I immigrated to the United States of America from Bangladesh with my family 6 years ago. This country has been quite unusual compared to where I came from. Everything has completely changed for me. I had difficulties adapting myself to the the environments, rules, regulations, and especially with speaking English on a daily basis. The country I came from is Bangladesh and we speak in a different language than English. The language we speak in Bangladesh is Bangla. The struggles I had to face on learning how to speak English when I started school as a new immigrant were inconvenient interactions, inability to cooperate in group discussions, and getting disheartening comments. Although speaking English as a second language was a challenging task, my efforts to find resources and practice using English helped me achieve proficiency.
When I started school in 7th grade, I had a hard time adjusting myself to the new school atmosphere because of inconvenient interactions caused by my communication skills. I was surrounded by new people, in a new place, by a new language, etc. I used to go to the classroom late because I couldn’t keep track of the location of the classrooms. I couldn’t even ask for help from other students or faculty members because of my shattered English. Also I couldn’t make any friends in school nor did I know anyone there to ask for help. One day, I was sitting in the lunch room with a group of students at a table. They started to throw food at each other for some reason. When the security guards came and asked them who started the food fight at the table, they pointed at me. At that moment, I started to cry inside of my head because I felt so helpless. I tried so hard to explain what actually happened there to the guards, but I failed once again. I had to accept the detention of cleaning the table after lunch. I kept repeating one thing to myself: how could people be so heartless and selfish? That’s when a student came from another table and explained everything to the guards.
Even though I like group discussion in my classes today, I never liked group discussion in 7th grade regarding anything we had to talk about because I couldn’t express my thoughts clearly in English. During one group discussion in my science class, when we were brainstorming about what topic we should select for our science fair project, I wanted to tell my group that we should pick a topic that has to do with momentum collision. But, I couldn’t clarify describe my idea to the group cause of shattered English. I still tried to explain the topic proposal to tell them. But, as you have always seen in a group discussion, there are few students who think themselves as a “Mr. Smarty,” but in actuality they are not. They are only there to discourage student who speaks in shattered English in school. Also, some of my classmates would offer advice if I asked for help with something, but as soon as I left they would begin talking to their friends, saying things like “People come from nowhere nowadays,” or using the word “border” in a nasty way. After getting disheartening comments like these regarding my ability to speak English from my fellow classmates used to give me second thoughts of doubt in my head. Nevertheless, I have always believed that if you want something from your heart, no matter how much you have to struggle, you eventually get there one day.
But nothing stopped me from starting to speak English on a daily basis at the end of my 7th grade. I had to put a little more effort into completing any assignments compared to other students in class. With the help of the teachers and YouTube videos, I started to communicate with other students. I started to do very well in the classes because of taking the initiative to speak English even when it was not perfect. Also, I started to to join extracurricular activities with a few of my friends. Now, communication has made everything so easy for me. Everything seems like it is working the way it should work.
I might not speak English perfectly, but now no one can just accuse me of something I haven’t actually done. I have obtained confidence in my proficiency of speaking English to stand up against any inaccuracies. The struggles that I had to experience on learning new language made me the stronger person I am today. Nowadays, I enjoy participating in group discussions a lot because I am able to share my thoughts, opinions, and perceptions to others. Now, I am confident in my English skills; I ask for help when I need it from others without any hesitations.