English as a second thought

June 25, 1999

Three years ago I started an MA in economics at a well-known university in London. As a foreign student I paid substantial fees and joined a class full of fellow "foreigners". My grasp of English was poor, though I only fully realised this while trying to understand a lecture on the market made to 200 other students. In short, I could not understand the course. I had to leave and come back when my level of understanding was sufficient to complete it. In retrospect I should not have been accepted in the first place: it was a waste of my money and time, as well as the time of my tutors who worked hard to improve my English, which was not part of their remit.

Muna Reyal


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