English wasn’t an easy subject for me, I always had trouble with the language, but I had to try to teach myself some basic roles that where taught to students in the first grade. This didn’t bother me that much but rather it help me to see where my weakness is and try to work on it. I started to go to the library every day after school and try to read kids’ books to help myself out. And eventually I caught up with my class mates in English class, I was at the same level as my classmates. This was one of my grandest accomplishments in life, to learn a new language.
Reading and writing became a problem for me because I was not acquiring the knowledge as a second language learner. Being a second language learner was difficult because learning another language that is not my own was hard to comprehend. At home I spoke Hmong more than English and I found that my native language had impacted my English learning. My English literacy became broken and I used wrong tense and verb as I try to communicate with others. The reason was that I rarely communicate in English with my family, friends, or teachers because I am usually with my mother.
Without the ability to read and comprehend information society as we know it would begin to become stagnant and our ability to progress in thought and philosophy would be abated. The gift of reading was given to me at a young age. It began with me being taught to comprehend uncomplicated text and through practice and patience over time evolved into more sophisticated pieces of literature. The importance of reading and comprehending information was instilled in me by mother. Specifically one time she sat me down and explained why she did what she did in regards to having me read and be quizzed on additional material given by her in conjunction to my normal schooling.
I learned a new language and wasn’t bothered that the American kids began with an advance education because of their parents and relatives. As well as Alexie did I learned to read by reading anything I saw and from help by my teacher. I shared what I have learned with my parents so that they will learn with me. It helped me when I was able to read English because the material in school was easier. I wouldn’t be able to have the education I have now because in the United states we might be surrounded by different language but English will always be the main language.
Learning a new language isn’t always easy. It has it’s up and down moments but once I learned that new language I felt accomplished and a lot of new opportunities open for me. My point is that learning English for me wasn’t easy, but once I learned English, I was able to help out my parents more and a bunch of new doors opened for me. You can say by knowing English I had a little more power now at home because they depended a lot on me now but it also felt great just to help them out with their English. When I first started school, I really didn’t know any English.
As I have learned a new vocabulary I have started to like to read books in English instead of watching online TV in my first language . In ENF class the teacher likes to divide the students in groups so they can work together .They show their writings by reading them to each other and asking questions. These exercises help me improve my communication skills . I started fill more comfortable in my conversation with Americans and I have made new friends. I found this quote by Amy Chua in my text book wich now reflects the way I feel : “Nothing’s fun until you are good at it”.
Although I must say that when I first entered English class I had so many different thoughts. The first thought was about the teacher. I didn?t know if I would have been able to get along with Ms. D because she had looked like a professional person in which doesn?t play around. I was nervous but I knew I would have to try my best to get along with her. When class began I saw how Ms D loved to make her students write essays and that is what I knew I was good at.
However, this subject will give a challenge to the students if there is no guidance from parents or people around. If all parties concerned the importance of English, the problems faced by the students can be avoided. We are aware that learning grammar in the classroom plays an important role in establishing the use of English among students. But it is quite less attention and no emphasis than functional English which more students are asked to create an essay and speaking in English and consequently many Malaysians who are not able to make correct sentences in English. At the start of learning English, mastery of grammar is very important because it is a basic guide for students.
I also found ways to draw myself in assignments when I could to help me complete them. I am a bit sad that there weren’t many classes were we could share our opinions more. But, in the end the experience was good and I learned a lot. I hope that I can better my English and be able to write with more confidence, but in the end I’m happy where I found myself in the class. I understand that I can’t expect myself to learn everything in a short amount of time, more so because most of my studies were in another language.
This is exactly what Bansri pointed out in the interview. She did not like focusing on the academic disciplines, but she was oral proficient except for times when she was afraid to speak. I strongly agree with her idea of making a bridge between languages. I’ve learnt that in order for students to learn a new language their first language have to act as a building block. In Bansri’s case she had some experience with English, but I have worked with one student who had little to no experience with the new language.