Pic: Chai Yi Lai 


It’s the third week in London for Chai Yi Lai, a.k.a Michelle, the second winner of our #TLGCourseWin competition, and she’s had a busy time enjoying the opportunities The Language Gallery has given her.


In her General English classes, Michelle is experiencing a different way of learning English: “I had great fun in class this week. We spoke a lot, talking about the things we like and the different cultures we all come from. The teacher was talking about things that were not in the book and it was very nice, I didn’t feel like I was in a class, but I was learning anyway. At the same time, he was correcting grammar and pronunciation; making it easier for me to remember my mistakes.”


After three weeks in class, she can see the benefits of studying with TLG, learning and improving while having fun. Grammar and pronunciation are the two things she feels she’s getting better at, thanks to the support she receives in class. “When I have a question about grammar I can ask my teacher, and if he doesn’t know the answer he will prepare it for the following week. Everybody is very helpful.”


One of the things Michelle is enjoying the most during her experience is the opportunity to explore London through SMART Learning, the TLG social programme designed to take English learning outside the classroom. “Visiting St Pauls Cathedral was great, everything was very well organised and it made me feel like we were special visitors, with front row seats and a guide just for us.Some of my classmates have been to other English schools, and they all say that TLG is the most organised. Everything you need to know is written or printed somewhere, and it makes it easier.”


With the school located in the centre of London, Michelle enjoys how everything is well connected and easy for her to reach.When classes are over, she likes to explore the city with her classmates and take advantage of her experience as much as she can. “Last weekend I went to Notting Hill Carnival with some of my friends from school, it was an interesting experience! I also went to see Harrods, which I thought was very nice.”She likes doing things with her classmates, sharing cultures and stories and practising English. “Being with people from different countries is sometimes a bit difficult because of all the accents, but I think this makes me pay more attention to pronunciation.”


Michelle has easily adapted to English culture, since Malaysia is as varied and international as the British capital. However, she has been picking up small and curious differences here and there. “English people are always very polite and kind, they say “sorry” and “thank you” all the time and they are always very helpful, especially here in London. But the weather is crazy, you never know if it’s going to rain or not!”


With only one week left, Michelle is now preparing to say goodbye to the city and all the new friends she met in London. “I have mixed feelings about leaving, I am happy to go home but I know I am going to miss London. I am just now starting to feel like a Londoner, and above all I know that I still have so much to learn with English.”