students at very different levels help each
it frustrating being in a college classan ESL
class or a regular content coursewith
students whose English skills are very different
from your own? These students all say no: students
at very different levels can help each other in
Miyazaki, an international student from
came to the U.S. nine months ago to study English
and business skills. When I came over here from
Japan, I could not speak English well, and still I
dont feel comfortable to speak English in
front of many people.
We all may have different goal of English,
but we all are studying the same language:
English, which is the most common language
in this world.
I am taking an advanced writing class with other
ESL students who have different backgrounds.
Someone has lived here for five years and speaks
English very fluently.
the other hand, another has less than one year
experience in the U.S. and doesnt speak
English very well. We all took the same grammar
placement test and the result caused this mixed
situation because the placement test is all about
grammar; it is not about vocabulary or speaking
I mentioned before, I dont speak English very
well. I, however, never feel uncomfortable with
this mixed situation. When I listen to other
students fluent English, I am always inspired
and motivated. I always feel I really need to study
English more and achieve my future goal.
students may have different goals of English
studies; however, we all can get inspired from
other students because all of us have different
backgrounds. For example when I took Business 100
at Orange Coast College, there were only two ESL
students, one was I, and the other was a student
from Norway. He could speak English very fluently,
but he could not write any essay at all. He said my
grammar gave stimulation to him and he decided to
study grammar one more time after he read my paper
for Business 100.
short, from my point of view, mixing many kinds of
students is not bad. It is, rather, a good system
to study English to get inspired. We all may have
different goal of English, but we all are studying
the same language: English, which is the most
common language in this world.
Fuji, an international student from
who have been in the U.S for a long time know a lot
of things in the U.S. but students who have only
recently come to the U.S do not. And they cannot
speak English the same as long timers.
I think long timers can help short timers.
And short timers can learn something about
the U.S from long timers.
I came to the U.S, my friend who came here before I
came taught me a lot of things. For example, when
we went to a restaurant, we have to pay tip for
waiter or waitress. But at first I did not know
that. Also, she taught me English. She often helped
me when I was in trouble. She has a lot of friends,
so I had many friends who came from different
country and stay in the U.S long time. So I learned
new things that I did not know about the U.S from
I think long timers can help short timers. And
short timers can learn something about the U.S from
Huynh, a student originally from
is wonderful for recently immigrated or
international students to study English in the same
classes with students who have lived in the United
States for many years, who may even have graduated
from U.S high school because they all want to
improve their English.
If they are put together in the same
English classes, they will help each other
as best as they can while they are working
in groups or doing projects with all
skills which they have.
have learned that the United States is an
international country and many people want to come
here to learn more English even though they have
studied English in their country.
thing I have learned is that many recently
immigrated or international students have more
skill on grammar than other things but students who
have lived in the United States for many years, who
may even have graduated from U.S high school, their
pronunciation is better than grammar because they
have played around with native American in high
they are put together in the same English classes,
they will help each other as best as they can while
they are working in groups or doing projects with
all skills which they have. They feel more
confident because they have the same levels and
already know they all come from different
countries. There is no judgment against them and
nothing makes them feel like an immigrant.
they are mixed with native speakers, they will feel
nervous, shy, and even scared when they give
speeches, or read in front of class, or talk to
native speakers because of their pronunciation.
There will be more advantage than disadvantage to
put students who have been here a long time and
newly arrived students in the same class to study
Sakurai, an international student from
have been living in the U.S for almost one year. I
think it is not a long time, but not a short time,
so I can understand what people are saying, but my
speaking skill is still poor, so I cannot respond
clearly in a moment.
Talking with [students who have been
in the U.S. for a long time] is good
for me because I try hard to speak
English. They have a lot of good things I
can learn. I think it is a good idea for
the college to mix students like this.
students who have been in the U.S for a long time,
such as students who graduated from high school
here, can do it. When I talk with friends just like
them, I envy them and I am disappointed at my
English skill. Also, they know a lot of swear words
and always use those, so I am confused about that
because these kinds of words are not taught by
English or any dictionary. It is the hardest thing
about being in classes with students who have lived
in the U.S for a long time.
talking with this kind of friend is good for me
because I try hard to speak English. They have a
lot of good things I can learn. I think it is a
good idea for the college to mix students like
Yener, an international student from
I came to the U.S. two years ago from Turkey, I
didnt know how to speak and write English.
Right now, I can speak fluently, but I cant
write as I speak. Speaking and writing are
completely different from each other. One can
speak, but cant write.
Most of my Asian friends are good at
writing, but they are not good at
speaking. On the other hand, most of my
European friends are good at speaking, but
they are not good at
requires reading and understanding. If you read and
understand what you read, you can write easily.
Also, when you are writing and reading, you have to
know more vocabulary than when you are speaking.
Thats why many students have problems when it
comes to writing even though some of them have been
living in America for years.
now, I am taking an ESL writing class at OCC with
students who are from other countries. Some of them
have been here for ten years or more than that.
Some of them have been here for only two months or
students in my class dont speak but can write
English; they are at the same level with me because
speaking is entirely different from writing. ESL
classes help students who dont speak and
cant write. The students who just arrived and
dont speak English can try to talk to
students who are here for years and speak English
in ESL classes.
students who cant write learn from the
students who can write. Because they are sharing
the same problems and everybody is at the same
level with them, they wont care about making
mistakes. People learn from their mistakes and
students will learn from them.
classes are environments that provide perfect
practice for foreigners. When I took my first ESL
class, I wasnt fluent at all. I could barely
speak English. I met with the other students in my
class and made friends. I spoke with them. I made
mistakes. They made mistakes, and we corrected each
other. We still do correct each other.
example, most of my Asian friends are good at
writing, but they are not good at speaking. On the
other hand, most of my European friends are good at
speaking, but they are not good at writing. So,
they study with each other and learn from each
other. ESL classes are for students who dont
speak and cant write. We should be
Sutio, an international student from
my ESL class, students always have a lot of
enjoyable times. As most of the classmates came
from different countries, they like to share many
uncommon things, cultures, and languages.
I realize that students who stay longer in
the U.S. are more likely to break that
barrier that I am still facing, because
they are better than other classmates in
listening, pronunciation, and
is the most popular thing that we like to share
about. Besides learning English, we also enjoy each
others languages. But besides that, we also
have to face a few problems. Even though we are
eager to learn, we face the big, huge barrier of
language between my friends and me. Because we do
not understand each other, we have to face the
realize that students who stay longer in the U.S.
are more likely to break that barrier that I am
still facing, because they are better than other
classmates in listening, pronunciation, and
vocabulary. I also notice there is a cultural
change between the student who just came and
students who have stayed for a long time: people in
the U.S. tend to be more polite. For me, I always
like to stay with the couple of friends who are
fluent in speaking. Even though I cant speak
fluently, they dont mind.
Sarkissian and Greg
comment on this project.
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