“Language and accents govern so much of how people think about others” was a phrase I heard quite often growing up. As a young kid I didn’t agree at all with this phrase but when I got a little older and migrated to United States. All of a sudden, my opinion changed because of the situations me and my family had to face due to the reason that we didn’t speak English. I seen how people can be treated differently than others in view of the fact that how they speak and try to communicate.
During my childhood, I never noticed people judging others on their language since the country I am originally from, people spoke the same language with similar accent. I moved to United States when I was 14 and mature enough to know about how the other person feels about me when I am talking. I never realized how diversity can have both positive and negative effects. As soon as we landed in US, I already felt the wave of diversity which was visually pleasing. But on the other side, when we went to the security and paperwork checking, the security guard sitting there started asking us questions which was very intimidating, and we couldn’t really answer even though we were trying our best. He got sick and tired from us and called some other lady to deal with us. The lady was much more polite and humble, and she understood that we just came from another country. We were somehow able to answer the questions she asked. This incident opened my eyes on how individuals who do not speak English and have a limited ability to read, write or understand can be victims of some ignorant people’s judgement.
How would one feel if he/she is in a room with other students who speak fluent English, but he/she don’t? I was in a similar position when I started school here. Majority of my peers in my classes spoke English very well and I was the only one who didn’t. it made me feel left out because whenever we would discuss something, everyone participated, and I just stared at everyone as they answered the questions. Even if I would try to answer questions, I wouldn’t be able to express my full thought and my answer end up not making any sense. It made me an untalkative person which I am actually not.
What matters the most is the type of humans you have around you who can teach you certain things that you are having difficulty with. I was going to school but in my opinion, school’s English class wasn’t really teaching me the English that is useful. In other words, school never taught me the English that I can use to communicate in public. They mostly paid attention to the writing such as essays and letters. The only thing that helped me learn English the fastest way was socializing with others. I made a good number of friends who I would spend time with. And I knew English is the only language they understand so I had to just speak English with them. Playing basketball and keeping company with people who spoke fluent English taught me English. Sometimes, you can learn more from the streets than being in school.