Almi Marmol English 1000C-580
September 7 2009
Have you ever thought of what a baby tries to say when they aren't able to form any words? Well my first experience is somewhat like this, when I was four I moved from the Dominican Republic to Long Island, New York. Now imagine being a young child and trying to get used to a whole new world on top of that you can't communicate with the people around you in the language they know. As if moving so far and leaving everything and everyone you have known for your whole life wasn't hard enough; now you are faced with the challenge of learning a new language. English is one of the hardest languages to learn because of its complex grammar rules and the different ways letters can be pronounced in certain words. Everything seemed so strange and I felt very alone. I didn't have friends and I couldn't make any because of the barrier language had created. That soon changed when I began to take ESL, which is a class that helps students learn English as a second language. I met other students who were having the same problem as me and now I didn't feel so isolated. They became my best friends and are still my closest friends. We would help each other when we were stuck and didn't know how a word was supposed to be said or when we didn't understand what it meant. We were all very motivated to learn because we wanted to be like everyone else. We wanted to be on the same level as other children our age. At the end of every class we were rewarded with my favorite type of cookie, thin mints, or any other kind of candy. Without realizing we were being awarded an even bigger prize, the prize of knowing the English language. I learned many words by using flashcards. Later on I was able to form sentences. I think the hardest part of learning English was the pronunciation. Some words sounded the same and others had many different meanings so it was hard to understand what word to use when. I felt more comfortable because like most children of my age I was learning to read and write. By the beginning of second grade I didn't have to attend the ESL classes anymore. Now that I was able to communicate with everyone I felt proud of myself because I went from not knowing a word of English to being able to make full sentences and being able to have conversations with other children and adults. Even though it was hard, now I'm able to speak English fluently without an accent.
Since we moved here my mother had no knowledge of the English language. It was up to my brother and me to help her understand it. Every time she had an appointment or when she needed help I would go with her. Even though I couldn't understand exactly what they said I tried my best to explain what was going on. The people would try to use smaller words so that I could understand them. Back then in most places there weren't translators and it made it difficult for people who didn't...