Hi ! My name is Mariko & you can find me on twitter as @kosamari.
This is a talk I gave at JSConf Colombia in Medellin, Colombia about building a compiler and lessons I learned by making one. Let me know if you have any questions and comments!
How I learned English
I first started learning English at 7th grade. In Japan, at least when I took English class, "This is a pen" was a omnipresent sentence which every English text book used as 1st sentence to learn.
It's useless as a English sentence, but it was simple to get started. I was really excited to learn new language, so at first, I even took extra curricular to learn English.
As you advance in lessons, things got a lot complicated. You start reading paragraphs instead of a sentence. Questions asked in exams become more about understanding context, and what's happening in the reading, than if you remembered a meaning of a word.
So when I graduated from High school, English was not my strongest subject. In fact, I suck at it so much that I failed on every collage entry exam I took.
English was getting the way of my trying to do things I wanted to do, so I took ESL class at Temple University in Tokyo, and 6 month later, I earned enough TOFEL score to enroll in undergraduate program.