This is one of those questions that has the power to open various doors to discussion.
English is not a Latin language which is what makes it a bit more difficult for Latin speakers, at least, to learn it.
Most of us have learned English by Old School Methods either when we went to school, in a language centre or with a tutor. In each of the situations above words were learned by heart, listening to our teachers and writing down the words, over and over again until we memorized them and managed to spell them correctly. Once we’ve build an elementary vocabulary we were introduced in the world of grammar with numerous rules to learn and apply in our reading and writing. If you didn’t like or simply didn’t understand grammar that well, the situation would have just got a bit more complicated.
Most times, all this information was fed to us through our own native language.
How many years did it take most of us to learn English? How many years did it take those grammar rules to sediment to be able to enrich our vocabulary afterwards?
Probably many – many years of preparation, of struggle, of perseverance. Perseverance is good. It helps to reach your goals.
After these many years of learning most of us managed to pass some exams in order to obtain certain qualifications in English. But what happens when you have to go through an interview for a very important job in your career? Will you be able to hold a decent conversation in English to promote yourself for the job of your dreams?
This is where the answer to the question above becomes interesting.
After having learned English for years by Old School methods, improving your grammar and building up your vocabulary, there is a big possibility you will not find it easy to answer some questions in English the way you would answer in your own language.
This happens because you haven’t been trained to think in English. Your brain will first focus on understanding the questions and then searching for the best way to answer those questions while your future possible employer is waiting. Waiting for you to first translate the answers in your mind and find the perfect words to provide the answers he would like to hear.
You haven’t had the chance to practice your conversational skills, to freely express yourself, to make a connection between that vocabulary and those grammar rules you have worked so hard to learn.
Hearing English constantly and trying to communicate is the key.