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Learning English

by Ivone Vitorino Amosse

Reading and writing in English was always my desire and dream, but when I came to the United States in 2019, learning English became a matter of survival. Learning a new language is like a baby when it starts to crawl: sometimes he can fall, or get tired, even forgets how he did the day before, but he never gives up until one day he can learn and start to walk. English was especially interesting and challenging to me, because I come from a country, Mozambique, where there are more than thirty Bantu languages, and my official language is Portuguese.

My first contact with English was in 2019 when I came to the United States had my first classes at Literacy Volunteers in Winchester, Virginia. I remember having trouble understanding what the teacher was saying, and sometimes before class, I had to google and translate the pages of the book we would talk about. I wanted so much to improve my speaking, reading, and writing, and to have a better understanding of the country as well as its cultural habits. I also want to improve my career by doing an MBA while I am in the United States, and one of the requirements is to master English at an academic writing level.

During my first months of learning English, I was focusing on achieving my goals, and I was motivated and happy with classes because they matched my expectations. During this time, I have learned how to write an effective essay, how to use punctuation, how to express an idea in writing, how to write a complete sentence, and how to avoid grammar errors. As important, I realize that I have also gained good friends, who have been helping me to face real life in the United States and learn how things work in American culture.

My main challenge is grammar and writing, but I am positive that with the continued help from Literacy Volunteers, one day I will be a better speaker with fewer errors in my writing.

Author’s Note: My name is Ivone Vitorino Amosse, and I was born and raised in Mozambique. In 2019, I came to the United States and have been here ever since