Leo and Breel (not their real names!) are tweeny ESL students, learning English with us for 4-5 years. Both boys come from a non-English speaking background, although Leo spent two years in South Africa. Let’s listen in as they chat together about learning and using English.
Leo: Hi Breel.
Breel: Hi Leo.
Leo: Hey Breel, where did you use your English before?
Breel: Australia and the USA. When did you speak English?
Leo: I spoke English in Africa, because I was there in Kindergarten. I lived in Cape Town for 2 years. But now I want to know from you Breel, how you used English.
Breel: I went on holiday with a camper in Australia. We stayed in caravan parks and we met other boys. We played football and other games. It was good to speak English because I could talk and play with the other kids. Where else did you use English?
Leo: Sometimes on the street here in Switzerland people ask me for directions. It is nice for me to be able to help them. Is the English in school easier to learn than in Mary-Kate’s English School?
Breel: It is easier for me to learn at Mary-Kate because we do worksheets and we do not learn from books. We talk more in English here and I like doing posters and playing games. And we can have nice big colourful paper to use. Was it hard to learn English in Africa?
Leo: No, it wasn’t very hard to learn English there because I had a friend there who could speak English and German. When I didn’t know a word, I could just ask him.Was it hard for you to learn English?
Breel: I was 6 when I started in the very first English class for Mary-Kate. From the start it was easier because I knew Maura and I had my brothers with me. We were in a big group. But I am better at understanding than speaking.
Leo: Yeah. But you do good.