When I was 10, one of my uncle bought me an English conversational textbook.
And he told me, I should memorize each sentence every day.
It started like this,
"Good morning, Jane."
"Hi, how are you?"
"Fine, thank you, and you?"
This was tedious introduction of English. Still, at this moment, it doesn't excite me thinking of boring text book.
It had basic image, it wasn't even colored book.
It didn't contain audio cassette.
But I was obliged to study every sentence by sentence.
If I start talking about 'me & English', it would come out one book already.
In Korea, English wasn't considered that we could actually speak.
It was mostly considered as a school subject that we needed to study in the text book, find the words in a dictionary just like matching games, and focus studying on grammar. People loves the rules, don't they??
When I was a school age kid, we didn't get to learn English until age of 13, on a standard school program.
In my case, I was lucky that my uncle had introduced me a "conversational text book" beforehand.
This was very beginning of my relationship with English.
Among other factors, I still remember the day I fell in love with English.
It was summer.
It happened when I visited one of my aunt's house.( FYI, I have 4 aunts on my dad's side and 2 aunts on mom's side.)
My brother and I visited Gwang-ju which 1.5 hour from my hometown, Mok-po.
It was annual events to visit Gwang-ju every summer vacation.
One day, I found beautifully hand-written audio cassette tape, slightly hidden. It made me curious and excited!
It must be from a man who liked my aunt dearly. I was very curious!!
She wasn't there and I wanted to check it out what it was.
As soon as I started to turn it on, I couldn't believe how beautiful sound was coming out from cassette player.
I felt like I got electronic shock. I couldn't move but listen all the songs.
It was love song, but I couldn't understand the meaning at all.
I still don't remember what songs they were.
But I do remember the feeling of it.
My excitements and thrill, and then I was shocked by beautiful melody and words that I couldn't understand.
I think I played whole afternoon and this cassette tape got loosen.
I would be in trouble if she found out, so I had to hurry up to put it back on a shelf.
And as usual, I pretended nothing happened. ;)
This, I recall my first moment of encountering English, proper one I say.
Although I didn't know what they meant, it made me curious! It got me want to learn!
There were full emotions and sticky chemistry flowing over it.
I just loved it!
I wanted to speak that language, that was English.