The Trials and Tribulations of English


Courtesy of Google

Although most students realize the importance of speaking english, some still struggle with the language.

Whether English is a student’s first language or not, it can be in a difficult, yet necessary, language and subject to grasp and understand. It requires both dedication and patience to learn in a school setting that will later be used in the real world. For the average student, English may not be overwhelming as it is to others. Nonetheless, there are some who may take longer to understand English, a vital skill that is needed for communication and comprehension. 

Being a four-year required course in most high schools, English encompasses reading, writing composition, and communication skills required for academic success. It is perceived that while living in America, it is expected that you should be able to know English to some extent when talking to others. Fluently reading and writing in English may seem like a simple task for some. However, according to “The Language Doctors,” the grammar, pronunciation, and structure of English can make it hard for foreign students to fully understand.

Especially for some ESL students at Lake Ridge, where their main focus is to absorb grammatical aspects, it can be difficult to learn a new language. Yahel Grenados, the Sophomore ESL student, is a native Spanish speaker who finds the rules of the English language unfamiliar.

“English is a difficult subject and language to learn because of how they change their words like the ‘a,’ you say different in Spanish just like the ‘e’ and ‘i.’ I think I know enough English to speak it without having trouble with it. I am very proud of this,” said Grenados.

Sometimes those who are unable to fluently speak English can be left vulnerable as the prevalence of bullying may occur. Some students may even experience stressful and anxious situations when having to read out loud or talk to others in a language that they don’t yet understand. There are some who are willing to improve their English skills by any means necessary. This can range from reading books to watching television in order to gain more confidence to speak to other people.

Luis Rocha, ESL student, understands the importance of being able to speak English fluently. That is why he dedicates time to find ways to improve.

“English is important to know for me because I can be able to talk with friends. I do get stressed out when I need to speak English [because] pronunciation is hard for me. Watching movies and videos can help me improve my English skills,” said Rocha.

Even though English is spoken by many students, there are some who still find it difficult to succeed in their ELA/English classes. As part of English, students are required to read and write utilizing critical thinking. For some, it comes easy because they are eager to open up the next book and read while others find it hard to focus because of the boredom they endure while reading books. There are some students who have even acknowledged how they seem to perform worse in their English class compared to their other classes. Freshman, Carson Silva pointed out how he tends to score significantly lower on assignments and tests in his English class. 

“I normally don’t like the English subject, but my teacher makes it a lot more fun and easy. I just don’t like reading in general. As long as you pay attention and just do your homework, then it’s not that hard. However, I do perform worse in my English class compared to my other classes,” Silva said.

Even with the skills that reading and writing help students gain, the challenging nature of the subject can dramatically impact how one may perceive it. In Texas, the state only requires students to take the End of Course (EOC) exam for English I and English II. However, Lake Ridge requires the exam to be taken for all four years of high school. Students can become mind boggled when they are studying the same material year in and year out, further making English a burden for some to learn. 

Taking English each year of high school can become tedious and repetitive when learning the same concepts. That is why Sophomore, Dillon Oscar believes that English shouldn’t be a mandatory class for all four years. However, still agrees that the course can also provide learners with an appropriate form of communication that will be used in their futures.

“I don’t really enjoy English because after middle school English, you don’t really learn any new things. I guess English shouldn’t be required for as long as it is right now, since you only need a couple of classes then you already know a good amount of English. I feel like in the United States, you need to know at least a little bit of English, so you can communicate with most other people,” Oscar said.

Whether or not English is your first language or favorite subject, the necessity of the subject for most schools is taken into consideration. English can provide benefits to one’s future that will compliment a student’s academic journey.