Learning and expanding on a new language is hard knowing that it’s going to take weeks, months, or even years to perfect. Not to forget that, living in a household where no one spoke proper or even no English at all, was also a big obstacle interfering in her progress in learning a new language. 1st grade Maricellis struggled to read and write because she didn’t know anything about the English language. In a room full of Hispanic students, the majority of them communicated in English, while she was in a corner, silent all by herself. School was not a place she wanted to be at because it was very hard and she felt left out. The teacher would give homework to copy over 5 to 10 times at home. Mother would sit next to her to make sure she copied words 15 to 20 times, without error. Getting yelled at if she spelled words wrong or mispronouncing them. It was not easy picking up English, when all around her was Spanish. 

3rd grade Maricellis learned basic English words that would help her out in a simple conversation. She would say “I need paper and pencil to write” or “I need to go to bathroom,” simple phrases like that, helped her go through school and life. Towards the middle of 3rd grade, things got challenging for her because writing paragraphs and taking spelling test every week became a thing. She didn’t know the words that were given and she would stress out about them. The teacher would give homework to rewrite 10 to 20 times at home. Her Mother would sit next to her and made sure she copied words 25 to 30 times, without error. Gets yelled at, if she spelled the words wrong or mispronounced them.

6th grade Maricellis, got the hang of things. She made a few mistakes here and there, but basically understood and communicated in English. She wrote 2 to 4 page essays about every book the class would read. Every book she read, she would write down words she didn’t understand and look it up later or asked a teacher. She would get called to participate in class and would say one word answers. She wasn’t quite comfortable in a class setting but she felt much more accepted in class because she understood what was going on and could keep up with them. The teacher would give homework every day and at home her mother would ask, “Are you okay, do you understand it.” If she didn’t do the homework, she would go to the teacher for help and do it with them. 

8th grade Maricellis graduated with honors in all subjects and was top 5 in Honor Roll. She participated more and was much more comfortable sharing in class. Understanding the material in class was not as big of a problem for her and she had the teachers and friends to help her out. Building a group of people to trust in, has helped her achieve everything, which was a result of communication. Without the communication between the teachers and with her mother, she didn’t think she would make it that far in school at all. With this, her development in speaking, writing, and understanding English is the product of becoming a much better student. The teacher would give a lot of homework depending on what was done in class and would go home to do homework, without her mother worrying if she knew what she was doing or not. 

12th grade Maricellis was voicing out much more to the point, not everyone liked it. Since she was comfortable in speaking in class about class topics in middle school, she decided to branch out in high school and talk about topics she cared a lot more for. She spoke to her mother and voiced out her opinion weather her mother liked it or not.. She went to school ready to tag something on certain discussion, such as race or sexual orientation, and talked about it with no worry. She felt free at last to finally be able to voice out her voice in arguments, in a language more people can listen to and respect more. Rather than speaking in Spanish, English gave her the outlet she needed in order to communicate her side. Senior year she wrote a 10 page essay about Climate Change, expressing the causes and effects, ways to prevent or change the damage that has been done, and try to make her opinion and solutions stand out. Not only her writing thus far has improved and empowered her to communicate in such form, but also when she did a presentation on the main focuses on the paper, she stood up proud and talked about it for 7 minutes straight. She loved that feeling and didn’t want it any other way. Up to this day, Maricellis is in college, writing about her experience about her childhood to express how far she has come from speaking nothing to something. Maricellis, is me, and this is my story.

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