New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4)
Chilean student Sofia Perez Larraguibel has come away from her OPAIC language course with greatly improved English skills as well as an increased understanding of different cultures.
“I wasn’t expecting this course to show me the things that I learned,” she says.
Many of her classmates were from India and China. She didn’t know much about those countries when she arrived here but learned about the different cultures from her classmates every day.
She says her spoken and written English has also improved greatly since she began her course here.
“That’s very awesome. That helps me with my music. It helps me with all my creative life, everything that I do. It changed the way I think.”
Sofia plays the guitar, piano and drums. She also composes, writes songs, and DJs. She writes primarily in Spanish but wants to start writing in English too.
“For me English is like the most important language in the whole world and writing is the most significant thing in life for me, so they are great together.”
In her course students discussed a wide range of different topics, watched videos, learned from presentations, and completed tasks.
The most significant task she had to do was a presentation about sustainable systems.
“I loved that presentation, it helped me a lot with my pronunciation, my written English.”
Her course also required her to read a lot and produce book reviews. Her teacher let her choose her own books to read and review.
“That inspired me. Now I’m reading every week. Only English, I’m not reading in Spanish anymore.”
Moving to New Zealand has been a challenge, but she recommends it to people back home.
“This is a beautiful place, with beautiful people.”
One of the best things about New Zealand is all the movement between cultures, she says.
“I think it’s a very comfortable place to be yourself, to challenge yourself.”
Sofia believes everything happens for a reason and her life would have been very different if she hadn’t come to study at OPAIC.
On the first day of her course her teacher had told her she would leave with more confidence, and that has been the case.
“Now I am very sure about my music, what I want to do in my life, which I didn’t know when I came, and it’s made me feel more mature and confident.”
Now that she has finished her English course she wants to keep learning more languages, particularly French. After that she is interested in getting into cinematography and screen production.