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Barriers to Overcome when Learning a New Language

Updated on June 13, 2016

2016- Associate in Science

Building a Help Network

One of the hardest challenges for immigrants moving to a different country is the foreign language spoken there. Adapting to a new place, obtaining a job, finding a place to live, and completing schoolwork all requires proficiency in the language spoken at that country. I can relate to this experience where language becomes a barrier that limits what a foreigner can and cannot do. Since I came to the United States at age 13, I met important people who helped me overcome the struggles and disappointments of a language barrier and eventually become a proficient English speaker.

When I first enrolled in high school, I was sent to the English as a Second Language courses the school offered. These courses became very important to me because I could learn the basics of English language while improving my writing and reading skills. One of the reasons why these classes were so much important to me is that I could get to know some people who helped me a lot when I first began struggling with the foreign language barrier. Among those people are Hispanics instructors who at some point migrated as well and other ESL students. Those Hispanics instructors understood my situation because at some point during childhood they moved to the U.S. and faced the same language barriers I was then facing. The other ESL students understood my situation because we were pretty much trying to survive in the same jungle.

Language Barriers

The limitations of a language barrier also caused me many disappointments and misunderstandings. I grew up in a culture where respect is shown to others and silence is considered disrespectful. I would greet and salute people or even share small casual conversations with others. Remaining silent because of the language barrier felt to me like if somehow I was disrespecting people around me. Misunderstanding and confusion were frequent in classrooms where the instructor was an English monolingual speaker. I was not able tot understand most of the class material which caused me a lot of frustration. I could find a lot of help in tutoring, but it was disappointing not performing as well as I could have if only I could understand the class material. At the beginning my grades and school academic performance was not that good and that would cause me sorrow. But overtime I could find help from other students, teachers, and tutoring eventually improving school grades. It was hard to adapt to school life in a foreign country speaking a different language, but over time I did eventually achieved successes.

Being a foreigner is not an easy task. There are so many great struggles I had to overcome. I realize that I could not have made it without help form others who related to my situation in one way or another. I eventually became a proficient English speaker by my junior year in high school. Since then I try helping those who are in a situation similar to mine because I understand the struggles, the difficulties, and the limitations of being a foreigner.

It is a great challenge to overcome

t is a great challenge to be a foreigner who does not speak the language. There are so many limitations a non-English speaker encounters and many struggles to overcome the language barriers. I had to deal with much disappointments and misunderstanding as well as many people who could have helped me but refused to do so. I was also able to find a support network with other non-English speaker students who experienced similar struggles. I am glad to have met teachers and students who offered me their help along the way. I am also glad of the experience of being different because I can now better understand and enjoy diversity. Since I came to the United States at age 13, I met important people who helped me overcome the struggles and disappointments of a language barrier to eventually become an English s


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