A Teacher’s Advice

Angel Torres

The final advice my teacher told me in my last class of elementary school was, “I was in your shoes when I was younger, if I can do it, you can too.” The reason was because the way she grew up was almost the same as me, I didn’t know any english in my early life since I was the first generation here in the United States, my parents came from Mexico and didn’t know any english at that time, so I grew up with spanish as my first language. It was really difficult for me to speak, read and write English in my classes and some teachers helped me thought out the school years. But the words my teacher told me were like a huge motivation to continue my journey and a guide for me because we both had similares in our early years. The words she told me that I can reach my goals and dreams for my future. She was a great example for her students in her classes because she was on her way to having her own career and guided students to be the best they can be for future classes and education. She was also a very trustworthy person and someone to talk to when you needed her. Some examples were at I always asked for help when I needed it and every time I had a chance I would stay after school with a few other friends to get extra help and learn more advanced  english. At first it was really difficult, then hard, then normal and over time it became easy for me with patience and practice. My friends and I used to meet up for group presentations or group work after school and teach each other the english language and help on what we didn’t understand. Also with homework help and prepare for upcoming tests and essays. With the amount of years that pasted learning and mastering every skill and basic rules, my friends and I all became really good at the english language and made our teacher so proud of us. Now that I’m older and understand the bright future she saw in me was to see myself as a student to can accomplish anything with commitment, motivation and pride. The sad part of my life was leaving those that taught me the english language and how they changed the lives of others students and my own life as well. Thanks to her, I taught my little brother and my little sister the english language. They both learned a lot quicker and easier then me, and they gave a lot of thanks for that, I also taught my parents and now they speak, write two languages and I keep teaching them up to this day. Now this motivates me even more now that I have changed my family’s life and now they all know english thanks to me. Specially my teacher that changed my life first and now I follow that path to changing my family life.

A Loud Roar

Being forced into having a tutor and being forced in a English as a second language class shaped my experiences with reading and writing throughout my life. This gave me my laid back lazy personality I have today. Being forced into doing something i don’t want to do or don’t need, made me hate reading books or doing work that I am not interested in. This made me hate school do to the fact that i knew i was going to be forced to do things I did not want to do. This isn’t the case all the time because there are some things  that I in fact due find interesting about reading and writing or school in general but for the most part my past experiences overall made me dislike reading and writing. Despite disliking reading and writing, I find it to be essential and it is something you must learn to do. Without those skills there is no way you can make it far in life. By saying this i do believe however the American education system can be changed in a way. For example the American education system should give the students and the teachers the option to learn and teach anything they find to be interesting. Schools and teachers shouldn’t have to follow a certain curriculum to teach students. Teachers should be allowed to teach what they find interesting to intrigue the students and catch their attention. I vividly remember my ESL class however I do remember that I found it boring, This made me realize in order to enjoy reading or writing, you have to write about something you enjoy, something you find intriguing. My experience has also made me understand the purpose of reading and writing. The reason i was in esl in the first place was because my parents thought I was mute not because I couldn’t understand the language, in my head I was saying to myself, “ Why am I in this class when i understand the english language well?” however that is the point, It is to get you to understand anything it is you need help on. For example, what do you do when you have an upcoming quiz or exam? You study, studying is a form of reading and writing notes, This help you gets a better understanding of the material you must learn. It is essential in everyday life to know how to read and write. In a way im glad I got to experience that esl class because it made me realize just how important it is to be able to read and write. My personal experience also helped me to realize if you don’t open your mind to different things out of your comfort zone, there is  no way you will be able to learn. For example, you won’t find a lot of things being taught to you interesting, Like me i hate learning about history and I find most of it to be boring but it is important to open your mind and see it from a different point of view to try to understand it better. If you look at everything with tunnel vision there is no way you’ll be able to learn anything.



There was a time around 2nd grade when I was a small kid and I vaguely remember having a writing assignment that my class had for spring break. It was to write a small book or story about anything that you want. It could be on what you did over the break, what is your favorite food, book, movie, etc. Before given this assignment, I went downtown to visit the transit museum with my aunt because I really had an interest for trains. Everyday when going to elementary school, middle school, my first year of high school and even college, I would always ride the train. Not just going to school though, pretty much anywhere else going downtown or uptown. By myself or with my family. Although, I did lose my interest in trains a while ago because of video games and learning that working at the MTA doesn’t make you that money, it just sort of drifted off. It’s still something I hold close to me. I went down to the transit museum during one weekend and had a look around of how the trains worked and even saw some old model trains from when the system first began. There was also one part for the buses but that wasn’t what I was into. A little while after leaving, I started working on the book about trains and what I learned about them. At this point, I don’t recall what I wrote on it and I’m not sure if I even have the book on me anymore due to the amount of spring cleaning from then to now. All I know is that upon giving the book, the 2nd grade teachers were excited and loved the book. I did like writing sometimes when I was younger and I still do now to a degree, especially in high school when I wrote plays for playwriting class. In high school, I had playwriting for about 2 years. It was getting a little repetitive around the 2nd year, but I sucked it up and went along with it. In playwriting, we had free reign to write plays about anything we want, with the expectation that there isn’t too much cursing in them. My teacher didn’t really like cursing being overused, however using 1 or 2 is fine. During my time in that class, I had wrote about 4 plays and even had some of them performed by other classmates. Sadly, it never really made it to be a fully acted play as other plays were favored because of friends, but I still enjoyed making them. I took my time with them making sure if made sense, no grammar errors, soft flowing, everything. The longest play I made was around 22 pages. I still have thankfully due to them being on the internet, so if I need any inspirations, I’ll just look at my old plays. I did learn over the years that  I can write anything I want whenever I want. Even if it makes no sense or questionable, it’s me writing it, not anyone else. Playwriting really opened that up for me as I enjoyed writing plays. Hopefully, I can learn a lot more about structure in this class.

The Flaw In Determining What’s “Real”


I don’t read “real”  books anymore. I don’t believe I’ve finished a book from cover to cover unless it was on my phone and written by some 16 year old in Nevada. Weirdly enough, I don’t think I want to pick up a real book again yet I love to read. There isn’t a second of the day where I wouldn’t be caught reading something yet its never seen because it all exists on my phone.


This infatuation with books created by non-published authors started in the 7th grade. I had a very close friend, my best friend to this day actually, introduce me to an app called Wattpad.


“Why are you always on your phone in class? You know she’s always watching us and you’ll get caught.” I said. She looked at me as if to say ‘do you believe I actually care about getting caught?’ And of course, she didn’t. She had a rebellious streak since I met her so, instead of putting the phone away she turns the screen towards me.


“I’m reading. That’s the point of silent reading time right?” she responded. She wasn’t exactly wrong but she wasn’t right either. We were supposed to under the teacher’s directions, pick a book at our reading level and read for 30 mins then log it. It was in every aspect a waste of time because the books were boring so most people just took naps or snuck in doing their homework for the next class. I thought it was dumb because my reading level restricted me. I was stuck at a level Y all because I couldn’t answer a question right on the comprehension test after the reading. I don’t believe it’s because I couldn’t answer the question correctly, I just didn’t answer in a way rudimentary education demanded. I know I wasn’t the only one discouraged because my imagination was just too broad when it came to drawing my own conclusions. 


I take a peek at her phone and yeah she’s actually reading.


“It’s called Wattpad.” She answered my unasked question. I’m sure the curiosity showed via my facial expression.


“It’s an app where you can read books written by other people.” She continued, “You can write books on here too. I started writing my own.” and her saying that really piqued my interest.


“So these are made by actual people?” I ask. Thinking about it now, published books are made by actual people as well, but they feel different. I wanted to know more and she recommended I create an account so I did. “Spiceberry224”  with her cringe-worthy name was born in October of 2012 (and is still on Wattpad today just many name changes later). I added book after book to my library and I couldn’t stop reading. It baffled me how some people my age we’re getting to express themselves while I was still writing essays on the meaning of metaphors in a short story that I can’t remember today.


From that day on I never touched a real book again. To me what I was reading held more weight in its words than all the books on the shelf combined. I connected more with the 17-year-old attempting to write a romance novel than Shakespeare writing a tragic story about these two idiots falling in love and causing multiple deaths in a matter of four days. Yet schools would rather we read the latter as if they deserve more credit because their books have two pieces of cardstock binding them together. I later began to write on Wattpad seeing as I got inspired by books I was reading. How could a book that prompted me to begin writing and enjoying doing so be discredited by a system of learning because of something as silly as not having a publishing company backing it? It seems a bit regressive for schools to encourage higher learning while keeping you stuck in a box made way back in the 17th century. 


I could name reasons all day as to why our education system isn’t the best environment for a reader or writer, but I’ll end saying just one last thing: I refuse to let education determine what is and isn’t acceptable to read and write anymore. It’s the equivalent of letting a stranger choose what food you like to eat; it’s completely nonsensical because nobody but you should be able to determine these things. I have actually learned while reading these books and I have advanced as a writer by picking up proper grammar and vocabulary along the way. I will continue reading on Wattpad, Webtoons, Webnovel, and any other unconventional reading app that stimulates my mind to create. Otherwise, I’d have to say my life as a reader would be boring and meet a slow uneventful demise.

Shafi’s literacy Narrative

Ashfaque Shafi

Eng1101 09/18/19

Reading and writing nowadays can be frustrating. Ever since I was a kid, reading and writing essays wasn’t really kind of my thing. I mean , who wants to read and write nowadays? We have phones and computers for that. (Even this homework is on computer). Technology has grown so much that we don’t need pen and paper to make notes. A simple click on a phone can do it all. I used to take hours during reading because I would not understand the sentences. I would read a passage and forget about it. Hence, it used to take me longer than usual to understand a passage then write a piece on it. And sometimes I still do. And during writing, I Used to spend so much time planning on what to write, then rush into writing and trying to finish because I don’t have time anymore. I never really liked writing. However, after coming to this country , I started off with hardship. I realized what life really is. What being an adult really is when I had to take care of my entire family. I had two jobs and was paying all the bills and feeding the family. It was stressful. But I never complained because they are my family. I lived in Michigan for a year then I moved to New York to study and Pursue my dreams. But things got even worse over here. I have a lot of friends here in New York that are always there for me. Due to few personal situations I had to go through , I noticed, talking about it really didn’t help me relief my stress. So I decided to write. I wrote everything that was bothering me as if I’m talking to someone. I started Writing all my problems down as if I was sharing my deep secrets to someone. I felt kinda peace from it. I noticed that the thing I never really liked, is the thing that really helped me out through all the stress and other issues I had. Writing just helps me stay calm because I’m all alone and writing whatever I want with no one bother me- just me sharing my feelings to help me relieve from stress.

This has changed the way I completely see reading and writing. For me it’s not frustrating anymore. I realize the skills we learned in school about reading and writing, actually helped me a lot. Writing reduces the level of stress and actually increases the focus level drastically. It helps you become smarter, to bring back your imagination. Typing something on a screen will not make you smarter or relaxed, neither it will help you be creative. That’s why I agree with the education system. Not only their help you learn, they also open up your imagination, motivate you to build or create new things, such as storytelling, arts and crafts etc. It also clears your mind and helps you learn better. When we are using our electronic devices, a chemical named Dr. mine is released in your brain, which makes you feel good because you are using on the phone. So, in situations like this, or brain is too busy waiting to receive messages, emails, etc. Our brain is not functioning properly like it is supposed to. Instead of thinking, the brain is just waiting. Hence, the level of creativity is reduced. So, I think the way American education systems are structured, it helps improve our brain focus and creativity level and helps us become a better person. However, I do support electronic use. It makes life so much easier because it is faster to get work done. I think we can all agree without technology our life would have been so much harder. But I feel like sometimes we need A break from technology and write the old fashioned way.

My personal experience is I feel relieved and peace when I write So for any essay homework that needs to be submitted online, I first write down my draft, then I use the dictation feature on my phone to type up my essay to make it quicker or I just scan my writing and send it to my professor as an attachment. Because of the piece I find on writing, I fully support the American education system with their way of helping students build and improve their imagination and creativity

Literacy Narrative


  By   FNU Adeel 

ENG 1101:English                Literacy Narrative composition I C379/D379 


            I don’t know what hurts me more than the fact that I moved to America and being unable to speak English. After I came to this country, unfortunately, I faced many problems. The problem was that my family’s financial problems not having job. One of the biggest problems was that not knowing the language. It was hard to find a job and I felt like flair  because i had a struggle to communicate with others. My only fear was that success would be hard to achieve however, deep down I know one of my strongest qualities l is that I always seek success and never quit.Then My experience with English wasn’t too bad. When I recently came into United States i felt like I will never fit into this environment because English is my second language. The first day in my computer class my teacher gave a dictionary so whenever I have problems with English I look words meaning first in my language so I can remember that word. Dictionary was my first thing to start knowing English then I started watching movies to speak with accents. First semester even my English teacher told me that you should take PM classes ecause I wasn’t passing that class . Then I took evening classes to improve my English. First semester I got failing grades then I start with a new beginning and improved my grades up to 85 %,95%. Then English was my favorite subject which I never ever failed. I read my first book called “A Child Called It”and my experience was great with reading books. Every day I come to my school I learned a new thing a new vocabulary word I take notes and look for meanings . Then I joined volleyball in my school so I can interact with more people. I spoke my broken English in class and whoever I talked too never feel ashamed because I was there to learn something if i’m wrong teachers will correct me. I knew who ever is in this roon with me nobody is perfect in English they are here to learn too. I loved working in groups so I can learn how each person has a different idea than me. I’m good at learning is when I watch videos so it creates an image in my mind so I never forget. I started working at a pharmacy and I wasn’t good at communicating with customers at that time but now i’m very happy to go to work and meet with different people and also help people who don’t speak English because im Trilingual.My experiences with English was good because I wanted to learn English and  anyone can learn English if you are willing to do so . I think that Malcolm X, story is similar to mine because we had to learn something new which we never did before. But everyday when I get to learn something I remember it. This struggle has shaped me to face any problems that I have. This struggle with language as ESL student shaped to me a successful high school student. The struggle with English make me stronger so I can communicate with people with confidence and show who I am and where I have came from. Today I have a good job and learned that there is a good time after a hard time. It is easy to be successful in any part of the world if you know (learn) the language of the country that most people speak. When I see different students from different cultures I feel more motivated and positive. In the beginning I felt like I won’t be able to achieve higher education however now I realize that im capable of higher education and that will give me more opportunities to improve myself. I’m first in my family who is in college and I will make my family proud and be an example to others in my community. And I know there is only one way higher education which will help me to obtain my career opportunities and my dream job. I have full confidence that I will keep working hard in college and turn into my success. English was important to me because it gave me the power to speak for myself. Learning English marked my relationship to reading books and novels. English is a language that always give you something new to learn a new vocabulary that you learn in your life by a lesson that makes you remember words for forever. I would say English is not just a language, it means to explore. 

The power of reading

Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, and reading is a very effective way to stimulate and exercise the brain. I didn’t know all the benefits that reading can cause in human beings. I wasn’t until I went through a certain experience, when I finally realized how important and necessary is for humans to read. The personal experience I had with reading was when I read the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. When I was 11 years old my whole group of friends were interested in reading, however for some reason I wouldn’t get interested in books or in reading. It was like that for about a year, up until I saw that my best friend was reading “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, I asked her what was the book about and she told me the main details of the story. For some reason the plot of the book made me get really interested in it. The book is a novel about an adolescent named Charlie and his path through his freshman year of high school. The novel is composed of letters, which Charlie has written to an unknown person. He tells this person about his life, his struggles, and triumphs but makes sure not to say anything that could point out who he is. I got interested in this book because it celebrates inclusivity and tolerance by showing how people can blossom when they are accepted for who they are and how painful life can be for people who are ignored or mistreated. When Charlie enters high school, he is withdrawn. He does not try to connect with people because he is actively dealing with the pain of the two traumatic experiences he has had to undergo. When I was reading this book, it opened my eyes, by showing me that life is not a bed of roses for some people, and that we have to be flexible and understanding to everyone, because we don’t know what people are going through in their private lives. After I was done reading this book I realized the importance of reading. I realized that reading develops the mind, It is how we discover new things. Books, magazines and even the Internet are learning tools which require the ability to read and understand what is read. I also developed a strong relationship to books and reading. I started reading several books, from different genres. I would say that I started reading at least one to two books a month. I also developed a huge interest in fiction and romance books.
Every since then I have had a huge passion in reading and learning new things by doing it. Having a passion for reading has helped me in several aspects and experiences in my life, such as improved focus and concentration, my analytical skills got better, learning a new language and I have also noticed that my memory has had an improvement too. The one that I considered the most important, was that having a passion for reading helped me to learn a new language, which is English. Two years ago, when to the US, I was able to understand some things but I was not fully able to talk or write in English. However, for me reading was not as hard as talking and writing.When I noticed that I found reading easier than writing and talking, I thought that it could be helpful to read the books I had read before again, but this time in English. Then I started reading books and what I did is that every word I did not understand or know, I would highlight them and look them up. I would write every new word and its meaning in a notebook. Every time I finished reading one of the books I had decided to read, I noticed progress in my writing and understanding of the language. In a matter of three months the progress in the way I spoke and wrote was huge. All the reading and learning I did happened before attending school because when I came to the US, it was summer break therefore I did not attend school until the summer break was over. When I started attending school, after taking an English exam for the school to know my English level. I got the highest level, and it was not necessary for my to take ESL classes or anything related to learning English. I know that if I had not read all those books to get better at speaking and writing en English, I would have not been able to take regular classes. After having that experience, I had no doubt of how powerful and helpful reading can be in several aspects of people’s lives. Reading did not only helped me to learn a new language or made me realize important life lessons, reading made me become a new me.

A powerful message

My personal experience shaped my relationship with reading and writing because it made me realize that books could be very interesting and they really make you imagine the story in your head. The book that I had read that shaped me into a different reader today was “The child called it” by David Pelzer. This book was both harsh yet very touching to read because it carried a message in which sort of expressed that you could prove people wrong and with the right mindset you could do anything in life no matter your background history, you take those harsh moments and turn them into a beautiful reality. I wasn’t really the type of person to open up a book and start reading because I sort of found reading pretty boring but I gave it a try and this book gave me a different perspective on reading. I guess I found reading boring because in school we were made to read books we weren’t really interested in and I feel like reading would’ve been so much more interesting if we were able to pick and choose what we wanted to read as a class. Now I actually don’t mind reading anything because I sort of learned to like it and I found that it really helped shape my mind better with new vocabulary and a better understanding of things in general. I learn a lot when I read and that’s what makes me want to read even more. Reading gives you knowledge and you’re sort of feeding your mind and it makes you think and create images in your head, it’s like exercise for the brain. Books are a getaway and I was in my own world when I read this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next and I just couldn’t put the book down. I think opening up a very interesting book could be very stress relieving because you block out the rest of the world and forget all your problems and all you’re focused on is the book. While I was reading “A child called it” (which was based on a true story) I sort of had weight on my shoulders because of all the harsh moments the little boy in the story had to go through but at the end of the story I realized that the same boy in the book was actually the author  of the book. When I found that out, it lifted all the weight off my shoulders because someone who suffered so much made it great in life to prove to himself that life could really be beautiful. Books/writings could send very powerful messages and it’s a form of expression. My experience with this book was very emotional and I cried while reading it because I felt like I was in the little boys shoes, the author wrote it as if he wanted us to imagine every detail in the book and it was as if I was watching a movie because of all the pictures it made me create in my head.

literacy narrative

 Learning English is very difficult for us Chinese-speaker. Especially for writing, my writing level is very poor.

    In the first year of immigration to the United States, I couldn’t understand what the teacher said in class. I couldn’t finish my homework every time. In the second year, the situation got better. I started to keep up with the teacher’s progress.  I also understood what the teacher said in class.

  When learning English, the hardest thing for me is reading and writing. I don’t understand what the author wants to say, and I don’t know how to write the text. The essay teacher who wrote at the beginning gave a low score.

 After that, I often go to see some good compositions in the Internet and some time i will do the homework with my friends. 

   I remember that soon after I came to the United States, my writing ability was very poor. I often wrote quiet as quite, and also wrote angle as angel. Sometimes I wrote diary as a dairy. The teacher was very helpless to me.After so much writing, my writing has become better.

   Compare China and the United States. They have great differences in the learning of children and students. China is more focused on indoctrinating education, while American universities value practice and creative thinking in practice. Therefore, domestic students often have amazing memory and a good foundation in mathematics, which is why Chinese students can achieve good results in exam-oriented education. In the United States, higher education requires students to participate, practice, and create. Many courses are arranged with case study and discussion time, as well as student-centered teaching activities such as case analysis and presentation, so that learning is passive and active. Can more stimulate students’ self-awareness and thinking.

  The calculation of Western students’ grades is: classroom discipline and attendance rate are part of the work, part-time homework scores are part of the group, group interaction discussion is part of the paper, and thesis writing and defense accounts for more than half. From these aspects, the comprehensive situation of students is comprehensively evaluated and compared. Objective and fair. In China, grades are important for students, parents, and schools. High school students do not attend classes and do not write homework. As long as you get a good grade in the college entrance examination, you can enter a famous university.

  Americans are self-reliant, pragmatic and focus on their individual abilities, dare to take risks, openness and innovation, etc., so that American education presents the current quality and strong quality education. American teachers admit that each child has his or her own talent and encourages them to work hard to develop their own strengths. The United States cultivates people who have real skills. For example, the United States trained more than 300 billionaires from 1980 to the present. And countless Nobel winners. This is what the American founder, Washington, said: Let Americans enjoy the best education.


Reading to the soul

Domanique king

English 1101

Reading helps develop the brain and keeps the mind flowing with thoughts and ideas and imaginations.Reading with a purpose helps the reader to direct information towards a goal and focuses their attention. My little sister has been reading many books and discovering many different things because of her reading. Every night she’s introduced to a new story that places a smile on her little face. The way she loves to read along and point out things is what brings me true happiness. This gave me a feeling of satisfaction because i knew that was educating her and teaching her skills that she will need once she starts school. From reading short stories to baby novels and then skill teaching books  it helps the mind to grow and expand. Pointing out what the characters are doing, wearing, eating , and even memorizing their names is what is most important to me because I know that she is learning more and more. Reading new things opens up imagination and the first time she had touched the hard cover or soft cover books and was amazed by the multi-colors of the cover and pages I knew she would enjoy reading. Hearing her sound out the words and understanding the meaning behind the words, even if it was just doing the simple action of the word was amazing. Everytime we read a new book it is the start of new beginnings. This shapes my own relationship with reading because truthfully I never use to read as much books when I was younger like how my sister does, not many people get an opportunity to read or write and knowing that any one even if it’s yourself, family and or friends get to do this everyday makes me happy. At such a young age and starting to read and write is what is mainly important because she is learning younger and becoming wiser each and everyday. Reading helps you get more connected with your inner thoughts and more in depth with yourself , so does writing. When people write in diaries and their own personal version of a short story it’s because of the connection they have prior to reading. It helps you express your thoughts on a page and see what you think , that’s why it is so important to read and educate yourself. Her favorite book to read is her peppa pig collection book, she always calls out the characters and objects and the actions that she observes them doing. Comprehension is also a major part in reading and writing, she’s very clever when it comes to comprehending what is going on in the story. A lot of people lack the knowledge of certain criteria and that is because they don’t read enough to fully understand. From the start of your life like my little sister to the ending reading and writing will always teach you new things about life. If you don’t have a desire to want to read and or write you will never learn.