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I grew up in a small village and I had not attended any English classes before I graduated from "high school". To get an opportunity to attend a college, I forced myself to get up at 5:30 in the morning to learn English on the radio. After one year's efforts, I found I had grasped the spelling rule of English language. It took me several years to get qualified for China's college education at that time. In some sense, my background is very, very poor.
I was a home-grown Ph. D in China ( "native Ph." In Chinglish). And I have never taken TOFEL , GRE and ESL tests. But I have been learning English. I have been living in a Chinese-speaking environment. So far, I have been in the USA for 3.5 years. My first boss in USA is mainland-born Chinese. My second boss, also the present boss, is Chinese, too.
Since I got into IT industry, I have been surrounded by Chinese colleages. Even now, one of my co-workers is ethically Chinese. However, I have been doing my best to improve my English. For instance, I have ever read a lot of flyers and ads. To improve my listening, I have made a lot of 800 calls. I have very few opportunties to speak and listen English. However, I find I think in English as I read and write.
I have no problems in speaking about IT technologies and understanding my co-workers. I can go through 200 pages of documentation within 4 hours. I can write various technical documentations as fast as I do in Chinese. However, I have great difficulties in watching some talk shows on the TV.
By the way, it took me two years to understand the weather and traffic reports on the radio. I hope I can understand those talk shows in a few years since I choose to live in the America.
No pain, no gain.
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