When I was in the second grade my life changed instantly. At seven years old, I was like a baby who was learning how to walk. Learning English for the first time was a big challenge for me. Though if I wouldn’t have learned English than probably I would not be where I am now. I will never forget the day when I became engaged with English. I promised myself that I would let others and necessary tools help me get prepared. While this journey began English had become a priority in my life, until this day it remains the same. Also it became extremely important for me to maintain it this way, so that I continue developing and growing as an English learner. These are the steps that played a huge role while learning English, speaking, reading and writing. Each became a struggle, a success and who I am today.
My first study session with my teacher Mrs. Sanchez was about practicing the Alphabet. I felt nervous the moment we both sat down, ready start. In that moment she says, “Can you try telling the ABCs” of course I didn’t know a single letter. But I had the advantage of pronouncing some letters, since I knew the Spanish alphabet both languages almost had the same letter of sounds. Some were difficult to pronounce, but I was always willing to try again and again. I took it “as serious as a heart attack” I wouldn’t let panic get to me in any situation when I couldn’t pronounce a letter or word. Speaking in English was then something I couldn’t stop doing, every time I had study sessions with Mrs. Sanchez I felt excited and no longer nervous. When she said, “sing the ABCs along with me” my heart beat so fast, it was something I really enjoyed doing. You might be thinking in this moment “who child still enjoys singing the ABCs at the age of seven” I enjoyed doing it. Learning the alphabet in English was something important for me that will then get me prepared. From there the bit of knowledge that I had gained It was to be taken to another level. So every time I sang along with Mrs. Sanchez or at home I felt happy because I had now learned my ABCs.
At home is where I’d practiced the ABCs more, in the mornings while brushing my teeth and bedtime. During bed time was the time I like practicing them more that helped me memorize them for tomorrow’s class. In the mornings when Mrs. Sanchez would play the ABCs and she’d say, “which letter is my finger pointing to” I raised my hand. Singing my ABCs before going to sleep wasn’t the only thing I like doing, I’d also read a books. I would borrow the books from my school’s library and some were given to me by Mrs. Sanchez. Reading was the second step I had to take to help me continue acquiring the knowledge, that continue getting me prepared. During my study sessions with Mrs. Sanchez she would help whenever I came across a word I didn’t know how to pronounce or know the meaning of. I specifically remember a day when I wasn’t able to pronounce the word “tomato,” I kept saying “tomatoo” since that’s how it sounded to me. This also happened to me when I pronounce the word “potato” to me it sound like “potatoo and not potatoe” even though it was spelled different. Some words I tried reading, but the way they sounded were different from how they were spelled and I end up getting confused. Reading books before every bedtime were a great help, for me to keep improving. Mrs. Sanchez help was how I began understanding what I struggle with the most. During this process while learning how to read my classmates were also very helpful with me. Like this girl name Janet who also knew spanish like me I would go her after school whenever I needed help with my homework. At home I wasn’t always able to complete my homework I had no one to help me who spoke English. But once again during my study sessions I read books and review homework I didn’t understand. Mrs. Sanchez besides my parents were who motivate me, while struggling with reading and writing.
Every book I read and words I had learned got me prepared. Now I was ready to start writing, “I can believe we’re already here” Mrs. Sanchez said. I was happy to see my improvement, and achievement. Along this journey I struggled with writing, the most. Until this day I still do, but I know it is a process, that along the way it will get better. While struggling I always found something fun about writing. I once bought a journal we’re I loved writing on everything, what happened on that specific day. Then during my study sessions I’d tell Mrs. Sanchez to read over my daily journals, so she can help me improve with my writing whenever something didn’t make any sense. Mrs. Sanchez once told me “writing on your journal about what happened on a specific day is more about free writing, drawing down what your thoughts are in that moment and it doesn’t have to be as perfect, as long as you understand it” When I was learning how to write, I would overthink too much about what I should write, so I get frustrated. Until I learned from Mrs. Sanchez that when it comes to writing don’t overthink too much, just start writing then you’ll have some time to go back. Afterwards I continue writing on my journal, using Mrs. Sanchez’s advises. Communicating with Mrs. Sanchez and my classmates on a daily basis also helped me better my English. Every single book I read and the times I was exposed to communicating were keys that led me to creating my own book, about a day I visited the Zoo. I remember the day I presented to my class the book I had created about my experience, I felt so nervous in that moment. “My very first time speaking in front of the class in english” it was challenging, but I did it. In that moment I was given the experience of what it was like to present in front of a class. I was happy to hear Mrs. Sanchez and my classmates said, “Good job” while clapping. Although afterwards I went to her and said, “was my English okay, has it improved” she said, “Maria, I am proud of you we all were able to understand, it definitely has improved.”
I felt proud of myself to see how much I had achieved and learned. Speaking, Reading and Writing were skills I had developed into two different languages and I was only seven years old. It was a long journey full of struggles, but those just pushed me to try harder. Success was another, through each achievement I would always picture myself saying, “I finally did it” and I did. Learning English was not only about knowing how to speak it, but reading and writing were also involved along the way. It was more than just learning how to speak English, I had to go towards learning other levels of English literacy. My second grade teacher Mrs. Sanchez is my sponsor of literacy; she was always there present when I most needed the help. Thanks to her throughout this journey of learning English literacy I never felt lost, but supported. Now who I am now as a college student is thanks to her. Even If still struggle with reading and writing I know that one day I’ll become better at each one. By maintaining in college is how I will be able to continue learning new things and developing my skills as a student.