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English Language Learning in Special Education

In this analysis of a language learning process, a 20-year-old female, Carry, was invited to participate in an interview. She is a friend of mine, and it was not difficult to organize a meeting and ask several questions to study her decision and the peculiarities of bilingualism. According to Thompson, language use in the American context is not a simple issue because English is one of the most widely used languages around the globe, and the motivation to learn a foreign language depends on many personal factors (1). English is her native language; and when she was 17, she met a Canadian boy, so the decision to learn French was spontaneous as she wanted to strengthen her relationships with his family. During the next three years, she was learning a new language. Now, in her 20s, she considers herself a strong bilingual and enjoys knowing English and French at a profound level.

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From her childhood, Carry visited a local school where she studied English basics and improved her grammar and style regularly. At home, all her family members speak only English, and it was not difficult for her to find a practical application to her theoretical knowledge. English courses were always interesting, and the girl paid much attention to the details like the history of this language and its linguistic characteristics. However, English spelling was a challenge for the girl, and she worked hard to achieve progress. Regarding the strength that English was studied in a group of peers from her childhood, Carry was fascinated with her progress and abilities to use her language correctly. She had never faced the urgency of studying a foreign language. Still, when she fell in love with a new Canadian boy, Liam, at school, her priorities underwent considerable changes. In less than one year, Carry realized that her relationships with Liam played an important role in her life. During her first visit to his parents to Montreal, she “met” the French language and “fell in love” almost the same way she did with Liam.

When she came back home, she wanted to learn this language independently. She bought several study books, a French phrasebook, and listened to a French audiobook for beginners. Then, Liam showed Carry a local French community in her city, and they visited it from time to time. Both French and English descended from Latin, and they share many similarities. However, Carry saw that French spelling was harder than English, and she decided to address a professional educator who could help. She visited French classes regularly, and, what was more important, she enjoyed the process. With time, Carry discovered the strengths of learning English and French, like easy traveling to Canada, international relationships, and even prospects for her future job market. Weaknesses were all neglected because she felt excited about her knowledge and skills.

Now, Carry knows that English is her native language, and their relationships are more than professional because she cannot imagine her life without speaking it. French is another type of affairs that have lasted for four years. Carry is proud of being bilingual as it is her own choice and achievement. She can live and never use this language, but she does not want to quit French. She continues her relationships with Liam, and they plan to go to Paris next summer. They speak both English and French fluently as it is an ordinary part of her life. The next step Carry wants to take is to bring up her parents bilingually because she and Liam want to get married one day. She thinks that if her parents are aware of simple French phrases, it will be easier for them to understand Liam’s family and share common values.

Reference

Thompson, AS. Language learning motivation in the United States: an examination of language choice and multilingualism. Mod. Lang. J. 2017; 101(3): 483-500.

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