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Portfolio 4: English-native speaking friends and English language

As the time passed by, even though I had made some good friends at the same dormitory, I was struggling with my studies because of my English deficiency. Moreover, I didn’t get used to reading and writing a lot like this before. Studying English in my country was easy for me. We had all multiple-choice exams. We primarily focused on grammar and vocabulary. We only had to memorize what had been taught in class and could do well in the exams. The teachers/lecturers in Thailand rarely taught us to write essays. I also taught my students the same way as I was taught when I was a student. Now in New Zealand I have to do a lot of reading and writing, something that I am not familiar with. Undoubtedly, this is a big challenge for me! For the first two months of living in New Zealand, I still missed Thailand a lot. Every day during those two months, I looked at the photos that reminded me of my friends and students. Before I came to New Zealand, my students organized a farewell party for me…they cooked for me…they knitted a scarf for me, and they sang for me. It is one of the best memories I have ever had about my students. I miss them a lot…we keep in contact almost every week. The students in this class have graduated now, but we promise to meet again when I go back, and they will cook good food for me again they say. I am looking forward to the reunion! I also have three American close friends who were my colleagues at that time. They were so nice, and they were closer to me than any of my Thai colleagues…probably because we are all Christian so they really trust me. I helped them a lot for their settlement in Thailand while they taught in our school. We hung out, ate, and played cards together. I was so happy that I could help them to settle in my country, and also that I had a lot of opportunities to speak English. But here in New Zealand I rarely make native-English-speaking friends. I am not confident in speaking English especially with native-English-speakers, which I still wonder why! I can sense a big change in me…when I was in Thailand, I loved to speak English…loved to write in English. I mean I always emailed and wrote on Facebook to my Thai friends and students in English, but when I am here in New Zealand I tend to keep in contact with them in Thai.