English Is Not Easy

English Is Not Easy | Blackie Books, 2013




» Winner of the Junceda Illustration Award to the best education and comunication book of 2014

There are two types of people in this world: those who learn languages easily and those who struggle with them. I (and probably you) fall into the second group. I don’t even want to think about the hours (and money!) I spent trying to learn English when, really, I hated pretty much every minute of it. But people seem so smart when they can speak English, so I kept at it. That meant doing online courses, intensive summer classes, and even going to New York and getting up early on freezing winter mornings to head out to a Russian part of Brooklyn that to me was like the Far West. I barely managed to stay awake during classes in Times Square taught by teachers with dubious accents, while they received massages from devoted Japanese students. Each of these experiences came with the corresponding textbook, which addressed such thrilling topics as extreme sports and atmospheric conditions. You know, everyday vocabulary for when you leave the house and see a paraglider get carried off by a hurricane.

But having done all that and finding myself on the other side of the Atlantic, I had to discover a way—even with my terrible memory—to retain what I had learned. That’s how I decided to use my drawing skills to help me memorize words and grammatical concepts. And those drawings turned into this book and learning English turned into something fun. Maybe it won’t work for you, but drawing these pages helped me string a few words together in English. Don’t I look smart now?”


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