Personal Narrative Essay Final Draft

Ali Ahmed


ENG 1121 – D465

Personal Narrative Essay

                             The Experience of Learning a New Language

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” I have learned so many things in my life, but I will never forget the experience of learning English. Moving to the USA and learning a new language wasn’t easy because I had to learn the definition of each word, the pronunciation of the word and how to use word in a sentence.

When I lived in Bangladesh, the word “English” was hard for me to pronounce and read. My first language is Bengali, and I lived in Bangladesh for fourteen years. I knew my mother tongue, but not English. My uncle applied for our family to go to the United States and we all got the Visa. After a few days we arrived in the USA and at this time I was fifteen years old. I went outside with my cousin who was talking to his friends. My cousin and his friends were speaking in English to each other and I felt bad because I could not join in their conversation because I did not know how to speak or understand English. I asked my cousin how I could learn English. He told me to watch television and go to the library. From that day I started watching the English channels on TV which consisted of cartoons, movies, and the news. I didn’t understand what was being said until I put the subtitles on. I still didn’t understand often wondered how I was going to survive in this country. The next day my parents begin talking about which school I was to go to which made me more nervous.

I learned the definition of each words in my high school. I started going to school in ninth grade, and I thought that I was blind because everything looked different to me. I was so upset, and I really wanted to go home because nobody there to talked to me. The teacher tried  talking to me, but I couldn’t respond because I didn’t know any English words, didn’t know how to pronounce them or even how to put them into a complete sentence. Fortunately there was a Bengali guy who helped me. He really helped me with everything. He translated for me and showed me everything. His name was Rashid, and he became my good friend. I started hanging out with him and I asked him how I could learn English. He told me to talk English with everyone and not to be shy or scared and to read books. I brought a book home and started reading it as well as using an “English to Bengali” dictionary from the library. Whichever word I didn’t understand I looked for it and found out it’s meaning. Also whenever I saw a hard word, I wrote those words in a notebook and wrote out the word’s meaning. The teacher started giving homework which looked really hard for me, so I asked Rashid to help and we did the homework together and he explained it to me. The homework contained some hard words and I did the same to those words as I had done when I read the books, looked up the words and wrote them in the notebook. When I got home I read and reread each word ten times, this helped and though I didn’t learn to speak perfect English the english learning process was begun.

In my internship I learned how to use word in a sentence by talked to them. During my internship, which involved me working with children, I had speak English everyday. At that time I was in eleventh grade and my internship was in a school. On my first day at the internship I felt scared and was worried that the children would laugh at me as my english pronunciation was not that good. The teacher told me not be scared or shy to talk to everyone. So I started talking with the students, and being friendly with them, and reading books with them. There were some words that I didn’t understand, however I asked the teacher and learned from her. The internship helped me a great deal. Form my everyday interaction with children and their teacher. I learned and improved my vocabulary, pronunciation and general understanding of English. I was able to put words together in complete sentences and was understood when I spoke.

The process of learning English wasn’t easy because first I had to learn the definition of each word, pronunciation the word and use the word in a sentence. In your life if you don’t make mistakes then you will never learn anything. I made a lot of mistakes in my high school and I learned from it. Also I learned English by talking with my friends. I had a hard time when I couldn’t speak English, but now I feel really proud. I feel really proud when I talk with someone in English. If I had a chance to make my ideal world then I would make every country be the same as the USA so people don’t have to came to America to study and learn a new language.