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Literacy Narrative Feb 8

Literacy Narrative Feb 8

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Published by alinaavan

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categoriesTopics, Art & Design
Published by: alinaavan on Apr 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Avanesova 1Alina AvanesovaENGL 1102-031Ms. Coco8 February 2011Audience- Elementary studentsDevelopment of Language³Ohhh you can¶t read! You don¶t speak English!, a young girl yelled.´ At first I didn¶tknow what she was saying because I didn¶t understand or speak English, but when looking back atthat incident, I now realize that she was insulting me. This was what I experienced as a youngstudent in kindergarten and first grade. After growing up in Russia and moving to the Charlotte, North Carolina at the age of five, I went through a few roadblocks in my first few years whenlearning to speak, read, and write in English. Through the help of the ESL program and differentreading groups in elementary school, my literacy levels and language skills skyrocketed and I wasable to improve my reading and writing abilities drastically.When living in Russia, I was always surrounded by the Russian language. My grandmother always read Russian stories to me every night before going to bed. However, I was never exposedto reading and writing Russian myself, since I was only a toddler. School didn¶t start until a childturned seven years old, so I wasn¶t able to fully learn reading and writing as many Russian childrenwere. My parents were always busy working and my grandmother was constantly busy cleaningand cooking so I didn¶t have any one to help me learn to read and write in Russian at a young age.All I could do was speak the language, but only to the ability of a normal five year old. However,after my family decided to move to America, we knew that we were going to be forced to learn awhole different language completely from scratch.
Avanesova 2Coming to America in 1997, there was a huge language barrier between my family and therest of the country. The only words in English we knew when first moving to America were³hello,´ ³goodbye,´ and ³how are you?´ My family and I found it very difficult to communicatewith people. Going to the grocery store was a tricky situation for us. We knew that everyone in thefamily had to learn to pick up the language on their own. Unlike my parents who had to learn thelanguage completely on their own, my brother and I were enrolled in school in the upcomingAugust, so we would have teachers teach us.When walking in the doors of my kindergarten class, I felt terrified. All the children weretalking and running around and seemed to be having so much fun. I didn¶t understand anyonearound me and I knew the teachers were going to force me to communicate with the rest of theclassmates. On the first day, my teacher tried introducing me to different students. As they lookedat me, smiled and said their name, I blankly stared at them and didn¶t know what to say. I wasconfused and nervous. My teachers recognized my language disabilities and automatically placedme into the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. At first, I started off very slow. Theyhad to teach me simple phrases, the alphabet, and how to count. Also while in my regular kindergarten class, we were learning to read as well. This gave me a better understanding of theEnglish language because I was learning double the information. Gradually, as the year  progressed, I was beginning to pick up the language. I was even speaking to the other kindergartenstudents and making friends. By the end of kindergarten I could read, at least to the ability of anormal six year old, and I was having conversations with my teachers and peers without many problems. I was excited that I have achieved so much in just a year in a whole different country.Soon enough, I was speeding my way through the English language and my speaking,reading, and writing abilities were just like an American student. My teachers were so proud of my
Avanesova 3growth that midway through first grade, they told me I no longer has to take ESL. I was now on myown to continue learning English and further improving my skills. In fourth grade, my readingteacher noticed my advanced reading skills and asked me to join the talent development (TD) program. This would push me to read higher level books and participate in reading discussions.Even though I did not enjoy reading as much as most of the other students in the TD program did,I knew it would be a great opportunity for me, so I joined. I remember my teacher always saying³Now, don¶t forget to read tonight and write a summary for what you read,´ almost every day.Reading every night and writing a summary helped me to grasp a better understanding differentvocabulary, advance my reading skills, and help me learn to write better, even though I didn¶treally enjoy doing it that much.But even though I was moving quickly in my language and literacy skills, my parentsweren¶t. They were still having problems picking up the language. I guess it¶s true when peoplesay ³it¶s harder to learn a new language the older you get.´ Since I started learning English at ayoung age, I grasped the concept quickly, but my parents weren¶t able to do that. When atelemarketer always called our house, my parents would always give my brother or I the phone sowe would speak to them. They were scared to say something wrong or go completely blank whenthe telemarketer would ask them a question. I remember one time we got a phone call and my momanswered. As soon as the lady on the other line spoke, my mom froze and threw the phone at me soI would talk to them. At least my parents had my brother and I talk to other people just in case my parents didn¶t understand.With the help of the ESL program and the TD program in elementary school, I was able toimprove my language abilities, as well as learn to read and write. Basically, the teachers in thosetwo programs were my sponsors of literacy. Without those programs in elementary school, I

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