Dear Ms. Cinthya Trueba and all the CCLS team,
I am writing to you today because I decided to share a positive experience that I had with all of you, and also with your students or future ones as well. I want to tell you all how important CCLS was in my life to achieve my goals and make my dreams come true.
First, I need to introduce myself. My name is Monica Damasceno. I am from a very small city, Paraiso do Tocantins, in a very small state, Tocantins, in Brazil. While living there, I had the opportunity to study the English Language at CCLS-CCAA (Cultural Center for Language Studies in Brazil). I studied there for four years, practicing the language twice a week at school and whenever I could, when not in the classroom. I am very passionate about the English language. I listened to music all the time, read magazines that CCLS offered to their students, and talked with colleagues who also spoke English. I was so excited about these classes that, at the time, I dreamed that “one day, I would to live in the United States and be able to speak English all the time.” The problem is that when people have a dream in childhood, they tend to forget it in adulthood. As a normal adult, I did. However, I got married with a person who always wanted to live in America. Every month of our marriage, he not only would ask me to move to the U.S., but he also tried to persuade me to do it by explaining his plans to me. He wanted me to be a physical therapist licensed in America and he would be a lawyer, as we were in Brazil. One beautiful and sunny day, I said: “Yes, let’s move there.” I could never imagine that the English I learned in Brazil would be so helpful. In order to get a license to practice physical therapy, I needed to go back to the College and take many classes. Fortunately, with an intermediary level of the language (learned at CCLS) and a little bit more of practice, I would pass the exam that allowed me to take advanced classes at Lone Star College, in Houston-Texas, such as Chemistry, Physics, Math, English Composition etc. At this time, I thanked God I studied at a great school that utilizes an excellent methodology, which essentially makes students remember words, sentence-constructions, and phrasal verbs. No matter how long one goes without practicing English skills, CCLS’s training helps immensely to recall the words and sentences when it is necessary. I am sure because it happened to me. For all these reasons, thank you, CCLS!!
Well, my story with CCLS was not over when I moved to the U.S. After finishing all my classes at Lone Star College, the Physical Therapy Board required that I pass a very hard English Exam called TOEFL. TOEFL is composed of four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The Board required a very demanding score for each part, especially for speaking. I thought I was ready for it, but I was wrong. I was able to pass in all parts with high grades, achieving more than 100 (the total score is 120), except the speaking section. I tried eight times, but I could not achieve 26 in the speaking. I needed help; this task was above my conditions. I was desperate. I found out that CCLS in Houston had a professor who is a specialist in TOEFL, Clair Hunt. So, I decided to have classes with her two weeks before the next scheduled exam. She was so great! She figured out exactly the point that was pushing my speaking score down, and worked with me to improve my weaknesses. I did all the homework and tried very hard day in day out, persistently. As I realized my improvement, I became very confident about taking this exam. After those two weeks of CCLS support, I took the exam and I passed with 27 in the speaking on May, 2013. Now, I am starting my career in the U.S. as a licensed physical therapist in a great job.
Thank you so much, CCLS from Brazil and United States, not only for providing me knowledge, but also for making students like me have their dreams come true.
Once, CCLS presented me a new world and provided me the right skills to maintain myself in it.
I will not forget it, never! Thank you!