Having lived in Taiwan for nearly five years now with a good majority of that time spent cooped up by myself learning Chinese or teaching rudimentary English to little brats, I have noticed that my ability to communicate in English is not as good as it once was.
For instance, yesterday it took me over 30 min to compose a simple email consisting of around 20 lines. In my university days I would have been able to fire off an email like that in 1/5 of the time.
I am also finding it awkward to express myself in spoken English when speaking to my family on Skype. Sometimes I can see that they think my expressions and inability to express myself as a native English speaker is a bit strange.
My best guesstimate is that because I have very little interaction with native English speakers and spend most of my days listening to and reading Chinese or Chinglish it has caused my English to deteriorate. But how can I fix this?
There is a massive selection of English books at the Main Library in Kaohsiung which I should make more use of. However, finding native English speakers is a little bit trickier. I’m not really a bar person, and most of the meet-ups I’ve been to–granted, not many-have had more Taiwanese people in attendance than native English speakers.
So, what do you think I can do?
Travel back to the UK more often? (Expensive)
Leave my wife and marry an English lass? (Difficult, I like my wife)
Head down to the bars more often? (Challenging, I don’t know anything about American sports)
(Time taken to write this post: 35min)