The first step to fluency

I want to bring you into my world, talking about one of my first and all-time favourite movies/cartoons: Phineas and Ferb

If you want to get to know me, this is how. Loving and talking about cartoons and/or movies has become a part of my persona from I-can’t-tell-when. My characteristic is no different from the events in this cartoon: childish, wild, loving, a little bit crazy, and rarely speak, only at important times.

I started learning English when I was 6 or 7. At the start, it wasn’t much, I was just going to extra classes, whatever my parents told me to do, I did. Little did I realize it would shape my whole life going forward.

I can’t pinpoint exactly the moment I fell in love with English, or with American culture, or maybe the accent, and with the jokes I sometimes get. However, I remember falling in love with Phineas and Ferb. Back when my life was as big as the TV in front of me, I would always watch Disney Channel (look at that, my only personality trait) from 8 until 10 p.m, that is if my parents would let me, of course. Every day ended with them yelling “Turn off the TV and go to bed baby, it’s late”. I mean, I did listen to them, MOST of the time, and yes, maybe that was the reason for their distrust in me some other days.

There was this particular day. I was watching Phineas and Ferb, per usual. My parents screamed. I turned off the TV. I went to the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror, got excited to do an impression of Phineas “I know what we’re gonna do today!”. My parents screamed again “I told you to turn it OFF!”. This was when it hit me: I sounded so much like the TV, my parents mistook me for it. And this was also when I realized that all my time in English class was not in vain, that I could actually use it, and be exactly like one of my favourite characters. I went to sleep happy that day.

With that little encouragement from my parents (that they weren’t even aware of), I felt stronger and more confident every day. Later, when I have become an English teacher, I found out that the technique that I was using when watching movies, is called “SHADOWING”. Basically, you mimic the pronunciation, the intonation, and the way of delivery of however a real conversation is happening. It helps your overall speaking skills to be more natural, precise, and it can be a good laugh if you enjoy the movie. We all do it with our favourite movie, right? Why not do it in English?

I insist that if you have a chance, try it out. Start with any conversation, from a vlog, from a song, from a short movie, from a show, from a cartoon. It will grow on you. You will remember all the lines and the attitude in the movie in no time.

Until then, your IELTS mentor is here for you, anytime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *