing perspective taking. While your native language provides you the starting point to develop your identity through interaction, with linguistic exchange comes the possibility to broaden your horizons – both literally as well as socially – by facilitating the way in which you are able to see the world through many different lenses, some of which you might wish to make your own.

In an increasingly nationalistic environment, celebrating the European day of languages seems this year more important than ever, as it encourages an awareness of our diversity and the opportunities for growth that come with it. It encourages us to abandon fear-driven isolation tendencies within ourselves, as well as nationalistic and isolationist attitudes on a larger political and socio-economic scale, in favour of a supportive and collaborative exchange.

May you spend this day reflecting upon the joy and growth arising from your interaction with other languages and cultures in your own life, I know I will.






5. Fan, S. P., Liberman, Z., Keysar, B., Kinzler, K. D. (2015). ‘The Exposure Advantage: Early Exposure to a Multilingual Environment Promotes Effective Communication’, in Psychological Science, 26(7), 1090-1097.

Celebrating the International Day of Sign Languages

To mark the International Day of Sign Languages on 23rd September 2020, we are delighted to publish our first video in British Sign Language (BSL), by Alison Hendry, British Sign Language Development Officer at the University of Edinburgh. The video provides an introduction to Bilingualism Matters and introduces a second video of our first recorded event with BSL interpretation (English transcript available here).

Introduction to Bilingualism Matters & June 2020 webinar in BSL
Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh June 2020 Webinar with BSL translation and captions

Find out more about the International Day of Sign Languages at the United Nations website.

The International Day of Sign Languages is an unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users. […] Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages. […]

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes and promotes the use of sign languages. It makes clear that sign languages are equal in status to spoken languages and obligates states parties to facilitate the learning of sign language and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community.

United Nations

The Importance of Language Learning and Maintenance amid Brexit and COVID-19: Evidence from Successful EAL Practice

Post by Mattia Zingaretti, PhD Researcher in Linguistics & English Language, University of Edinburgh

The following thoughts and reflections are based on and inspired by the presentations given by Prof Antonella Sorace, Dr Naomi Flynn and Dr Yvonne Foley at the recent webinar ‘The new normal for languages at home, school and in the community’, co-organised by Bilingualism Matters (BM) and Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT).

[Read more…]

My success story: writing a PhD thesis in a foreign language

Post by Dr Bérengère Digard, University of Edinburgh

I have recently finished my PhD, which involved – as you may know – writing a doctoral thesis. A PhD thesis is no small deed. It definitely falls more in the realms of scientific books than dissertations: it tells an intricate story and tries to make a compelling argument for your findings, covering highly complex ideas in a clear and meaningful way. As you can imagine, few people find this particular part of the PhD easy, especially when you have to write it… in a foreign language.

When I started my PhD, the thesis was one of my biggest fears. English is my 3rd language (in terms of age of acquisition, but 2nd in terms of proficiency), and before the PhD, I could understand everything easily, and speak decently (with a strong French accent). But for the life of me I could not write. I had written an MSc dissertation, but the whole process was excruciating.

When writing in French, I had my own style and tone, fashioned over the years. I’ve always loved using puns alongside unexpected or quaint synonyms. I felt like my writing could reflect my true self. In English… not so much. In writing, unlike speaking, you have all the time in the world to reflect upon your own incompetence. I would start over-thinking everything: “is the right grammatical structure this one or that one? Am I using the right tense? Does this word need a preposition?” When writing in English, I would quickly start feeling helpless, unable to express all my thoughts as they were, limited by the few words I knew. Subject — Verb — Object. The overall style: bland with sprinkles of harrowing dullness. When writing in English, I would feel pretty much like a baboon, a babbling bumbling (band of) baboon(s) (Thumbs up if you got the Minerva McGonagall reference here). As you can imagine this is pretty incompatible with the writing of a PhD thesis.

So, how did I manage this frightening endeavour?

I prepared myself from the start of the PhD, 3 years before the thesis (for a mid-journey check-in, read my #BilingualProblems blogpost on my PhD blog).

1. I read

In French I already had a style, and it could not be exactly translated… which meant that I had the opportunity to start afresh and find a whole new one! I started to feed my language with as many writing styles as I could, and I would devour all the writing I could find.

2. I practiced writing

As it is definitely tricky to find your style when doing only academic writing, I started off with a blog. Writing about anything you actually enjoy eases you into the process, you get carried away and you stop focusing on the grammar. Bonus: eventually I started to enjoy writing in English! Eventually, when I got enough data in my research, I was able to start writing short academic pieces, like abstracts, proposals and papers, to slowly transfer my newly acquired writing skills into academic work.

3. I learned to be proud of my progress

Sure, my writing is still not Tolkien-worthy, and to be fair I don’t believe it will ever be, even in French. Still, the 10-year-old me who could only say textbook sentences such as “Where is Brian? Brian is in the kitchen / Where is my umbrella? It’s behind the door” would be flabbergasted by my current English proficiency. On a smaller scale, I now notice all the grammatical structures and less common words I can use spontaneously, while a couple of years ago I had to actively research them.

And then, when the thesis finally happened:

4. I allowed myself to be of inconsistent quality

On certain days (or when writing about certain results) I was extremely inspired and wrote first drafts so well that they almost didn’t change for the final thesis. Other days (or when writing about other topics) I could not get further than “Subject – Verb – Object”. Well, that’s okay. Ideally all the thesis is of equal quality and style, but the first (and even second) draft does not have to be. On these lower quality days, I just focused on getting words out of the keyboards and ideas onto the screen. When getting back to these sections, by myself or with feedback from my supervisors, I was able to shape them into something better (while not having to start from a blank page, which is always nice).

5. I relied on generous native speakers

Even though I know my new writing style is pretty good, the anxiety of mistakes still crept in near the end of the write-up. Luckily, I was able to count on several native-speaking friends to help me through this last stage. I sent them one chapter each, asking them to point out any sentence that “made sense but didn’t feel right”. They actually found very few of these. I guess I should have been more confident in my own skills.

Thus ends my thesis writing journey, from high school skills to a pretty doctoral thesis. At the very start of my remote viva (lockdown style), the examiners immediately said how beautifully the thesis was written, which is, to me, one of the highest compliments they could have given me. The journey of building a new style and finding in myself the confidence to share my writings was long and sometimes challenging, but achievable! If you are as anxious about your writing as I was, I hope this testimony will help you and motivate you to get out there and share your words. If I could do it, so can you.



Xenophobia, racism, linguistic profiling: the role of language

Post by Eva-Maria Schnelten, PhD student in Linguistics

In February this year, a mother and her 15-year-old child were attacked in the streets of Boston [1]. They were on their way home from dinner, in their own neighbourhood, speaking their home language Spanish.  Two women approached them, beat them, bit them, told them to speak English and go back to their own country. A crime based on xenophobia and racism. According to the attackers, based on fear.

This is not an isolated incident. This is unfortunately an all too common theme in today’s world. Many of you may have encountered uncomfortable, awkward situations based on the languages you speak or the accent you might have. Personally, I have encountered negative attitudes twice in recent years. On my way home one afternoon about two years ago on South Bridge in Edinburgh, when I was on the phone with my grandmother, a rather intoxicated man overheard me speaking German, stopped and screamed in my ear to ‘LEARN ENGLISH!”. On a different occasion, another passer-by overheard me speaking English on the street. After he listened in on me, he accused me of having a ‘suspicious accent’, asked where I was from and said he couldn’t wait for Brexit to happen, so that people like me have to leave the country.

Speaking a foreign language or having an accent often means exposing yourself. People might categorize you, and some may even feel offended by anything they don’t understand and respond with unjustified aggression. These aggressions reveal their instincts quite well. Immediate hostile reactions unmask their incapability to tolerate, accept and respect differences in others. Their attitudes towards you, the languages you speak, stems from their opinion, what they have heard, what they were taught or their own experiences.

Language attitudes are important. Language is weaponized and politicized. Language can be used as a tool for oppression, for exclusion, a tool that determines whether you belong. If you don’t conform, if your accent reveals a different world of foreign sounds, if your melody doesn’t match their rhythm, if your vocabulary bears the slightest trace of unfamiliarity – you stand out. Research (see e.g. Craft et al, 2020 [2] for an overview) has shown that people with foreign accents are less likely to be hired, or to be taken on as tenants. That practice is known as linguistic profiling.

According to Craft et al, every time you adapt your language to accomplish something, such as improving your accent for a better chance on the job market, it can already be described as linguistic discrimination. In his book Born A Crime [3] (I highly recommend it!), Trevor Noah says that “Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people. […] My color didn’t change, but I could change your perception of my color. I didn’t look like you, but if I spoke like you, I was you.” Growing up in Apartheid South Africa, Noah learned several languages to blend in. Afrikaans to know the language of the oppressors, Zulu and Xhosa to be able to defend himself in the streets, and his mother made sure he spoke English to provide better opportunities for her son, given the uncertain future at the time. He used the languages he spoke to belong. He utilised languages as an instrument for defense, for a broken, racist, xenophobic system that excluded everyone that is not a part of the ‘tribe’. He wanted to belong. He changed in order to tick the boxes and fit in.

Although bilingualism is the norm for more than half the global population, monolingualism has become the default for many people, particularly in English-speaking countries. Bilingualism is viewed as a threat. Imagine the world if we continue traveling down the road of the two attackers from the incident described above. For just a brief, painful moment, envision a world where we find all people different from us suspicious or threatening. There is so much more that we, that our languages, have in common than what divides us.

In light of recent events, I believe it is now more important than ever to invite other people in. Let’s not use our languages to exclude others. Let’s make use of our language to learn, to speak, to listen and to sing. Different accents and foreign languages can teach us so much about each other. They can open up an entire world that we have yet to discover. We need to see bilingualism as an enrichment, an addition to our cultures. We need to use language as a tool to welcome each other in. Let us celebrate linguistic diversity. Let our languages unite against linguistic discrimination. Because we are better than this.


[2] Craft, J. & Wright, K. & Weissler, R. & Queen, R. (2020). Language and Discrimination: Generating Meaning, Perceiving Identities, and Discriminating Outcomes. Annual Review of Linguistics. 6. 10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011718-011659.


World Refugee Day 2020: Reflections on learning a new language

To mark World Refugee Day on Saturday 20th June 2020, we have a guest post by Sudanese refugee Mohammed, who now lives in the UK, reflecting on his experiences learning English as a second language.

As we know our world became like a small village, as a result of the huge leap in communication technologies, especially internet, television, phones, radio and podcasts. This communication leap helped to advance the ways in which we communicate with each other and this made the world seem borderless. This reality in todays show us how its important to learn second language, or as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said: “The limit of your language mean the limits of your world”.

I was born in Sudan. I grew up speaking Arabic language with Sudanese accent. When I  was undergrad I knew the importance of learning second language, because I found that it may help me to go forward and  improve myself, especially because in my field of study, mechanical engineering, a lot has been written in other languages then Arabic.  Unfortunately, in spite of this, I can’ t do anything at that time.

After I graduated from university I knew more and more about the benefits of learning second language. I knew the language skills can be a significant competitive advantage that set you apart from your monolingual peers. I knew bilinguals have the unique opportunity to communicate with a wider range of people in their personal and professional lives. People who speak more than one language have  been found to have improved memory, enhance concentration as well as display signs of greater creativity and flexibility. Learning second language boosted my confidence by putting myself out there and moving out of my comfort zone. Learning a second language gives me deep knowledge to the other culture, arts, and history of the people associated with that language.

I decided to read books, listen to music and watching movies every single day and improve my vocabulary by practicing five new words every day. According to my experience the process of learning English is not easy, sometimes I feel that I can’t speak English fluently, but it’s normal feeling for person like me. I work hard to keep new English words as much as I can. After a long time, I discovered that the most English words I kept were by wrong pronunciation. This confused me. Sometimes I also speak to someone in English and find myself thinking about what I am going to say in Arabic. This is very annoying to me. So, now am working very hard to speak English fluently, its my goal, because it’s my key for everything.