I was born and raised in a Middle Eastern country where my first language was Arabic and all of my interactions were conducted in that language. one of my uncles was a well-known businessman who had dealings with people from all over the world. As a child, I often heard him interact with them in a different language and at one time, I gained the courage to ask him what language it was. That was the first time that I encountered the word English and I became fascinated with My uncle told me that English, like Arabic, was an international language which was used to communicate with people all over the world, no matter their nationality.
However, in my country, there was little opportunity for learning this language because the medium of teaching in school was mainly in Arabic. Despite this, I resolved that there would come a time when I would learn English and be able to communicate with people from other cultures. My opportunity came when my application to Middle Tennessee State University was accepted and the turning point because of my desire to learn English came to be satisfied.
In America, I met an individual who would not only teach me the English language but also make it possible for me to gain some proficiency in it. My two friends, Abdullah and Mustafa, and I started taking English classes with Irving Penzo, a renowned English teacher who helped the three of us excel in the language. from the beginning of our classes, we all took to him because he was not only jovial but also man who was dedicated to the welfare of all of his students.
Irving, as he insisted we call him rather than the more formal Mr. Penzo, was a man in his early sixties with graying hair. He was a very experienced English teacher having taught the subject for over thirty-seven years; a feat that many teachers of my acquaintance in my home country had not achieved. Irving, from the very beginning, insisted on making sure that all of his students understood what he had taught before moving on to topic and this helped us, at a personal level, to ensure that we were able to develop our English speaking skills.
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