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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Life as a Student in a Foreign Country

By Scott S.  |   From : Africa  |   School : International High School at LArgo

Have you been in a room where you’re  the only one who doesn’t speak the country’s language?

When I first came to the United States from Africa, I was confused because everything in classes here were different from Africa. First, I was puzzled when the teacher started giving directions. Then, I tried to sit by a girl and as soon as my butt touched the chair she moved. Finally, the vice principal confused me for being in the bad kids group and We were sent to the principal’s office. These chains of events show how hard people have it, when they don’t speak or understand the

country’s language.

When I first came to the United States from Africa, I had no english experience and didn’t  know this culture would be different from African culture. Initially, I was puzzled everytime the teacher started giving directions. I remembered when my 4th grade reading teacher started giving directions in english to the whole class, but she had to translate in french just for me. I was so embarrassed because when the computer repeated the directions, the whole class stared at me.

Also, my teacher told the class to “Find a partner that you think you’ll work well with”, but since understanding and the student in class just so happen to be an odd number I was the only one by myself.

As you can tell, not being able to understand or speak english in the United States as a student can be embarrassing. 

Not being able to speak english made me bored in school because, I could communicate with another students. I recall trying to sit on the school hard plastic chair that was next to a girls, and as soon as I put my butt on it, she got up and moved.

”Don’t be like that Joey…this is out of your character” said my reading teacher.

“I JUST DON’T WANT HIM BY ME” replied Joey.

They just kept going back and forth until their teacher convinced her to apologize to me. I knew they were arguing because Joey moved, but I don’t know exactly what they were saying.

It’s really hard to practicipe or communicate in class when you don’t speak the language and have a huge accent. I recall the teacher asking me to read a summary of a book we had for homework. In my head im saying

“The book was about..”, but as soon as I said that they were like “slow down what are you saying”.

The teacher instely got out of her and said “BE QUIET!! Y’ALL HE CAN’T JUST CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND HE’S TRYING HIS BEST”. 

Also, she added “AND HE GOT A BETTER GRADE THAN MOST OF YALL”.

At that point I could understand but speak english clearly. So,

I understood what they were saying but was mad so one could understand my accent.

I told myself  “I will practice and become better at speaking english”.

In conclusion Life as a student in a foreign country is really difficult. I had so many embarrassing moments in elementary school because I couldn’t speak or understand english. So, I decided to work on it by speaking it with my siblings’ parents. And Now I can understand and speak english.

 

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