I experienced Limited English Proficiency when I came to United States. I never went a middle school so my first year was freshman in high school. Since I am from a country where English is not spoken much. I was having a very difficult time understanding lectures in class and giving my response. Most of the time, even when I knew the answer to a certain question, I still wouldn’t be able to express my thoughts and ideas. It was my biggest weakness because it made me an anti social person. I always felt that people are going to judge me because of the way I speak. I learned a good amount of English in couple months but I still had a accent that would make me feel insecure about how I sound when I try to communicate with others.
I have been in the US for 2 years. In this two years, I face a lot of difficult things because my language problem. English is my second language, I have been learning English for three years. At the beginning, I am very afraid to communicate with people who speak English, I don’t want others to know that I am not good at English. I also heard this situation in this class. I know very well that this is what I have to experience as an immigrant living in this country. In my process of learning English, the biggest difficulty is grammar, because the English grammar is different from the Chinese grammar. So just try to remembering words every day is not enough. When I took my first English exam, I found an English word can represent two or more meanings. It means that I need to analysis what the word belongs to in the sentence. My major is related to biology, I found so many unfamiliar word appear in biological articles. Before the class, I need to do more review and preview, I should translate and understand each paragraph. I never thought that English would be so important. After leaving my country, I lost most of friends, So I want to build a good relationship with the people who around me. Learn good English is my first thing to do. At last, I will try my best to teach my parents how to understand and use English, I hope they can better adapt to live in the United States.
An experience I had in reading was being placed in a literature group. These groups were made based on ur ability to read. You were texted privately with a teacher, where you had to read an excerpt out loud and they would grade. I remember having a huge amount of anxiety and practicing so I wouldn’t look bad in front of my peers. The reading levels were ranged for Q-Z with Q being the worst. After my shaking and stuttering times I believed that I failed and I would be made fun of. From listening around I heard that being put in Q was frowned upon. After every every other student was tested each one was told their letter out loud for everyone to hear. After waiting in what felt like the longest list since my last name started with an S, I was placed in V. This was shocking to me because I felt like I “performed” very underwhelming.
After having an experience like that I had more faith in my reading and comprehension skills. This allowed me to write and read aloud stories without feeling like I was doing a horrible job. All in all, my experiences in reading paid off for me throughout all the anxiety and pressure I felt. When always having English as my lowest subject while doing well in math and science it was an experience I’ll never forget.
To kill a Mockingbird was a book that i cherished while growing up. It left a powerful image in my head to go against odds that are trying to bring you down. Growing up I never was into reading and often skipped on reading assignments because they was dreadfully long and boring. This takes me back to 7th grade when my teacher introduced that book she gave the class a brief background about the book but of course I wasn’t paying but i did hear he say something about a white lawyer defending a black man for a crime he did not commit. I’m thankful that we started reading as a whole class because if it wasn’t for that I would have missed out on this beautiful book. After a couple days of reading in class I caught myself actually reading at home it only felt natural. I completely fell in love with that book the characters were amazing and well written. It also taught me a couple lessons one of them as i said before go against your odds and don’t judge others by the color of their skin. To kill a Mockingbird was a book I consistently read and it allowed me to be ahead of most people in the class. I was able to participate in class and completely understood what I was supposed to do. To kill a Mockingbird is a book that really stood out to me my whole entire life and i still remember a lot of things from the book and I would very much grab that book and live those moments again.
A room of people waiting in silence, for the blue screen from a Dell 20’ monitor to change. I looked at two short #2 pencils placed on both sides of the desk. Sitting on an office chair with cushions, I was doubting my ability to pass the test.
I stretched my back against the back of my chair, then rolled my neck back and forth. I massaged my eye sockets, pressed down to the bridge of the nose, pushed on my temples, then the back of my neck and finally my ears.
None of this, an attempt to relax my body, did anything but make me more anxious. I have two dictionaries with me, a thesaurus that cost two dollars from the dollar store, and an old Oxford pocket dictionary that my wife gave to me. The inspector tells me that I can only bring one into the exam.
Since English is my second language, taking a test without the resources I needed was a disadvantage. Frustrated, I chose the normal dictionary over the thesaurus due to the fact that I needed to understand the words I would use before writing. The test started with a timer whose big red numbers alerted students of their remaining time. I felt that time was slipping by, 60 minutes had already passed. I wrote the paragraph summaries, developed my ideas for a response, provided a personal experience, and drafted a conclusion. Five minutes before time would be called. I rushed to the conclusion and finished it.
I never really thought of myself as a reader or writer. Throughout middle school and most of high school I hated reading and I hated writing. Why is that? We have to read certain books that was a part of the “curriculum” the school had, everyone knows that. It was like I had to read a book and understand all the metaphors and the ideas of what the author wanted us to know. After that came essays we all had to write every single time and there was always a specific thing we had to write about and find details to support it and if you wrote something wrong you had a bad grade. There was always instructions to write essays and maybe that was the reason why I hated it so much. During Junior year, I had a teacher that was so passionate about teaching students how to write well. And I think that’s when I actually started liking writing in a way. We still had to write essays but she was different, she always gave us options in what we ,the class, wanted and what we were comfortable with. Yea that’s definitely when my perspective on writing changed. Also, my writing itself got better, I no longer how a ton comments from my teacher on what was wrong about my writing and it felt good but I still had. But that’s not my greatest experience with writing. In senior year, I took classes that were college level to prepare myself for actual college. This experience actually came from my science class. We were watching a movie about the Soviet Union and it’s time around there and we, the class, had to write a three page essay on that movie. It was that kind of writing like a movie critic. I honestly don’t think I have ever worked so hard on an essay before, I guess because it was a college class I had to up my game. At first I was so nervous I saw that movie at least three times before I actually started writing. Of course this was a prompt but it was really vague, just comparing that time period to this time period. I worked on it a couple of days till may be one in the morning just writing and rewriting and fixing grammar and all that. After watching it so many times I thought that maybe overdid it. While writing it, I felt so proud of myself that I was able to accomplish a big assignment like that. When I got that paper back, right on top was a one hundred and a small smile. I looked through the pages and had no comments and when I saw the rubric all it said was “perfect paper”. That moment honestly felt like the greatest accomplishment I had done in my education and yet it was just one paper. It was like all my writing education in each grade just prepared me for this essay, this was college level it was what I had to get up to. Not only did he write that on my paper, my teacher had said “ there was only one paper that got a one hundred, I didn’t have to write anything else, it was perfectly written, the best paper I have ever read in my whole life of teaching”. In my head I thought it was someone else in another class even though I got a one hundred because I never had that kind of complement in my life. But no he said “Nataly you did an amazing job”. What a weird feeling to feel a type of way because of a writing assignment.
My grandfather was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and he had no formal education. even with his lack of education he went on to own a significant amount of land in the Dominican Republic and he went on to have 10 children, he was touted as a great man yet I only remember him as a sometimes spry other-times inactive old man. In his old age he would come to live in my fathers house and share a room with me. He was pretty quiet most of the time because he didn’t know many words and couldn’t speak English but he would always make jokes about my father and my father about him, he would sometimes give me motivation whenever I came from school about how “I had to be better than my father and keep studying” he didn’t know much words so he emphasized reading told me do what he never got to do, which was get an education and learn how to read and write. he would tell me how people didn’t take him seriously because he couldn’t speak as well as the next guy. this spoke to me especially when he said don’t let anyone make you feel bad about the way you speak but also don’t give them reason to, learn all words you can and use them. sadly he died of cancer when I was in middle school although he died his wishes and advice ring fresh in my mind he helped create the person I am today without him who’s to say i would have gotten to college.
When I was 8 I came to the United State, my parent start to put me after the 3rd day I came to the United States, they want me to learn learning how to speak English and learn how to write, so they sent me into many after school programs, and I hate it very much, because at the time the only thing I want is to play, one week later I realize that I don’t have much friend in school, and I know that I have to learn English in order to communicate and make friend in school, so I start to practice more English, I still remember that every saturday my mother gives me a small quiz on vocabularies, I can only play after I pass the quiz, so I work very hard to remember the work. I copied the word many time until I remembers it, and after the test I read many comics books “like diary of a wimpy kid” by Jeff Kinney and “captain underpants” by Dav Pilky, I learn the most word from both series of books, and it was very fun to watch it, I don’t feel boring while watch it and learning English words, and the summer of 2010 I have bent put into a summer camp, in the camp we have vocabulary test every friday, this improves my English level very much, and I learn tons of word at that summer, another way I learn how to read is that I play some English word game, it also helps me a lot, these is important because as a beginner we have to remember tons of words in order to communicated with other people.