When I was a kid, my parents raised my siblings and me speaking to us in Spanish. Because of that, I remember that when I was just about to start elementary school, I had to take an exam so that the teachers knew the level of English I had. I don’t know how difficult it was for me to learn English but luckily, my parents told me that I learned it quite quickly. Either way I was assigned an ESL teacher to help me with my school difficulties. I never liked having this teacher because they always distanced me from the other students, and this made me feel different. At the same time, I was confused when I got home because I had to speak Spanish and leave English for a moment. As I got older, I started to feel more comfortable because I knew I really needed the help. It was no longer so difficult for me to switch between the two languages when I needed one or the other. When I entered fourth grade, one day, my ESL teacher came in and told me I didn’t need her anymore. At first, I was sad because she had helped me for four years. Afterwards, my sadness disappeared, and I was proud of myself because it meant I could do things independently. In other words, I was able to balance the two languages in a pretty good way. The bad thing about learning another language is that in many instances, when you learn another language, you usually forget your native language. I think because of this being so, there was a time when my parents thought this about me. I remember one day, there was a sign at my aunt’s house and my dad told me to read it because I probably wouldn’t be able to do it. To his surprise, I was able to read most of the poster without much difficulty. Again, I felt proud of myself because I proved to my parents that their predictions about my ability with Spanish were false. Although I had learned another language, I did not want to forget Spanish because it would be like losing some aspect of my origin. While studying in high school, I took Spanish classes so I could learn more vocabulary and grammar, from time to time, my parents used to say things I could not understand and for that reason I decided to take these classes, so I could communicate well with them. Anyway, I always liked being able to speak another language so that other people could not understand what I was saying when I spoke in secret. As I matured, I knew that knowing how to speak two languages was much more than that. I was able to meet and form friendships with people who do not speak English.


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