Upper Merion Area Middle School
The Upper Merion Area Middle School in King of Prussia,
Pennsylvania, recently held a contest where their students wrote
an essay on “The Challenges of Learning a New Language and What it
Must Feel Like to Not Speak English in an English-speaking
School.” The two winners of the contest (one from each homeroom)
were to be entitled to one free language on-line language course
(Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish) provided by Claudia Krusch the
director of CK Translations, LLC.
The staff and
teachers involved were Angela Della Valle (staff) who organized
and promoted the event - Faith Seymour and
Christine Schmolz (teachers) who helped implement the event. They
believed this would be a beneficial event for their students since
there are many diverse cultural background students in their
The following are the two
What might it feel like to be an English speaking student in non-American school and what might your day be like?
As an English speaking student in a non-American school, most people would feel confused. I myself would feel like I had very little knowledge as to what was going on around me. I would not understand what the teacher or the students were trying to say to me.
I would use my sense of sight to help me get through the day. One way to accomplish this is by looking at the pages of the student's book who was sitting next to me. Now that I started some sort of communication, I could look at the teacher's hand gestures to help me recognize what he/she is trying to teach me. I would try to learn their language through ESL classes. An ESL class is for students like me to go and learn a new language from a teacher who knows English. He/she could also help me especially try to learn math, reading, and science.
I know my day would be difficult trying to learn the school's rules. I would learn theses rules in order to show the respect I have for my new school. I would also learn them to help keep me out of trouble. At my new school I would try to make a friend so that we may learn each other's language. With my new friend at hand, this is how I would get through my day, at my new non-American school.
A Lonely Day
By: Vishal Patel
If I were a student from a foreign country, who did not know
English, but went to an English school I probably would not be
getting use to things that easily. I would miss my homeland a
tremendous amount. I would not be able to sleep, as I would gaze
out the window into the night sky. I would remember my homeland
each and every night, as I would picture myself with my friends
and family having fun. I would pretend that my toys were being
some of my closest friends. I would have endless days and nights.
School would not be as easy for me as well. As I would walk down
the hall, I would see the other kids laughing and joking around
each other in the very massive hallway. That would be kids who
would just stare while I walk down the very lonely hallway. They
would call me the new kid. During class as the kids joke around
and have fun while learning with the teacher and others, I would
sit in the lonesome corner with just my shadow and me.
would come lunch the most lonesome of all. As I approach the lunch
line, I would see other kids walking together talking and
laughing. As boys and girls talk probably about me, I keep
remembering, remembering as I watch, and sob. I do not understand
what the lunch woman tells me when she tries me to tell me the
price. After getting my lunch and sitting down alone as kids pass
by, and my heart just breaks. I cannot eat at all, as I remember
the last bell of education rings, I walk out the classroom slowly
and alone. Kids are running to there lockers. Shouting and
Screaming. I go to my locker take my books and go. When I get
outside, I see kids having fun. Then comes some kids they come
near me, pretending to be my friends as they tell my lie after
lie. They make fun of me as I could barely tell. Then suddenly
they grabbed my book bag. As they run I try to follow. Then they
stop and toss it around, as I could say nothing. Then comes a
teacher to help as I could say nothing when he asked what’s wrong.
A couple of kids helped as they had seen what had happened. Then I
walk home after a lonesome and painful day. Then as I come home I
remember, and then starts another day.
As the winners of the contest, the two students will receive four online Spanish Classes. Claudia Krusch said "I'm very happy
to be able to provide instruction to such motivated students and
share some of the privilege that was given to me when I was
younger and had access to a second, third and fourth language. I'm
hoping to inspire them to embrace this opportunity and use it in
their working experience."