On Speaking English as a Second Language

Smart in Russian
A friend on Facebook posted this picture, which then sparked a discussion about speaking English when it isn’t your native language.

So here’s the thing: It’s hard. What this illustration points out is incredibly true. When I moved to Lithuania, I had no idea how to speak the language. Eventually, a few years after I arrived, I had the opportunity to take a basic, entry-level class.

It was hell.

Being a teacher myself, I would talk with my teacher who told me, after that fact, that when she saw she had an American coming in to her class, she was a little nervous. “I hate teaching Americans – any native English speakers, really.”

Now, mind you, the class itself was taught in English as that was the common lingua franca amongst the students, so the idea of speaking English wasn’t the problem.  Continue reading “On Speaking English as a Second Language”