First Day in an American School

Six years ago, when I was in eighth grade, my family moved to NJ from the Philippines. My first day in an American school is exciting and disappointing at the same time. It was exciting because I meet new friends and it was disappointing because my friends told me I have an English accent. Even if I try, I could not speak without an accent because speaking English is not my native tongue. So instead of feeling like an outcast, I just tried my best to use all the foundation and fluency I have learned in English and did not focus as much on my errors and accent. When I was able to do these things, I was able to have meaningful and dynamic conversations with my new friends and teachers. At this point, everything seems to come naturally. On the other hand, my parents also made sure that my native language skills are also developing at a normal rate. Throughout these time, my parents’ advice and support were key because they showed me I am capable of being bilingual and today, I can definitely see the advantage of knowing Tagalog and English. All in all, being bilingual just takes practice and as long as the English environment between parents and children at home is fun, no negative effects would come to children.

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