How did you teach yourself English and get a job on a cruise ship?
After I let David, my mentor, know that I learned English on my own. I don’t know if it was by curiosity suddenly he asked me the question above. Guess what? I was not so proud to answer him when he asked me it, but i was so surprise he asked me a such question.
I was like; my answer is so incredible but true. I’m going to tell you the miracle of my skills and knowledge in English; but all of this start from trust and self-confident.
Above all, I grew up in a country where the official language is less spoken. In Haiti people talk Creole and French. The first language is Creole and the second one is French which is the official language; where you must learn it to know it. Worse about it all of our instruction books are in French and we don’t know French. We have to study books by heart to have good grades at school; I believe most Haitians people start to understand what they study at school when they are about to leave primary school level.
But it’s not the same for most of the elites, because they talk to their children in French at home; some of them have special maid to talk to their kids in French or a special French teachers for their kids. I noticed how the poor, especially the non-French speakers are underestimated in the country. I said to myself: I know that I am among the poor but French must not be a gate for me in life.
Since then I determined to speak French not only to speak it like most Haitians do but like a native speaker. First I made a summary of the whole French grammar book then studied it. Plus I took the habit of watching cartoons movies everyday with my dictionary and note book in hands to take notes. And on vacation time I selected verbs and expressions from the dictionary to study; finally my French became bit by bit fluent when I started to read to whole Bible in French.
After I feel confident enough in French i saw that English as an international language could be a gate for me too. I stepped over to learn English. I did the same method. I bought phrases book which translated from French to English. At the beginning to read English it was my biggest challenge. For the English pronunciation I had to learn first the phonetic alphabet from the back of a bilingual dictionary. Where i learned the international alphabet sound how to pronounce the English words.
Best about it I never scared to talk to people who know the language; making mistake was not a big deal for me; because i know it’s from my mistake I will grow. Only my listening was poor because I didn’t have any English movies to watch nor enough English speaker in the country to speak to. I practiced it less than I studied it.
One day a Royal Caribbean representative came to look for people who can speak English to give them job on board. I know that I have no certificate to prove that I have studied the language somewhere, but I believe that I know the language. I went to the interview believed that I can prove that I can speak English. Which I did when I got to the. The Interviewer was surprised because I let her know that I learned English on my own.
Finally I got a pool attendant job from her because I had no special skills to work on board for another position.I got my visa and my other documents to board the ship to work; since I board the ship I hear only English so day by day my English becomes perfect and as you know I love to talk i never stop talking, ah ha aha ah…
The bottom line is: I believe that everything is possible in life. Once you have a precise goal and you stay motivated difficult or not you will achieve it; the satisfaction of it will be called SUCCESS IN YOUR LIFE.
May this little story of my life be an example for you to learn how to be positive and determined in life when you have to do something for you to make a changing in your life. Learning English was not easy for me. I met people discouraged me telling me that I will never make it unless I go to an English course. I knew that i was a poor i even sometimes eat once a day but i believe that i could do it. Now this pool attendant job allows me to visit four continents between the five ones in the world. I almost visit the whole world. While I’m working on cruise line ships with Royal Caribbean International.