What was my first day at Atpal like? by Rubi Gurrola

I want to go one step back to when I arrived in Montreal. I discovered that the people here only speak English or French and I realized what I had to do.

I found a good environment to improve my English because I needed to push myself if I wanted to survive here.

On my first day at Atpal, I took an introduction class with Mr. Burton. He explained the Atpal system and gave us the tools to work here. But I felt like I was in a movie because I had never stayed outside Mexico before, so I had only heard people speak English in the movies. I could feel how the English words entered my brain and eventually I could produce correct English sentences.

One of the toughest activities was automatization because Atpal considers the first step in improving our English to have a solid foundation of the verbs and their different tenses.

When I arrived here, I had never spoken English (I had read in English in my school maybe 10 years ago), so it was tough to remember all the things that I had learned in the past.

When Mr. Daniel came to the class and continued to explain the system, it was more exciting because all the teachers have different accents and speed when they speak.

Mr. Daniel is like drinking a cup of coffee to make our English brain work. Now it is okay, but on the first day, it was a reality hit because he wants to create a real environment for us.

In my personal opinion, I love the system because I need this. I don’t need a traditional school. The Atpal system always pushes me to speak.

My problem was that I didn’t like to speak in English because I didn’t feel comfortable, but now I can speak without stopping myself because I’m sure that if I make a mistake the Atpal teachers will help me.

When the first day finished, it felt bittersweet because I knew that I needed to work hard but I felt happy that I understood the system and that I had made the decision to come to Atpal.

Rubi Gurrola – Mexico – 24 weeks

March 5, 2020