Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

4.30.2021 – Daisy on her language learning experience

Hello in various languages around a globe

Growing up, the only language that I was familiar with was Spanish, which is my first language. I didn’t start to learn English until the second grade, when I was placed in a bilingual classroom because at the school I attended before I was in a Spanish-speaking classroom only. I remember that one of the first books I was able to read in English was called “Junie B. Jones” by Barbara Parks, and after I read that book, I started to read all of her books in 2nd and 3rd grade. Furthermore, I read many of Barbara’s books because of the stories of Junie B. Jones was a young girl who attended school and was an impulsive person. Most of her stories are told from her point of view and how she spends time in school.

Being taught in English as my second language was very difficult because at first I didn’t know what I was being taught in class, but there were vocabulary words that were easy to understand such as car, pizza, goodnight, stop, etc. I learned those by reading books and articles that were easy to understand. I remember I used to watch cartoons in English when growing up, so I would add the subtitles to understand the words better.

I think that one of the easiest things to acquire in this language was the vocabulary rather than grammar because having to change a sentence from present to future tense was sometimes difficult at first. Moreover, the way my teachers would explain to me what I was to do for the assignments was confusing, making it difficult to answer the questions. But I kept trying, and finally I got it with the help of a tutor who stayed after school to help me out.

As I was growing up and kept being taught in both languages in school, I noticed that when I would have to write essays in English, my grammar and vocabulary wasn’t very good yet. Also, when I would have to read out loud, I would notice that I had an accent and would feel embarrassed because now at that point most of my peers would know the language at a higher level than me.

I believe that it wasn’t until I was in high school that I knew that I had acquired enough grammar knowledge in order to comprehend the language, and I was able to write essays at a level that was understandable. Now that I am a college student, I can say that I’ve improved so much in the language, and I am able to speak, read and write in English, but I know that there is so much more to learn because I’m still not at the proficiency level that I want to be at. Knowing that I am able to use a different language now makes me feel proud and happy because now I’m able to help my parents translate for them, watch TV in both languages, and talk both languages with my friends and coworkers.

In my opinion, I think that it’s a beautiful thing to learn more than one language because of the benefits of knowing how to communicate with others, learning more about different cultures, etc. Although it might be a difficult challenge to acquire a new language, if you are determined to learn it, then you will succeed in it. Reading in the language you’re trying to learn is the best way to acquire the language and if we ever need help, we shouldn’t doubt to look for resources that can help us understand.

This is why I decided to become an LCLC Spanish Peer Tutor: I know the difficulties of learning a new language, and since I know the struggles, I’m able to help students better understand the words and suggest ways to learn more about the language they’re learning in class.