Live and Learn, then….Pass It On!

Why I Started Learning English


Anyone who has attended classes at Thai Language Tuition UK knows, I arrived in England almost 30 years ago and when I stepped off that plane at Manchester airport and through the immigration with my family, I was more than a little worried as I spoke absolutely no English.

My first impression of England was, “It’s cold here! And, the snow melts?!” That was the first time I have ever seen snow and experienced such cold weather. When we arrived at our new home, it quickly dawned on me that nobody in the whole neighbourhood spoke even the slightest of Thai. I knew I would need to learn English and fast!

I was in a situation where I felt completely cut off from everything I understood and I struggled terribly with culture shock. At school, I felt isolated, confused, nervous, sad, anxious, and frustrated with my inability to make significant progress. My new friends at school had different values and beliefs than mine. And because of these differences, the things they talk about, and the way they express themselves were very different from what I was used to. Each day at school was intense and seemed endlessly long, I was homesick!

Eventually, I realised that my undeveloped English language skills were keeping me trapped in this tense, painful and long transition whirlpool, and that I would never feel comfortable with living in England or call it my permanent home until I become serious about learning more English.

Catching the Learning Bug

With that in mind, it was my one and only dream to not only to learn to speak, read and write English, but to learn it well. Something I was determined to do before I leave high school. English is certainly not an easy language to learn, but I worked hard at it and I read daily, whether that be a phone book, a local paper or the Yellow Pages!

I learned the basics at first – enough to communicate my needs and exchange basic ideas in a social setting with my new friends at school and the neighbours. Acquiring the English language skills necessary to understand others, and to express myself and be understood made an enormous difference to my sense of belonging.

Finally, my effort paid off when I finished high school with grade A in the English GCSE. With that result, my confidence level grew immensely and I became more comfortable with learning the English language. The most important thing I have learned from the extremely intense transition period is to believe in myself and trust that things will always work out, no matter how difficult the situation may seem. I have learned more about life, people and the English culture from learning the English language than I could ever have imagined.

Why I Love to Learn

Since the day I left high school, I haven’t really stopped learning English. I went on to study GNVQ in Business Management and NEBOSH in General Occupational Health & Safety, and later the NEBOSH diploma – I did them all in the evenings after work! I even attempted to learn Norwegian, which I failed epically! But that’s another story I will share in another post.

Learning to learn English has changed me in so many ways, especially in the way I view England today. It had made me realise that every country and culture has its positive and negative characteristics, and that its people had something constructive to teach me. It has made me more open-minded and more appreciative of Thai culture and traditions.

Today, I am a proud founder of Thai Language Tuition UK and a qualified TEFL teacher, and I am not tired of learning yet – quite the opposite, the more I learn the more I realise there is much more knowledge waiting to be discovered. And after almost 30 years of learning, I am very happy to be sharing my knowledge with all my students.

What’s Your Reasons for Learning Thai?

These are the reasons why I learn a language. What’s your? Why not take some time to think about the reasons why you are actually learning Thai to begin with. It may be that you want to enhance your travel experience, get a teaching job, marrying into Thai culture or just simply want to expand your knowledge. Whatever your reasons may be, try to remember all the benefits that will come from your learning process whenever you hit a rough patch. Make sure to always keep your goals clear, stay positive and try to appreciate every small victory. The keys are to be confident, think positive and have hope! Remember that making progress by successive stages is your guarantee to surely progress!

As always….Thank you so much for reading my post. Have a delightful day, everyone!

Li Morrissey
Course Co-ordinator & Tutor
Thai Language Tuition UK