English language has been a part of my life ever since my childhood, first through watching television series and movies, and more on from the early youth, when listening to music and reading English language news and articles became an important part of my life.
However, although I had a good understanding of both the spoken and written English, the problem was in the writing, especially with the grammar aspect. This had it remarks to the English grade, which was below the average during my high school years. Part of which was caused by my dyslexia, which had its effect on writing in particular. From this basis, the next step, which I did regarding my studies, would not sound like the most likely one.
I decided to apply to a bachelor program, which was taught in English language. In the beginning of my bachelor studies I struggled rather a lot, but I had a strong belief that I can manage, if I just keep using the language and that way trying to improve my skills. After a few months of using English daily, and a few writing assignments later, it got gradually better.
Now, years later and using, during most days, more English than Finnish and having written hundreds of pages in English, I feel that I have reached a stage where I can manage with my language skills pretty much in every situation. However, you never can be perfect and there is always room to improve, like probably this text contains some misspelling. In that case, you just try to get as much feedback as possible and adjust your future work accordingly. This is a way, which I have noticed to be the most efficient way to learn for me. I guess that you can call it “learning by doing” approach. Besides this, also reading helped me to improve my writing, for example by providing examples of text structures which I have included in my own writing style.
To conclude, you never can be perfect with certain ability and life is full of learning possibilities. Sometimes you just need to take the leap of faith that you can manage with the imperfect skills you already have, rather than just wait to achieve the perfect skills. If I have done it, you can do it also - just use your language skills whenever possible. Open Your Mouth!
Text: Ville Myllynpää, a student of Independent Study in English course