From Spanish To English: Becoming Literate In America

982 words - 4 pages

For as long as I can remember learning how to read and write was a real challenge for me. When I first arrived in the United States I was enrolled at the nearby elementary school. Being from another country I was scared and embarrassed because I was different then the other children in my class. Talking and communicating with others was something that wasn't in the interest of what I wanted to do. I sat far away from others depriving myself of what they were doing or learning. Coming from Mexico and going to a school where no other children would speak the same language that I would or even play the way I did made me believe that I was some sort of thing that didn't belong. All these contributed to a low esteemed child that was unable to communicate. The world I was in suddenly became a place that I didn't know. To the kids and others in my class I was an illiterate person.

As the only kid in my class that couldn't read or write in the same language I was felt out of many activates. The only thing that really helped me was the support of the teachers. They encouraged me to try the best that I could. The only first grader in my class that was illiterate because of the difference in language made me realize that just because we don't understand a different language or culture doesn't mean we are dumb or stupid.

After a while I was now beginning to understand the things that my teacher was teaching and understanding the language that the children in the classroom were speaking. It didn't sound like a whole bunch of "blah blah" anymore. I remember the first story that I wrote in my second grade class. It was about a family of baby cats and it wasn't even that long but to me it took forever to write. I was very proud and the teacher even put in on the bulletin board. At that moment I knew that my life and school took a complete turn. I was able to understand my reading and writing. So as I caught on with the others kids in my class I stared to like participating with others. By the time I knew it had many friends and they could understand me. Well as time came my elementary years ended and then came the middle school years. I was a little hesitant because even though I had been here for four years I had a Mexican accent.

When I entered middle school I once again felt I was outsider, the friends that I had in elementary were all gone so I began my journey once more. Since Spanish was my first language whenever I spoke in English It sounded like...

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