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‘I love learning so I decided to do an exam for English teachers as well as higher level language exams.’
Dmitry is one of the youngest people in Russia to take English teaching qualifications. He has now finished school and is planning to continue his studies at university in Italy.
I went to a school in Moscow which specialises in languages, and while I liked English it wasn’t my favourite subject to begin with. I can’t explain why but things changed when I was at middle school – I just fell in love with English.
At the same time at age 14 I started doing exams. The first one I took was B1 Preliminary and I got a grade A – it was hard work, but the best motivation, because I was so proud of myself when I passed. I then took B2 First and missed out on grade A by a single mark.
I then participated in the All-Russian School Olympiad for English. It tests your knowledge not just about language, but about history, literature, food – everything connected with Great Britain and the United States. Then I began to study American literature and then British literature and history at school, so I realised I was also interested in these aspects.
I also volunteered as a translator at the St Petersburg International Cultural Forum – and a translation I did was broadcast on a famous radio show about classical music.
Maybe I will teach British culture and history at university level.
I love learning so I decided to do an exam for English teachers as well as higher level language exams – the Teaching Knowledge Test – and got Band 4 for all modules. I was one of the youngest people to do them. Before I was quite anxious as here in Russia we have this stereotype that you can’t be very successful at this age. It is impossible to take your school leaving exams earlier for example. I then took C1 Advanced the week after my 16th birthday and I got grade A. I was just so happy!
From this I started to understand that I wanted to study both language and culture – then you can work in communication, diplomacy or plenty of other jobs. Now I have finished school I am going to study at university in Italy. I have spent a lot of time in Italy, so really appreciate their culture. I hope to do my Master's degree or a PhD in an English-speaking country.
I wouldn't say I'm sure about my future career, but I am convinced that I'll work in a multicultural environment using English every day.
About Dmitry Zagorskiy
Dmitry has taken a number of Cambridge English Qualifications: B1 Preliminary, B2 First, C1 Advanced, as well as the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). He has just taken C2 Proficiency and is planning on taking CELTA.
'I always wanted to be a radio presenter and now I’ve got my own show in the UK.'
'The human body is so complicated, yet very organised, so I thought it would be really interesting to study medicine.'
'Now I’m applying for jobs at law firms in the US and people are really interested in my profile and how I’ve studied in the UK, France and now the US.'
'I’m thinking of starting my own channel to teach English songs on social media, as well as doing more studies.'
'I decided to start my own language school and that’s where things really took off.'
Everyone has their own reasons for teaching or learning English. You can see more real-life stories at our sister organisation, Cambridge University Press.
Better Learning Stories