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50 TIME TO READ - THE

50 TIME TO READ - THE METAMORPHOSIS OF AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER

TIME TO READ - THE METAMORPHOSIS OF AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER THE METAMORPHOSIS OF AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER Being the most outstanding student in my English class at a public high school, in the city of Neiva, did not guarantee my success in the Modern Language Program, at the city’s only public university. In 1991, when I applied to the language program, my ICFES score (the required test score to be accepted in university programs in Colombia) put me in position number 42 or 43 on the applicants’ ranking list when only 40 were to be accepted. Luckily, perhaps two or more applicants did not proceed with the registration process, and this window of opportunity allowed me to be accepted into university. Once in school, as expected, I became part of a group; the guys with whom I would share the rest of my school life and perhaps, the rest of my life. Admittedly, all of my friends had not only taken the mandatory English classes in their private or public high schools, but they had also completed at least 6 levels of English courses at language institutes. Therefore, they would have entered the program with some prior linguistic foundation that would have made them stronger students and future teachers. As it was to be expected, class activities proved to be more challenging for me than they were for them. I vividly remember going blank during listening activities while my classmates understood almost everything. I had to confess that I began to feel stupid. I felt horrified when asked to pronounce English in front of the class, and especially in front of my friends. They would excel without difficulty in listening and speaking tasks, in reading 51