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First off, there's not reason for you to feel ashamed about your English skills. You are NOT a native English speaker and you're learning this language because you moved to a nation where the primary language is not your native one. That's all. Hence, you're doing it right. Keep on learning English as much as you can and do NOT give a care to those ignorants bringing you down. I'm sure the only language they speak is English and might be scared that you become better than them for mastering their native language when that's all they know.

Second off, give yourself PLENTY of time! Me, myself, came to America in mid-2009 knowing nothing in English because I never took English classes back in my home-country (Dominican Republic). When I came to this country I was 16 years old, too old to be "americanized" because I was already adapted to my Dominican roots. Like you, I did everything that was accessible to me to be able to master my skills in this language by purchasing Spanish-English dictionaries, switching from reading Spanish to English books, and listening to music or watching TV interviews/shows. It sucked a lot; however, I had no other options but putting a lot of effort in practicing as much as I could.

At my arrival in this country, I enrolled in a ESL high school in NYC where I took bilingual classes in Spanish during my first years and then switched to monolingual classes in my last years. Every year the school would administer an assessment test to measure everyone's knowledge of the English language. In my first and second year I scored intermediate and advanced proficiency, consecutively. It wasn't until my third year when I finally scored fluency and was able to be exempted from taking this test again in my last year. Even though this examination showed I was "fluent" in English, I didn't really feel as though I was a "master" in this language because a person never ends learning a language, not even his/her own mother language; there are so many words and slangs emerging on a daily basis that a lot of people are not aware of. Then, I realized that language is correlated with culture; you can't assume you speak like an American-born citizen when you have not embraced the American culture completely, and for that it takes time; you must have more years living in this country than in your home-country for this to apply to you successfully. I noticed that idioms in American English are unique to Americans and it's not easy to familiarize with them. So I concluded that the more time I spend in this country, the more "americanized" I feel. Now, 6.5 years living continuously in the States, my views on many things socially and politically are very similar to Americans'.

Lastly, do NOT ever try to suppress your accent to please someone who doesn't give a sh*t about you. Your accent represents your CULTURE! Don't ever destroy that, and even if you happened to create a family here, make sure your kids know your native language.

Good luck! You're NOT alone.

Thank you so much for this beautiful letter. While I was browsing the internet because I didn't know how to do my homework, I found this. I have been living in the US for five years and one month, but I don't feel myself improving in speaking, writing, and reading English. How come your English is incredibly awesome in just 6.5 years?? I know practice makes perfect, but how did you practice? I came here when I was 12 and now i'm 16 years old. Whenever I sit down to do homework, my mind always goes completely off. I often end up putting my school gears away within an hour and go on Facebook or go to sleep instead. I don't know how to study or practice on my own. I am trying my very best to improve. (Sorry) that is how dumb and stupid I am. Facebook makes me feel good about myself. It makes me act in a way that I am a confident person. It makes my online friends view me as a smart person, because I always express myself in English. As they are also foreigners as well, they are still working on improving their English just like me.
I once was a chatterbox and an honored student back in my country. But in America, I can't be that person again. I am now a mute in school. I want the old and original version of myself back. Please help!! I want to improve. But I don't know how. Thanks in advanced!
P.S. Please excuse any mistakes Ms.
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Hi!!! I just want to let you know that you are not alone. The English language is one of the hardest languages to learn. I always find it difficult to communicate with others in English. ALWAYS.. that when i dont get to express myself the way i wanted to, i get really depressed. Today at work, a customer called in to ask about a particular product in our store.. i tried my hardest to explain everything to her but i ended up slurring my words and i couldnt find the right words to say. sigh** she even raised her voice, a bit, on me.. i tried to stay calm but deep inside i was depressed. for us non-native english speakers, speaking english is a challenge. it is a struggle. but what can we do to improve? there are so many ways for us to improve.. and if we dont act on it.. nothings going to change.. i feel you.. i hear what you are going through.. but please dont fear tomorrow. there's always room for improvement. the mistakes you make right now will help you in the future. Emotion: smile God bless ♡♡♡

Yes. I have been in the same situation. i really wanna speak english well. Also, i think that my english is not as good as my classmates. I know what you feel, because i can feel that feeling too. Then i realize that, the ways i learned english are not better. When i spoke with my friend, i alway said that i am sorry my english is not good. But now, if i speak with my friends i will tell them i am on improving my english. i must be positive thinking. I must believe that i can speak english like i speak my first language. Never give up sist/bro...

Thank you, for your good intended words, I happen to live the same problem I am an smart, well educated and read individual, that use to be the life of the party, at home, work. church, sports, community and casual encounters I will be a person liked because was able to give meaning to the most simple or complex conversation but not anymore I moved up here to the USA 18 years ago, and as I member of the human race my life stopped, I work, pay bills, watch TV, shop, read, call my family overseas over the phone, eat and sleep, I stopped talking with people because I have an strong accent and there are certain vowels sounds, that I haven't been smart enough to get the proper pronunciation (as in 3, Thursday, Thanks', Cat, Call, Etc.), and I always come off sounding stupid and not getting my point across when I talk, so I lowered to the bare minimum, I mean my words! life stop when you are not able to communicate the right idea using the right words in the right order. depression hit me for couple years, but as the years has passed I had to set myself on this attitude: just don't care anymore!

And I can be cynical about my own life, but the comments of the person before you touch me, and read your comment, its so hard that I could not pass you without telling you how bad it is and Thank you for your advice because it's useful

Have a wonderful day!

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Van you tell me if you ever overcame that fear? I'm going through exactly the sameness situation as you and I honestly feel like I'm in a very dark place without any hope or solution. I feel so lonely. As you said isolation is killing me... I'd would like to know what did you do once this was posted over a decade ago thank you

Haha. I've been in your position soooo many times before (about a gazillion experience). I started out in my country being a successful student and I moved out to Canada two years ago. hehe it wasn't really as much as I expected I would be successful in my new Canadian school too! bruh at the first day happened the most embarrassing sh** I've ever done in my life. I was nervous so I went to pee on a washroom, what I didn't know was that I've went to the women's washroom and then one of my girl classmates caught me! Oh sh** that was hardddd, she reported me to the teacher and my other classmates heard of it..oh sh*.. It was even before my introduction to the class as a new student and I've already peed my pants on the wrong washroom?? (a couple of my classmates must have probably thought I was a pervert or something lol).. It's just the first day and everyone were already friends.. I was left out, alone. I ate my lunch at the wrong place. I get called out because I'm not understanding the instructions very well. I was bullied by younger d*heads lol. and I've been laughed out by most of my classmates. They ignored me like I didn't exist (of course not the whole time). It hurts, it truly hurts. I felt the need of getting revenge by beating myself up and even death threating myself EVERY DAY like I'm useless(damn it was painful). I became the saddest of my whole entire life but hey! I've learned to absorb that whole negativity and I became a positive person! I've never had a chance to convince my friends that I am really kind and smart especially people thought I was f**** dumb or just a random immigrant that has no clue as to how Canadians work and speak. Of course, I did get friends; but most of them treated me like a clown or EVEN A PET like WTF. Only one cool person I knew was John. He is a tall cool (Canadian born Chinese) guy that has no friends. He is simple and a bit funny sometimes but all I liked about him was that he's humble. Ok ok ENOUGH lol.. that's the first day of my school two years ago and if I skip the whole story to now; lemme tell you, I'm doing super fine. I speak well fluent spoken and written English (though my writing is "slangy" in blogs/forums). I've been treated very well by my classmates and I've completely changed! If you compare that change to nature it would be like a fricking slow slug becoming a cheetah. Anyways, best wishes to you and good luck to your future and always remember, BE POSITIVE!!!

Hi, Anon812. Welcome to Englishforums. Thank you for sharing your story.

I've taken the liberty of changing your username, as we prefer you don't use one that's likely to cause offence. If you'd like a different one, just let me know and I'll change it again.

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When I read this my heart melted I feel so bad for you I have gone through the same thing and I can tell you English is like one of the hardest languages to learn so naturally it is going to take a while to learn it and don't worry about your accent it is normal for people to have an accent and to be honest I like it when people have an accent as long as I know what they are saying of course. I hope it gets easier for you as it did for me.

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