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Challenging English - Learning this language became my goal


Discuss any obstacles and/or hardships you have encountered and how you dealt with them.

English-My Challenge

Till my fifth grade, I was the part of Hindi curriculum. But, after cracking Vidyagyan Entrance test I had to suddenly give up the language which I spoke, understood, and wrote. English alphabets, 5 names of the birds and fruits and colors etc. were enough for me .But when I was given the chance to learn English, I took this as an opportunity to explore something new in my life. I have seen tourists in Orchha (a tourist place in Madhya Pradesh, India) murmuring words which created interest in me but were incomprehensible.

Then, I thought that learning English will provide me a chance to interact with them and comprehend their language. Although, I didn't know the language but my ability to face the challenge allowed me to try my hands. I practised murmuring and copying the accent, which I heard from foreigners or TV or radio. I learnt new words from books, dictionaries and 'Word of the Day' subscription, gradually it turned into my one of the hobbies.

Learning English became my goal. So, I took up English Communication and Drama hobby in my school and soon became the celebrated figure with my different accents. I enjoyed murmuring, so many a times I heard people criticizing me. And when I tried conversing in English with my friends .then facing the comments of my friends was a big deal. But, learning English was my ultimate aim .So, I anyhow tried and ignored them. I read newspapers, participated in different competitions like debate, poem recitation and most importantly Drama. I always tried to talk in English with my friends and teachers instead of every hardship.

My confidence got immense boost when I guided some foreigners, and great personalities like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Baichung Bhutia, Akhilesh Yadav. I even escorted foreign intern students. So talking to them and comprehending their accent was my great success. Then, I thought Oh! 'Yes' I have transformed a weakness into my real strength.

Let me just sum up what you have written so far. In this essay, I reckon that the obstacle/problem that you are talking about is English. Eventually, it becomes your strength. Please take a closer look on the timeline of your essay. You faced the problem in the fifth grade, and then is it true that you can solve it in more than 5 years? I just assume if you're going to enter a college/university, then you're supposed to be just graduated from high school (12th grade) if I'm not mistaken. This is the important thing that I would like to underline. You forgot the essential existence of timeline in which it really helpful in giving an imaginary condition about problem-solving experience that you have. Thus, my suggestion is that you need to put a clear timeline for the betterment of your essay itself.
Dec 15, 2016   #3
Amrish, we are not talking about turning a weakness into a strength in this essay. You are being asked to portray how you handle problems that do not seem to have a solution instead. The obstacle part, is all about something that stood in the way of your success. That may be the English language, as you portrayed here. However, you have to show a hindrance that it created for you before you can discuss the steps that you took to overcome the obstacle. Were you failing in school because you could not speak English? Why was this an obstacle that you had to overcome? It seems to me that this was not a real obstacle because the school was helping you learn English through your lessons there.

What you really need to portray is an essay that shows an obstacle that tested your strength of character or resolve to find solutions to a problem. Something that made you rely on yourself and your problem solving ability in order to overcome the block that stood in your way. As a potential college student, the reviewer needs to know that you will be able to handle extreme pressure, as most college students undergo while studying. Along with the extreme pressure comes the need for proper problem solving abilities like analysis, hypothetical problem solving, and actual problem solving. I do not really get a sense of these problem solving abilities in the story you narrated so I do not believe that this is the correct response to be presenting for the reviewer's consideration.
@abdon786
Sir,In the essay it is asked that how did you encounter that obstacle.
So,in my view encountering and facing a challenge always gives you the chance to succeed.
So, I was able to accomplish what was earlier my weakness into my strength.I think fighting a challenge and then letting it down may impress the reviewer.

I may have mistaken in understanding your suggestions.If it is so please make it clear to me.
Thanks once again
Dec 15, 2016   #6
Amrish, The problem is that the essay is asking to discuss an obstacle and you decided to discuss a weakness that turned into a strength instead. That is not the same as overcoming an obstacle. The narrative of the essay that you wrote sounds more like it would apply to any of the following common app prompts instead:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

or

2. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

Maybe even:

3. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

As you can see, any of the above prompts can easily benefit from the response that you wrote. I believe that what you wrote would be best used under the first common app prompt or the third prompt because you faced an intellectual challenge when you opted to learn English.

However, if this is the story that you wish to use to respond to that particular prompt, then it is not my place to convince you to change your mind. I am only here to guide you towards the proper development of your essay. It would seem that you are convinced and decided to use the story that you have told to respond to the prompt. Therefore, I will not try to convince you to change your mind. The content of the essay response is up to you.

If you are satisfied that your response answers the prompt correctly, then you should use the response that you developed. I am only offering my opinion of your work as advice for your consideration. It is up to you if you will take it or not. I won't mind either way.
@abdon786
Hi, Amrish!

After reviewing your essay, I have some suggestions. Administrative officers of university review a ton of applicants'essays from all over the world, and most of those applicants also had a rough time learning English. So what I'm saying is not that it's wrong to write about learning English, but that this topic is just too common to make you "stand out" unless you have something really special. I think you can think of something else to write about, some problems you have encountered, either academically or personally. Just make sure that thing can really reflect your unique personality.

Best Luck!
after cracking Vidyagyan Entrance test,

English alphabets sounds a bit awkward, just use Alphabet instead

when a number is less than 100, we usually write it in words, so use: five names of the birds

we usually do not use but in the beginning of a sentence, instead use However

which created interest in me- which sparked my interest in...

but were incomprehensible, use: but were still difficult to grasp

comprehend their language-use understand their language


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