Practical English CenterPractical English Center

Message from the Director

Message from the Director

Hi. My name is Carl McGary. I'm the director of the Practical English Center here at YCU. I want to start my introduction of the PE Center today by telling you a little story.

In 1985, the Brigham Young University football team won the national championship in the United States. This team had never won a national championship before and has not won the national championship since then, either, so it was quite surprising. At the end of the season, a reporter asked the head coach, La Vell Edwards, how he had taken a relatively unknown team and made champions of them. Coach Edwards answered, "If you see a man on top of a high mountain, you can be sure of one thing. He didn't fall there." It was hard work. The team members practiced hard every day. They sacrificed less important things, so that they could improve their football skills. And they won. Winning felt great.

Learning English can be a lot like climbing a mountain or winning at football. It takes a lot of hard work and practice. And the feeling when you have accomplished your goal will be wonderful.

Attitude is so very important to success. Back at the beginning of the 1985 season there was almost no hope that the BYU football team would win the national championship. No one expected them to win. The players did not think they would be champions. But they knew that if they worked hard, they could be better football players. They had positive attitudes, so they enjoyed climbing the mountain even though they did not expect to make it to the top.

Your attitude while you learn English is just as important to your success. You have to believe in yourself. Believe that you can learn English. Believe that you can learn to use English. Don't worry about reaching the top of the mountain. I promise you that someday, if you work hard, you will reach your goal.

Now let me tell you about some of the things we have here at YCU to help you learn English.

First, we have Practical English classes for you. The teachers are professionals with many years of experience. They know that if you work hard, you can learn English. They will help you work hard, very hard. You must take three PE classes per week until you pass the Practical English requirement. These classes will help you a lot, but they probably won't be enough just by themselves. You will also have to study by yourself outside of class ? HOMEWORK!

Next, we also have a graded reader library in the Practical English Center. We will lend you English books that you can take home and read. There are books on a variety of subjects, and they are divided into levels so that you can choose a book that is just right for you.

We also have special e-learning software in the LL for you. You can use this software at you own pace to improve your English. You should spend at least 90 minutes per week in the LL doing the e-learning software.

Finally, you have me. I am here to support you. I constantly check your progress. I hear from your teachers about your attendance and attitude. If I hear that you are having problems, I will send you email and ask you to come to visit me. We will talk about your climb up the mountain. I will encourage you and give you the chance to practice your English as you explain to me how you are doing in Practical English.

Faculty Members