Essay on A Major Impact On My Literacy Development

787 Words Dec 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
A major impact to my literacy development occurred when I was only four years old, and reminds me of the quote from Nelson Mandela, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes into his head. If you talk to a man in his own language, that goes into his heart.” (Mandela). I can relate to this quote because Arabic is my first language, not English, so when someone speaks to me in English the translation has to first take place in my head so that I can make sense of it. However, when they speak to me in Arabic the meaning goes straight to my heart. The significant event in my English literacy development took place when my family emigrated from Jerusalem to the United States. It affected my grammar, reading, and writing, all which were a challenge as a child, and continue to be an ongoing challenge in my adult life.

When we left Jerusalem I found moving to the United States, starting kindergarten, and not speaking English extremely difficult. I spoke Arabic and my parents only spoke Arabic and French, so the only way I learned English was through school. My parents were also learning English at the same time I was, so they continued to speak Arabic at home and with relatives. Once they learned English, they spoke grammatically incorrect broken English, so they were not able to help teach me proper English. This daily exposure to broken English at home not only impacted my social skills and school work as a child, but has continued to influence me as an…

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