Teen immigrants face a language struggle


Brittany Salazar

Student demonstrates the way that teen immigrants often feel when they come to the U.S.

Kiara Bobadilla, Reporter

We’ve all noticed those kids in junior highs, high schools, or even college who don’t know english, or who simply struggle with any other language. The struggle gets worse day by day, the students easily see their failure in each class. Grades, participation,GPA, everything.

Lisette Oliveto came to the U.S when she was twelve. When she first went to Eisenhower Junior High, she couldn’t fit in with the rest of the students because she only knew Spanish. Her reachers assumed she spoke English. She had no way to communicate with them. As the year went by, she started to meet new students- ones that spoke Spanish and English. They were the ones who helped Oliveto.

“In school for the first time, teenage immigrants struggle,” said Fanta Konneh, Konneh who is 18, grew up with her family in Guinea, after her family fled Liberia. She became the first of her family to walk into a classroom of any kind last year.

“Just the boys go to school, so I always knew I was left out,” said Konneh. “But here I am trying, I can say many things I did not know before, I can learn new things,” The website, Master Portal says, students come into the U.S to study any subject they want.

Nancy Ceja is a seventeen-year old Mazamitlan who also came into the U.S looking for something better and an education.. During her classes she’s felt uncomfortable, and when it comes to talk or pronounce any word in English she sometimes feels awkward. She said that she wants to say the words but at the same time she is scared on how the words would come out. There is a big difference between the schools in the U.S and the schools in mexico. Schools in Mexico don’t have as much classes as public schools here in the U.S. When it comes to different classes, the students stay in the same classroom and the teachers come and go.. The teachers for math, English, computers, science, etc.

“It took me about three years to actually learn English,” said Ceja. Learning  English isn’t easy “for students”  They eventually all learn it with their friends, taken lessons in the language or simply just watch a lot of TV and slowly catch the language. Students who leave the U.S struggle getting used to their second language Manuel Rosales is a seventeen year-old who was born in the U.S but lived in Sinaloa for 8 years. “It was pretty hard, when I got here, I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t have friends, and I just didn’t know how to get to class, I had to ask. But it wasn’t really hard,”I did know a little bit of English, so  I was able to ask different people or teachers for the answers I needed to my questions,” said Rosales. Rosales had difficulties but in a whole different way. He  had to adapt to a whole new school too, his only advantage was that he knew a little bit of English and it wasn’t his first time in a public school. “When they knew I spoke Spanish, I got along with them better, and it wasn’t hard hard, but I can say it was a bit of a challenge,” said Rosales

We’ve all noticed students who don’t speak English or even have a hard time speaking English.

They might not feel comfortable or sure about their accent or how they pronounce their words. If you notice those students around our school, don’t be shy to help them..they won’t bite!

We all need help on something and trust me when you help someone who is having a hard time in anything, it feels good to help those who are need, we all have felt that good feeling sometime in our life.