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Student Perspective | César Gonzalez | The University of Gibraltar Language Centre Student

César shares his experiences of studying with us
22nd June 2021
César lives and works in Gibraltar and is originally from Cuba. He is studying English at the University of Gibraltar Language Centre. He has undertaken a variety of courses and plans to sit his Cambridge Assessment English Linguaskill Test soon.

How did you first find out about the University of Gibraltar Language Centre?

My native language is Spanish, but because I was interested in knowing more and improving my English, I asked a friend at work if he knew of any places in Gibraltar where I could study. He advised me that I could go to the University of Gibraltar for lessons – he gave me all of their information.

Why do you want to improve your English?

I think that life is too short; if you have the chance of improving your education, you should make the effort to do so. English is a language that will give you more opportunities as many employers in Gibraltar require English to be spoken. I believe that if you live in Gibraltar, an effort should be made to speak the language properly. Also, no one knows what will happen in the future; perhaps I might have another opportunity of a job that requires me to speak English at a good level and if I didn’t take my lessons, I would lose an opportunity like this. There is a phrase at the University of Gibraltar: “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows,” which resonated with me.

What has your experience of the University of Gibraltar Language Centre been like so far?

It is really good! Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of areas that I have to improve, but so far it has been amazing. There were so many things that I didn’t know when I started, especially the grammar, and I’ve definitely found it difficult, but I have noticed a massive improvement in myself. I work with people who speak native English and so I have also picked up a lot of phrases from them; I improve by listening to others and when I make mistakes, they correct me. However, I wanted to perfect my English, and this is something that the University is helping me to achieve. I am not only learning, I am also noticing mistakes that I make and then I am able to correct them myself which is something that is really important to me.

How beneficial has learning English been to you?

At work, it has been massively beneficial. I work in maintenance at Eurotowers, and I have been able to communicate really well with the different companies that work here; I have been able to explain things to them thanks to the University and the lessons I am taking. Hopefully, in the future, knowing the language will help me to improve my life.

How have you found your journey of learning English?

I have found the journey a challenge if I am honest. When I started to work, I didn’t even know how to speak the basics, I barely even knew what the names of the tools that I was using were called. Also, every day I am given a job description – these are always in English and initially I didn’t understand them very well, it was really challenging. At the beginning, I used to go home in the evenings and spend so much time searching up words I didn’t understand, or how I could ask for things at work, and doing that by yourself is difficult. This one time, I remember them asking me to go and change an oven in one of the apartments and all I could think is “What is an oven?” It has been a challenge, but I will never give up and I know that I will learn from my mistakes.

You are planning to take your Cambridge Assessment English Linguaskill Test; how are you preparing for this?

I definitely feel nervous for this test – I am concerned that I am not 100% ready to do the writing, as this is the area I struggle with the most, especially my spellings. I am going to continue working really hard towards this. My tutors are preparing me for the exam and they have been amazing; hopefully I am going to make them proud in the exam. However, I know that if the result is not the one I am expecting, I am not going to give up; I will take it from that point and carry on.

How has the University supported you so far?

I really feel supported by the university; they have been magnificent. My tutor has been more than excellent; she makes sure to correct all of the mistakes that I make, she lets me know when I am making poor use of the language and so on. I truly believe that all of these things and all of the support is going to help me to succeed in speaking English. The tutors have really been there for me throughout my journey, if I ever need anything they are there to help.

What would you say to someone who is considering taking an English course at the University of Gibraltar Language Centre?

I 100% recommend that you do it! I often recommend this course to people. A couple of days ago I was at a restaurant and one of the waitresses was telling me that she was trying to learn English but it was difficult for her as she was trying to do it on her own. I told her that she didn’t need to do it on her own and that she should try to go to the University of Gibraltar – they’ll give you a test to see which level you are starting at and from there they will teach you up until the level that you want to achieve. Going to the University is truly worth it!
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