Sample Essay on The Challenges of Learning a Second Language

The Challenges of Learning a Second Language

The story “Always Living in Spanish” by Marjorie Agosin illustrates how it is possible for one to maintain their original culture and language despite the surrounding. In the story, Marjorie, a Spanish woman visits America while she was in high school. More so, the story enumerates on how she encountered the challenges of language barrier in the new country.  For instance, she had a thick accent and her eating style said otherwise.

Nonetheless, she was able to write good poems in Spanish language. Indeed, she wrote many poems in Spanish when she arrived in America to enable her remember her life at tender age. By then she was staying in Chile. Throughout her stories, she narrates how imperative it is for one to keep his or her original home with them at heart. She also expounds on why she likes writing in Spanish. She agrees that learning English to her was the hardest thing but she had to learn either way. By keeping her Spanish, her writing became known by many people after someone translated her work. This implies the significance of maintaining home languages.

Unlike a majority people, she maintained her Spanish language. Some people start hating their languages when they join new countries. To them, the new language becomes their most spoken language. However, this was different for Marjorie. She maintains her language despite the desire and aspirations to learn English as her second language. The challenges allied to second language did not bar her from writing in Spanish.

I can relate with Marjorie because when I joined America, I aspired learning the new language. In fact, my writing changed instantly. For instance, I would rarely communicate in my own language. All the writings I did were in English, albeit poor grammar. The idea of writing using my own language was forgotten because I could not imagine writing in my own language. The mentality that people will never understand my writing if I wrote them in my language engulfed me and that is how I ended up forgetting writing in my language.

Nonetheless, I support Marjorie’s argument of ensuring that one keep connected with their first language all the time. Keeping her first language enabled her become successful in the writing industry. That is a lesson to learn from her. She must have been a tough girl to come all the way from Chile to United States while in her high school, learn English, and at the same time participate in events as a normal American citizen. In my opinion, it is an interesting thing how she managed to write poems in her first language as a way of keeping her memories.

That is a challenge to all writers because they are supposed to write in their first language and become successful like Marjorie. Nevertheless, most people can easily relate to Marjorie because learning a second language is never easy.I remember how challenging it was to gain English literacy as well as be able to converse with the language. Expressing one’s authentic self in another language is not easy because the other people may never understand what you are saying. This implies that you even need someone to translate everything you write for them to understand the content in it. The idea of translating is itself very taunting and one would prefer not to. You would rather embrace the language that is understood by the majority rather than wait for another person to come and translate your writings. Communicating with the people who do not understand your first language and culture is also very challenging because they might never understand what you are saying. Therefore, it is imperative to learn both languages.