One day, I was gazing out the window as the rain poured. My parents came into my room and told me very exciting news; we were leaving for America. Even though my parents thought leaving the country was a good thing, I was conflicted feeling happy and sad because I was leaving my beloved country, Yemen. I thought of everything that I was going to leave behind, everything that had been familiar to me for thirteen years: Family, Friends, teachers, and mostly my community. I thought to myself: “How am I supposed to let go of all that I hold near and dear to my heart?” The only fear I had was how I would fit in when I didn’t know how to speak any English. There were a lot of obstacles that I had faced during my first semester. I had to challenge myself to be better and improve my language in anyway in English and my focused was how I’m going to success in school. Learning English was very challenging for me. Since, Arabic is my first language.
I was thirteen years old and I was entering seventh grade. I was afraid that people would make fun of me because I don’t understand them. I was nervous and terrified but kept my motivation and confidence held high. Communicating with others was hard and embarrassing. It was hard and embarrassing because at the beginning I was frustrated to get up and present myself to the class and that feeling I was guilty. It seems hard to make new friends when I don’t know how to communicate with them. I though everyone would make fun of me when I don’t know how to speak perfect like them, I never wanted to speak, but I was forced to in order for me to strengthen my English.
There were important people that helped me make the transition from life in Yemen to life in America. For example, Teachers helped me a lot during my first year at the ESL at Universal academy school. My English teacher, Mrs. Ali, who made the subject very interesting. Also she made her students want to learn, by breaking down everything into easy ways of learning. Mrs. Ali was committed to her students by putting a lot of effort into her work for her students. In the process of learning, it was kind of difficult at the beginning but day after a day I was getting my way around people.
My friend Sara helped me a lot to understand and speak English. Every time we talked to each other; she would always communicate with me in English, and I would respond in English. That helped me a lot to improve my English learning. Because learning other language specifically English it will help me to cooperate and integrate with the local community. This expression, lead me to learn a lot of things. Without learning the language it feels like, being alone without communicating with people. Also I felt I was living in a different local community.