a woman with Henna writing on her hands

Taking time to settle in

I came to the UK in 2004 - it was the first time for me. I was very sad because I had left my family. Even though I had come to join my husband, I was crying so much. 

After the aeroplane took off, I felt that I should stop crying and think about the new life that I was going to have. I also felt excited because I was going to meet my husband. 

I had Henna on my hands and legs because, in my country, if you are married, you must draw on yourself with Henna as a sign to everyone that sees it that you are married. However, because no one knew about it here, everyone stared at me on the plane, and this made me feel scared and shy. An English man was sitting next to me and he asked me, "What is this?" He was interested and listened carefully when I explained everything to him. He liked it and we talked a lot. He told me about himself, too. The journey was really long - about seven hours’ flying. 

Finally I arrived in the UK. I couldn't believe it when the captain said the temperature was nine degrees. I was shocked because, when I left my country, it was 40 degrees. For me, it meant that it was freezing! I got off the plane and went into the airport, where I finally met my husband. 

My first impression of England was not good. When I saw my house, which was a flat (a very, very, small flat compared with my house in my country), I felt so disappointed. I also had very bad flu. It took me a long time to get used to it. 

After I had my first baby, everything changed. I found a good neighbour who spoke the same language as me, and I felt I could settle in and try to live a normal life with my husband. 

Tasks

Task 1 - read the text

Task 2 - matching activity

In this activity, you will focus on the pronunciation of ‘ed’ at the end of regular verbs.

Look at the following extracts from Iyali’s story:

                         /d/

...everyone stared at me on the plane…    

                       /t/

…and he asked me…

                          /Id/

…I also felt excited…         

-ed endings are pronounced /d/, /t/ or /Id/, depending on the sound that comes before them.

Now you will identify the pronunciation of –ed endings and put them into the correct groups.

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Comments

  • How does your story of moving to the UK compare to Iyali’s? 
  • Did you have similar feelings and experiences, or was your story very different?
  • Have you, like Iyali, met people who speak the same language as you?
  • What advice would you give to someone who has just moved to the UK? You could post your responses below.
Why not find out about the experiences of other people who have moved to the UK by looking at some more of the winning stories from the learners’ competition.