English and me
Watching the two videos made me realized how different, in a way, was my experiences learning English. In the first video “World English”, I noticed that almost all of the people from the video were still struggling with the language. It remained me how much trouble I had the first time I started learning English. On the other video “We not speak Americano”, the girls were more fluent on the language because they seemed as if they have been studying in the US for a longer period. In the first video “World English”, Fadhel Alhashem from Saudi Arabia, made an interesting point when he said that he had tried to learn English when he was home, but it was almost impossible because there was not way that he could have been able to practices the language outside of books. He could not speak, write or communicate with anybody in English back there. Once he moved to the United States he went to school where the only thing he was learning was English, like an academy. There he was able to learn the proper use of the language and its rules. In contrast with him, I had a totally different approach when it came to learn English because unlike him, other stories from the people on both videos, and those of my classmates, I had never received an English education previous to the one I have gotten in the U.S. I am from a small city in Venezuela, before I moved to the US at sixteen I went to a public catholic school for middle school. In the school English was not even part of the curriculum. I was never exposed to the languages as a little girl because the school system back in my city is not as good as other schools like the ones up in the Capital for example. Unlike many students that I have known and talked with about my experiences with English, they all have told me that they had taken English classes when they were younger back in middle school or even back in high school. Unfortunately I never had or took the chance to learn English before I came to the U.S. I was not that interested to learn the language because I thought I would never needed it while being in Venezuela, and because I would have never thought in a million years that I had to left my country due to safety reasons. Looking back at the decisions I made, there are things that I have regretted many times since I moved, such as not wanting to learn English because I thought it was pointless. Because of that I had had a terrible time communicating, writing, and understanding the language my first year. I wish I had taken English before I came to the U.S because, I think, it would have helped me to have an easier transition the first time I got to school, and to become even better at the language than I am nowadays. Going back to one of my most memorable moments learning English, when I think of my experiences with English, the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is has been a challenging journey. Many of the people that I tell my story of how I learned English have a hard time believing that 3 years ago I did not know a word of the language. I moved to the United States when I was sixteen years old, the only thing I knew was how to introduce myself and very basic words because I had watched television in English before. I came without my family because I went to boarding school in Connecticut. At the school I did not know anybody, and for my worse or good luck, I was the only student from Latin America, meaning there were not Spanish speaking students, the only one who spoke Spanish was the Spanish teacher who later that week became my adviser. I was never planning to move to the United States the way it all happened. I always thought that I was going to finish high school back in Venezuela, and then move here and learn English before I started college. My case was very particular because I came in the middle of the year. I had to move due to safety reasons. I got to school during spring season. At the school you are required to play a sport...
Cited: * Wibergh, F. (Producer), & Hawthorne, N. (Director). (2010). We No Speak Americano - Understanding International Students ' Writing [Motion Picture].
* Nuske, T. O. (Writer). (2009). World Englishes: An Investigation of International Students ' Goals and Experiences [Motion Picture].
The heart of this is still your telling of your experience with the cross-country team when you started at the boarding school in Connecticut. (I assume it was a boarding school.) You’ve opened it up a bit by pointing out some of the differences between your experience and the experiences in the videos and with your classmates’ experiences. I’m still thinking about how you can bring the two together more, though…
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