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Read the students' descriptions of their experiences studying foreign languages. For questions 43 – 52, choose the correct section. The sections may be chosen more than once.
Foreign Language Learning
A. Hannah Barnes
I've wanted to learn Greek for as long as I can remember. Many people develop an interest in the language because of the myths they read as children. In my case, it was a summer holiday in the Greek islands that motivated me. Most public schools don't teach Greek, in my area at least, so my only option was to enrol in a private language school. It's not the cheapest hobby in the world, but I've been pleased with the experience so far. I have a great teacher, and there are only three other students in my class. I have to admit that the language is tougher than I was expecting. I've had to learn a new alphabet, although I was prepared for that. What I hadn't anticipated is the difficulty of the grammar. Even though it's only been a few months, I've already filled two notebooks with verb forms and other grammatical points.
B. Sylvia Miller
I travelled to Poland a lot as a child. My mother was born in a town near Gdansk, and still has a lot of family there. The culture, therefore, is very familiar to me. On the other hand, despite my background, I wasn't brought up speaking Polish. I'm often told that my parents should have raised me bilingual. When I hear that, I always think, easier said than done! As my parents speak to each other in English, that's the language I grew up using. I'd put off studying Polish for many years, partly because it has the reputation of being very difficult, and also because I just never had the time. However, recently I decided that I wanted to have a go at it. I've been able to find a lot of resources online, and a couple of family members have been helping me. I may not ever be totally fluent, but hopefully one day I'll achieve an intermediate level.
C. Annie Jeffries
This year, for the very first time, my school started running Chinese language classes for secondary school students. I suppose the directors finally realised the importance of the language on the world stage. When I found out I'd have the chance to study Chinese, I didn't think twice. None of my friends wanted to try out the classes, perhaps because the language is famously tough. In my case, I figured, why not have a go? In the future I might want to work in international business, or perhaps have a career in foreign affairs. The ability to speak Chinese could be useful in those professions. I love the classes so far, even though I have to study a lot and I'm sometimes overwhelmed by all of the characters I need to memorise. Next, I want to put what I've learned into practice, so I'm looking into travelling to China over the summer.
D. Beth Davidson
In my opinion, some people are naturally good at languages, whereas others find them difficult. You may disagree with this perspective, but it's what my personal experience has shown me. My school requires that students study at least two years of French. Many of my friends have breezed through these classes, and claim that they're very easy to pass. In my case, new grammar and vocabulary tend to be impossible to learn. Maybe it's because French sounds so different to English. Just making the sounds is an uphill battle! Even if I do manage to get through my exams, I usually forget what I've learned soon after. Because of all this, meeting my school's requirement has been very frustrating. It's a shame because I like French history and culture. If I were to visit France, I would like to be able to speak to the people there.
43. explains that the language is hard to pronounce
44. was initially too busy to devote time to the language
45. believes the language might help her find a job
46. has had a different experience compared to her friends
47. thought that the language would be easier to learn
48. did not learn when she was younger, in spite of her heritage
49. is glad she has been given the chance to study the language
50. decided to learn without signing up for a class
51. made a financial investment in order to pursue her interest
52. is not enthusiastic about the language she is studying